Wednesday and Thursday, several of us began scouting new locations for future bivouacs starting with a site in Eastern Washington. For our first scout, Skipper took us about an hour and a half north of Spokane where we spent several hours driving around the forest and stopping to march a washed out mountain road. While it was in the mid to upper 90s and hazy from wildfires, the area was beautiful. The several mile uphill march took its toll on Pvt. Severson but he powered on much further than he thought he could. After a cool down, he recovered well for the long march down.
After our march, we settled on a nice, small camp near a creek for our bivouac site. Once the arms were stacked and the bedrolls laid out, we dug into our haversacks and began trading MREs. With fire danger so high across the state, fires and cooking were out of the question, so we decided on modern soldier rations. We used a water filter to refill our canteens with clean drinking water. After supper, we settled in for a relaxing night of sharing stories. With the weather so hot, no one got cold that night.
Waking up with the sun the next morning, I explored with Pvt. Soderling and did a photo shoot near the creek. Afterwards, we hit the trucks again and continued exploring to the top of a mountain where we shot a new YouTube video and took some great pictures. On the way down, we checked out another camp site before heading back to Spokane.
In all, our first scouting expedition went very well. With our reenacting organization still struggling to secure event sites and our ever increasing closeness as a unit, finding places to reenact throughout the year is of increasing importance to us. We hope to get a short of list of locations in Eastern and Western Washington to accommodate people's availability and transportation. With our summers warmer and wildfire seasons so severe, finding places near water and with the ability to do some live-fire target practice is high on the priority list.
Prior to this scout, I attempted to scout an ideal location in the central Cascades only to find all the roads closed due to a wildfire. When I got home from that, the state announced a state-wide shooting ban on all state-owned public lands. This underscores the importance of having two or three site on each half of the state to choose from. For all of those who couldn't make this trip, don't worry. While we did have fun, this, like future ones are working trips with quick turn around to accommodate work schedules. We were considering a get together in the mountains over labor day but with extreme fire restrictions, shooting bans, high temps, and poor air quality, we're most likely going to postpone until rain returns.
One other thing to keep in mind as we continue to explore state and national forests, is there are parking permits for all of the sites we are considering. When these sorts of bivouacs become more regular be sure to look in to getting any applicable passes or planing to carpool.