Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Longmire Campground re-emerges

In the late 1960s, the Longmire Campground, behind the Community Building across the Nisqually River from Longmire proper, was closed and replaced by the Cougar Rock Campground. Forty years later, the historic campground is re-emerging from its shroud of moss. It's already home for a dozen seasonal park employees and full-time volunteers, in addition to this summer's SCA Mount Rainier Recovery Corps. By next summer our goal is to make the campground available for use by individuals and groups while they're volunteering in the park.

A major milestone toward that goal was reached this week with the partial completion of a new bath house, renovated from one of the old historic comfort stations. The new bath house will have three showers and toilets, one of them fully accessible. Two are now operational.

Here's a quick tour of the once and future Longmire Campground.

Volunteers Larry and Joella Graves mark a campsite and clear away layers of moss.

SCA Program Manager Jill Baum follows one of the restored trails through the campground.

The completed side of the bath house, with two showers and toilets.

A newly restored pathway leads to the showers. Propane? Hot water!

Maintenance ranger Jeri Mierkey works on grading a pathway to the accessible side of the bath house.

Deteriorated concrete-and-wood picnic tables like this one will be replaced.

Some of the sites in the back of the campground are along a beautiful moss-lined stream.

Watch for more projects throughout the summer to continue restoring this classic campground for use by volunteers. Come out and give us a hand, and then come back next year to enjoy the benefits of your labor!

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