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In memory of Donald I. Downs
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Laurence Beck
(beckla) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
In memory of Donald I. Downs on 10/08/2009 16:19:21 MDT Print View

This plaque is on the JMT just south of Forester Pass. If you are heading south you would walk right by it. We WERE heading south but somehow we noticed it. I really makes you realize how much work and sacrifice has gone into providing the trails we hike!

In Memory of Donald I. Downs

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: In memory of Donald I. Downs on 10/08/2009 18:18:17 MDT Print View

Lawrence, I've done this pass twice now and have not noticed the sign. Can you be more specific where it appears? Thanks!

Mark McLauchlin
(markmclauchlin) - MLife

Locale: Western Australia
Re: Re: In memory of Donald I. Downs on 10/08/2009 19:03:59 MDT Print View

So young as well,.

Laurence Beck
(beckla) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Location of Donald I. Downs plague on 10/08/2009 21:18:14 MDT Print View


I would not have seen it except my buddy happened to stop there to wait for me and he noticed it. If you were heading north you almost could not miss it even though it is a little off the trail. When heading south the trail actually makes a right turn there away from the plaque I think is is less than a mile from the summit of Forester Pass. Here is a jpeg of the topo for the area. It has to be at one of the right turns as you head south.

Location of Donald I. Downs plaque

Laurence Beck
(beckla) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
gps coordinates N 36 41.504 W 118 22.343 on 10/12/2011 22:55:10 MDT Print View

I did the JMT this summer again with two other guys and we specifically looked for Donald I. Down's memorial. It is located at gps coordinates N 36 41.504 and W 118 22.343. Another highlite of the trip was that we got to spend a night at Muir Trail Ranch. We took real hot showers and we laundered every piece of clothing we had. We also shipped ourselves a 12 pack of Newcastle Brown Ale in our resupplies which we enjoyed in their deluxe hot springs after an incredible dinner at the ranch! We actually gave three of these away (we're not complete lushes!)

Andy Duncan
(bluewater) - M

Locale: SoCal
Donald I. Downs plaque on 10/17/2011 11:09:40 MDT Print View

I'm a little late joining this post. . . I was just there a few weeks ago and I remember thinking the trail just south of Forester was amazing, blasted right into the side of an incredibly steep cliff. After the third or fourth switchback for some reason I looked left and saw that plaque just before the trail turned right down the next section. I can see how that cliff would be unforgiving. I didn't take a picture of the plaque, but here's one just before and one after that section:


forester 2

David Carbiener
(HikingDave) - F

Locale: Northern California
In memory of Donald I. Downs on 10/19/2011 23:11:10 MDT Print View

I've hiked the JMT two times and spotted Donald I. Downs memorial both times. Here is another perspective looking at the memorial with the Forester "shute" in the back ground. My guess is that it is located around 1/4 - 1/2 mile from the pass heading south.

Donald I. Downs memorial

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
The story on 10/24/2011 13:09:59 MDT Print View

For those that don't know the history. I may not have it quite right, but it seems that him and a few other trail workers were injured when a landslide was caused by the blasting they were doing to clear a path for the trail.

Because of the remoteness and the fact that most of the men were injured, it took them days to get the injured to a doctor. All survived but Donald who after several days succumbed to the multiple injuries, including having to have his arm amputated to stop the spread of infection.