A couple of stories while I'm waiting to fall asleep in these black woods:
According to the Historical Marker, in the pioneer days, the Cascade Mountains were a barrier impassable to wagons. There were 2 unsuccessful attempts a building a road. The first failed to reach the summit, so the Railroad sponsored a second attempt with 360 men, 180 mules, and assorted earth-moving and tree-clearing equipment.
They reached the summit, but got stuck in the snow and thick forest, and were forced to abandon their animals and equipment in order for the men to return safely.
Finally, about 10 years later, the Army managed to build the road that's used today.
There was a man who worked both of the failed attempts, and who later found work at the Post Office, carrying mail over the summit, along this new road.
One winter, it was so cold that he died of exposure.