Hitch Leader: Emily
We began our day by going over responsibilities and expectaions for our hitch. We then got our personal items in order and packed up as much as we could. Some of us then cleaned the SCA rig and some of us prepared a menu for the next ten days. After all that, we went into town to grocery shop, prepare an ERP (Emergency Response Plan) and JHA (Job Hazard Analysis) and finish up any last minute tasks. Upon returning back to the BLM, we cleaned up the bunkhouse, organized food and tools and drove about an hour to Northslide Peak Trail Head. We then hiked 3.9 miles into the Bear Hollow Camp where we slept out for the night.
Our crew woke up after sleeping out under the stars and had a quick breakfast and sretch before hiking out again. We hiked 2.9 miles down Rattlesnake Ridge while clearing blowdown. We crosscut 13 fallen logs, bow sawed 3 trees, and moved 9 trees with some team work and muscles! We set up basecamp and then scoped out our work for the next 8 days. We looked at previous cribbing work as examples and learned the basics so we would be ready to start out strong on our 3rd day.
We began the morning with another cribbing review and then go to work measuring for the first crib. After we made all the measurements we scouted for and found rustic timber (wind fallen trees) to be used for our 8.5ft sill and our three 4ft deadmen. For the afternoon we dug out and set our deadmen and sized up with our sill to make it perfect. We then split up into groups; one group finished up with the deadmen while others scouted for more timber.
The beginning of the morning was dedicated to notching. Oup Project Leader, Megan, gave us a small lesson. We all got a chance to practice and become familiar with the process. We finished up our first crib and did some retread and started measuring for the next few cribs and prepared our timber by debarking. After lunch we got to crosscutting and more debarking two 11ft sills and our three 4ft deadmen. The fallen tree we found was definetely a tricky tree to crosscut. At one point it began spewing water and next thing you know it simply would not let us cut all the way through; binding up taking 2hr to cut! But, with all that hard work we were ready to begin another crib for Day 5.
We bucked up a few fallen trees and made 3 deadmen and a sill. We rigged our own timber carriers out of p-cord and 2 hazel hoe handles to transport our timber. We set two deadmen notched up our sill, and set our 2nd crib in place.
We split up into two groups again; this time one group hiked out about a mile clearing blowdown while the other stayed and finished up the 2nd part of our second crib. The blowdown group cleared a 16" diameter tree out of the trail which took almost all morning! The cribbing group debarked the rest of the sill and set our deadmen in place! We all joined up during the late afternoon to set the sill in place. Some of us began notching and some of us collected rocks to set the crib. Our 2nd half of our second crib is almost done!
Today some of us finished up the 2nd half of our 2nd crib while the rest of us started cutting, debarking, and measuring for the 3rd crib. We met up with two Backcountry Rangers of the King Range for lunch and then kept on working! For the second half of the day we retreaded around our 2nd crib and were able to set our 1st half of our 3rd crib! We had groups getting huch rocks to set the sill, some acquiring and debarking timber and some notching up the sill. Lots of excitement!
Today we scouted for more timber for the next two cribs. We cut a 4ft and 6ft sill and another six 4ft deadmen. We also hauled a ton of rocks so we could set all this timber! The second half of the day was dedicated to debarking, notching, and setting timber. Our last cribs are almost complete!
Today we finally finished all of our cribs; making atotal of 6 cribs! We then packed up camp and set out to camp at Bear Hollow. It was a grueling 2.9 mile 88 switchbacks climb uphill but, we made it just in time for dinner.
After sleeping out under some madrone forest at Bear Hollow, we packed up and set out to finish our hike out. We hiked 3.9miles up the rest of Rattlesnake Ridge and along King Crest trail to Northslide Peak trail head. After we got back to the BLM we had a quick bite to eat before cleaning and sharpening tools and organizing bear bins. We finished our day with a nice and rewarding dinner!
Hitch 1 (June 7th – 17th)
Day 1,2: Lost Coast Trail – Southern Segment / Chinquapin Trail / Nedalos Trail (9 miles cleared)
The first two days of Hitch 1 we worked on the Lost Coast Trail – Southern Segment clearing blow down with crosscut and handsaws, as well as clearing brush and opening the trail corridor with loppers. We set off on Day 1 from the Hidden Valley Trail Head southward on the Lost Coast Trail working our way towards the Chinquapin Trail loop, which we completed before returning to the trail head. On Day 2, after spending the night back at our BLM head quarters, we worked from Nadelos Trail Head west towards the Lost Coast Trail, once we connected back to the Lost Coast Trail we worked south clearing trail until hitting the southernmost point of the King Range National Conservation Area just south of Red Hill where the Sinkyone Wilderness State Park Begins.
Day 3,4: Buck Creek Trail / Lost Coast Trail – North Segment (9.7 miles cleared)
After spending the night again at BLM head quarters, we started the seconded installment of Hitch 1. Day 3 we worked our way south from Saddle Mountain Trail Head clearing blow down and widening the trail corridor along Buck Creek Trail. After a long day we camped at a beautiful site at the mouth of Buck Creek, where the creek collides with the Pacific Ocean. Day 4 we hiked south along the beach on the Northern Segment of the Lost Coast Trail. Hiking with full packs and tools in loose sand is a challenge, but the incredible view of California’s Pacific coast made up for the sore feet. We made our way to Black Sands Beach, where the SCA truck had been shuttled.
Day 5,6,7,8,9,10: Lightning Trail / King Crest Trail (8 miles cleared)
After a nice warm meal and restful sleep at BLM head quarters we headed out for the final installment of Hitch 1. Day 5 started at Lightning Trail Head, from there we cleared blow down south towards Maple Camp, where we would set up base camp and spend the remainder of our hitch. Days 6 and 7 were spent opening the trail corridor of King Crest Trail using primarily loppers and hand saws, we also had the opportunity to get some crosscuts singing near Saddle Mountain. Day 8 we worked up to King Peak, notching a large tree that had fallen over the trail along the way. We got creative with the crosscuts and made a foot hold and a notch to get a comfortable grip with your hand, this obstacle should now be manageable by hikers with heavy packs. King Peak was windy, but we ate lunch at the peak and admired the view from the highest point in the King Range. On Day 9 we completed two re-tread areas on the ridge and worked our way down King Crest Trail touching up the brushing we started on days 5 and 6. Day 10 started early with a fast and efficient breakdown of base camp. After camp was packed we made the trek out down the mountain back to the truck, the downhill hike was a nice finish to a successful first hitch.
Continued work on Baker station, in the Stanislaus national forest. We scraped, primed and painted six buildings. All by hand with brushes, hand scrapers, and ladders.We also built 40 shutters for windows and two for doors. All of these were installed to completion.( cut, primed, painted, installed on buildings, numbered.) We also finished painting the interior of the cook house and Foreman’s cabin because of a few rainy afternoons.
We also listened to " Dr. Worm" by They Might Be Giants at least twice a day.
Program Name: Pisgah Corps Black Crest Trail Hitch 6
MDA Code: 10_NCAROL1_UFS
Max ID: 10116
Project Leader: Jonathan Kravitz
Corridor Brushing 750 feet
Crushed Rock 20 feet
Hitch 6 was a tough one for the Pisgah Crew. Monday afternoon we all met up at 2 pm to prepare for our approach of the Black Mountain Crest Trail from Bolen’s Creek. The first challenge we met was trying to drive up a steeply graded dirt/rocky road in route to our campsite. The off road excursion proved to be a bigger challenge than we had expected- we had to move boulders and crush rock to prepare the road for proper drivability, which took approximately three hours. We were all very happy when Justin finally made the push to get the truck over what had been a deeply gullied rock outcropping that we filled in with lots of rock and crush. Once the truck made it over this we thought we were in the clear. Next challenge was getting the vehicle up another steeply graded and wet gravel section. We had the unfortunate experience of crunching our tailpipe in the process which meant we needed to stop our forward progress in the vehicle. We huffed it on foot and made camp at a beautiful location between two streams about 20 minutes from where we parked the truck. On Tuesday morning we awoke and headed to our tool cache approximately 5 miles away. The hike took us about 4 hours over steep grade with a 3,000 ft rise in elevation. Once at the tool cache (close to Winter Star Mountain) we immediately began brushing the trail as we had only a few hours to work before needing to turn around and go back to our distant base camp. Jon continued brushing after the members began their journey back and upon his return was notified that two members, Justin and Marion, had left the Pisgah Crew. This unfortunate event left us as a crew of 4 and on Wednesday morning we became a crew of 3 as we lost Patrick too… This experience had left us feeling uneasy at first but we have decided to push on and continue working as planned. On Wednesday Jon got the tailpipe of the truck saw-zawed while Ashley and Josh hiked up to the tool cache to clean and sharpen tools. We met up on the trail and, exhausted from another five mile hike home from work, decided to relocate the next day to a closer camp site. The Black Mountain Crest Trail is beastly and working on it has been a humbling experience. The remaining members are Josh and Ashley. They continue to show perseverance and will power in spite of these unfortunate circumstances. We will continue on the Trail next week and are anticipating less hiking as we have moved our base camp closer to our tool cache.
Any four walls are quick to become a home. Those walls may only be ten feet apart, but it seems almost instantaneous that things are put in order. Within a day the seating chart is understood and hours of silence are not uncommon. The neighbors stop by regularly and make themselves at home. Those neighbors being a pack rat that can be seen leaping in and out of his crawl space above the ceiling and a hummingbird that waltzes through the door and makes himself at home in the middle of a random conversation about K.D. Lang. After awhile it seems like nothing is new, the dangers have disappeared. The snakes are gone, the hornets have thinned. Then, on some idle Wednesday, walking to work just around the next routine turn in the trail, a bear is ravaging a grove of bushes for their fruit oblivious to the presence of others. No doubt, it is a conflict quick to wake both parties from their routine.
Nearly two miles of trail brushed, three pick-mattocks broken , one new bread-maker, 212 thimbleberries eaten, one burnt loaf of spelt bread, ten dips in the creek, one mouse found in mouse trap, two junctions passed, one oblivious black bear, and 417 trips inside cabin by one hummingbird.