Rock Check Dams 3
Rock Water Bars 4
Rock Crush Created for Filling Tread 70cubic feet
Drainage Ditches 30ft
4th of July weekend marked the halfway point of our work season, and provided the crew and myself some time away from the trail. A personal highlight for me was watching fireworks alongside what seemed like the entire town of Marion in a Taco Bell parking lot.
Our first few days were noticeably sunny and warm in stark contrast to the constant heavy gray haze that perched itself on our worksite for what seemed like the entire summer. It was a welcome change that boosted moral as we labored to finish filling our second section of cribbing with crush. After the final touches were put on our second and final section of turnpike we moved up the trail and started building some new structures. Above our last section of turnpike the trail gets narrower and steeper, so we built an extensive fortification of heavy duty check dams and water bars.
Our last two days we were made exciting by a Forest Service blasting project which took place about a half mile up the trail from us. We stayed well clear of the hazard area but got to learn a little bit about what went into the round of blasting that was done before we came in to facilitate our work. On our pack out day we spent the morning clearing a path through about a ¼ mile of debris left on the trail. Although we were all tired and wanted to get out of the field, the change of pace was welcome, and we swiftly got the job done and headed home with a sense of accomplishment.
Hithch Leader: Chris
Originally scheduled to leave the BLM on Monday 6/20 for our second hitch, the WildCorps departure into the field was postponed by one day due toa suddne nast onset of the malicious poison oak contracted by Megan. Concerned for her safety and well being the group agreed it would be best for her to visit the highly regarded Garberville ER. After her triumphent emergence from the ward, the group decided that the prudent thing to do would be to wait until day two before heading into the wilderness. On the morning of the second day we parked at Northslide Peak trail head where we embarced for 9 days in the woods. Between the trailhead and our eventual campsite we brushed and retreaded 2.5miles of trail. Home sweet home was unanamously agreed upon to be a small but cozy spat just below bonus springs on the Miller Loop. Bay 3 began our onslaught of the Miller Loop which was rumored to be in great disrepair. It also provided the group with the opportunity to begin teaching Leah (our newest member) about trail maintenence. This would perpetrate throughout the following days. Days 4-9 were devoted to the same cause. It turned out that the rumors were true. 56 windfallen trees were removed, 10 drain dips repaired and 3 rock walls repaired and 41,184ft of tread restored! To provide ourselved with a change in senery, we decided to spend day 6 working towards Rattlesnake and Bear Hollow campsite. You may have heard of this treacherous trail and the 97 switchbacks that await any brave enough to include it in theiritinerary. This would be a project. Four cross-cuts were made by Erik and Chris while the rest of the group re-treaded. On day 7 we recisited Miller Loop to finalize it's completion. 3.1 more miles of King Range Trail in the books. Days 8 and 9 were devoted to working as much of the Rattlesnake as we could. Finally, day 10 had arrived. It was a day that we had been excitedly awaiting with anticipation because Alex (our firefighting friend) had mentioned the idea of a BBQ on this day. We arrived back to the BLM at about the same time as him however, he was not returning from doing 9 days of trail work. He was returning from a morning of diving and spear fishing in the Pacific Ocean. His trip proved to be a success because he was holding two Abalone and an admirably sized Capazone. Judging from our calused hands and full bellies both the hitch and BBQ were a sucess!
Program Name: Finger Lakes National Forest
Dates: 6/28/10-7/2/10; 7/6/10-7/8/10
Carried 6x6’s for privy cribbing to worksite- 8 -12 foot 6x6’s
Dug foundation for moldering privy- 12x6x2 feet
Interloken re-route #3- 153 feet
Interloken re-route #4- 200 feet
Stained lumber for privy
Cleared downed tree on Interloken trail
On our third hitch we started work on our top priority for the summer, constructing a new moldering privy at the Dunham Shelter on the Finger Lakes trail. We spent the first day hauling 6x6’s to the worksite before a thunderstorm sent us home early at 4:30. Starting on day 2 we dug out a foundation for the moldering privy and started working on the cribbing. It took a lot of concentration and patience to get the first 6x6’s level but once they were in place the rest of the cribbing was a breeze. After building the privy we focused on staining the lumber we will be using to construct the privy. It is amazing how much lumber it takes to construct this 6x12 building!
While Holly and Ellen were hard at work staining the lumber, Scott, Marc, and Kevin focused on constructing two new re-routes on the Interloken trail. During the holiday weekend there was a large trail running race throughout the National Forest. 250 runners ran races of 25K, 50K, and 50 miles throughout the forest, including the section of the Interloken that needed to be re-routed. We wanted to finish the re-routes before the race so the runners would not have to run through thick mud. We also cleared a downed tree on the Interloken trail that was blocking the trail and impeding the race.
Our third hitch was all about soldiering on as vigilant tread troopers. Rocks started to show their pointy, stubborn faces, but yielded to the ceaseless pressure of double jack sledgehammer assault. Neither could toppled trees or fast growing annuals block the path any longer. Yes, Buck Creek was fast becoming more and more accessible and pleasant to hike.
We camped for this hitch at the venerable Umatilla Forks Campground, a swarthy and stalwart companion for a beleaguered trail crew. Not only did it do the job, but it provided a veritable godsend in the form of a deep swimming hole right behind our campsite along the Umatilla River. This was especially needed because the sweltering temperatures on the trail began to push 100 degrees during the day. So right after we got back to camp we raced out to the swimming hole to cool off and clean off. The developed campground also allowed us to socialize after work beyond our inner circle, though trying to sleep with music blaring at midnight was less than ideal. C'mon guys, some of us have to work on Sunday.
We're looking forward to being able to backpack in for our next hitch, as the trail finally flattens out to allow for camp to be set up. Every day we grow more enamored with this lovely northeastern Oregon trail despite (or perhaps because of) the 2+ mile hike in every morning (and out every afternoon). Hopefully, with the trail in ship shape, more people will take the time to hike it and and share this appreciation. Like the gentleman we met on horseback who was so grateful to us because for years he couldn't ride the trail due to the fallen trees and battered tread. It's good to know we're making a difference.
During the first few weeks of our field work, we met a wonderful man who walks 2 miles of the towpath every morning close to where we were working. After seeing and chatting with him for a few days during our morning routine, he started bringing his camera and taking action shots of our work. He loved to see us in the canal and was very supportive and appreciative of the work we do. The next week, he brought us print out copies of some photographs, along with a CD of all the shots he had taken of us over the previous weeks. This entry is a tribute to Einar Johnson, a stranger turned friend, who is helping us day by day to believe in ourselves and the mission of the SCA.
Below you will find before, during and after photographs of Lock 74, our very first lock.