Our crew continues with a steady stream of hypothetical questions, meandering conversation, and late mid-afternoon thoughts that swirl and dance about our heads, a gentle reenactment of the suspended sediment whose presence we are working to reduce in Lake Berryessa. February has seen our work days extend to ten hours, allowing for six days off which we will now be able to cram full with trainings to expand our knowledge of trails, tools, and with any luck, provide us with new questions, incomprehensible stories, and inside jokes.
Our longer days have been accompanied by a larger variety of work. We started the month by installing check steps to help prevent erosion on the gullying trails at the south end of the lake near Markley Cove. Our work of cutting and installing rebar and pressure treated lumber took much less time than we had expected, so we took another look at areas that might benefit from more work. We found that several existing staircases and structures needed replacement and we set to work analyzing the areas, proposing all manner of solutions sufficient to reconstitute the trail, employing heretofore unexplored possibilities of communication consisting primarily of gestures and impromptu props. We concluded our first hitch in February by beginning a full-crib staircase on the Smittle Trail.
Our second hitch was filled with even more variety as we finished the staircase and set out to Markley to begin work on stone check steps at Pullout 12. We spent a total of three days pulling boulders up to a staging area and setting steps and gargoyles. We enjoyed an energetic two days working with Rangers Mike and Victoria helping teach fifth grade students about the water cycle, pollution, biological diversity and population trends. We had an especially delightful time as scrub jays, stealing the nests of unsuspecting fifth grade juncos.
We are preparing now for an unrelenting series of erosion control structures surrounded on all sides by the virulent, formidable and ever present poison oak.
For the stats lovers, in the last 3,004 crew hours we have performed the following work:
3,350 feet of new trail
3,130 feet rehabilitated /reconstructed
16,257 feet of trail maintained (3.08 miles)
120 ft fence repaired
17 drainage structures
64 lumber check steps
4 stone steps
3 days of rigging training
Cleared nearly an acre of Spanish broom
And we helped teach 59 students the importance of water.