The temperatures are continuing to rise. With a heat index around 105 degrees The Team has learned to embrace the benefits of early mornings. Everyone is becoming increasing comfortable with all aspects of FIREMON and the pace of completing plots has picked up, averaging 2 plots per day.
We are finding the forest in Ironton to be quite peaceful. Coming across new species is also exciting as in the instance of ginseng (only to be picked in the fall with a permit) and a giant Cucumber Magnolia tree, measured at approximately 135 ft tall.
Earning a much needed break, the corps members headed north to escape the heat and soak in the amazing scenery of Canada. A great time was had by all including a stop at Niagra Falls, relaxing and canoeing at Algonquin Provincial Park, and for the some, a 200 foot bungee!! All members have returned safely and are currently participating in the FFT2 Red Card training and are becoming certified Wildland Firefighters!
Started work on Baker station, in the Stanislaus National Forest. We scraped, primed and painted two buildings of eight at the site. We also built 30 shutters for windows and two for doors. All of these were installed to completion. We also painted the interior of the cook house because of a few rainy afternoons
We continued to restore Plummer Ridge Guard Station. Removed old flooring, scraped glue and paper from sub-floor, installed moisture barrier, laid wood laminate flooring in all rooms, closets and bathrooms. Scraped lead paint off old shutters, primed and painted exteriors, stenciled on new numbers to all shutters, placed shutters back on building. Touched up paint of entire interior of cabin, sanded bottoms of all interior doors to make room for newly installed flooring, installed new cabinet knobs, patched holes in flooring, cleaned all surfaces, met with Jay Watson, built three new shutters for garage, primed, painted and installed. We screwed in new latches for interior windows without hinges.
Attended prescribed burn with Grizzly Flats Fire Fighters.
July 11-July 17
Ice Lake Trail
Our fourth hitch began on Monday the 11 of July at the usual 7 am in the morning. This hitch was to be different from the rest because of our stellar location along trail 1808 or simply the Ice Lake Trail. Located three miles in from the West Fork Wallowa River Trail stands a junction where our journey would begin. After crossing a decaying stock bridge, we hiked two miles up the trail to reach our beautiful meadow campsite at 7,000 feet. From here work would begin, and work we did. We split up into two crews on Monday afternoon and worked on two different projects: a log-out with our cross-cut, and a stone retaining wall. In a total of three hours four logs were completely removed from the trail to open up this trail to stock-users and hikers alike. Work on the stone retaining wall was frustrating, but one important lesson was learned: rock work takes patience and problem solving. That night after a filling dinner of raman bombs, a visitor arrived that cheered up the entire crew—Natashia, of Sam and Danny’s 2009 Yosemite Crew. A new friend was made when she worked the following morning with us up near Ice Lake. After a brutal cut with the pruning saw, we took a walk up to Ice Lake to chill out for awhile. The lake sits at 7,800 ft. and is by far the most beautiful lake in the Eagle Cap Wilderness. The lake put some things into perspective for all present—that we are in some beautiful country. After the break, we brushed down trail and enjoyed some lovely conversation with Natashia. Tuesday was also a special day for Danny because it marked his 100th day working on trails wearing the trademark SCA helmet. It meant a lot for him to accomplish this feat. In the process one rock wall was completed and one rock water bar was installed. After a lovely day of work, the crew retired to their tents early to take on another day on Trail 1808. The following morning we split into groups with half of us brushing and the other half working on rock walls. Four walls were installed and a half mile of trail was brushed out. For the first time working on trail 1808, the crew thought we would be able to get all of the work done in record time. The fourth day was comprised mainly of brushing and one mile of the trail was brushed out. For a seasoned trail crew, this feat rarely happens and to accomplish it was amazing. Also on the fourth day, the crew relocated camps down to the decaying stock bridge with the hope of working on another trail. We bumped back up to the middle of trail 1808 on the fifth day and continued to brush down trail. This day marked a turning event for the crew, all of us were willing to say that our bodies we done. We stopped work early to have a break down by the West Fork Wallowa River. Spirits were rejuvenated and we were ready to finish hitch. Trail 1808 was finished on the sixth day after a surprising encounter with a group of fellow travelers. After lunch, we realized we had left a hazel-hoe up at the meadow camp. The rest of us bumped up to the west fork to tackle some drainage and brushing. Eight drainages were installed and trail was brushed. A new saying was created which will forever be a “crew thing.” The seventh day dawned and the crew was excited because six days off were in the horizon. However, a drainage needed to be cleaned and cleaned it was. This hitch was amazing and special thanks goes out to Natashia for helping on the magical second day.
Three mile of trail brushed out, five rock walls installed, over 50 drainages worked on and one rock water bar.
-Peace and love trail world, Danny
3rd-8th July 2010
Hitch Three East Fork Wallowa Trail (1804)
Back to the good old East Fork Trail. Yep, covering some well known ground here, but as with any SCA adventure there is no lack of excitement. Sadly enough, the first time we saw this trail there was still too much snow around to make it the full 6 miles we were scheduled to. By now, however, nice Mr. July sunshine has kindly cleared the way of all the white nuisance.
We made it up to Aneroid Lake this time, lopping pretty much the whole way. Not even worth bringing the crosscut, Sylvester or Tweedy Bird, out with us for the trail was pretty much log free (thanks to someone with a chainsaw who got there before us!). Up at Aneroid we ran into Dennis, the caretaker of a small private land holding that functions as a wilderness resort, and were thanked profusely for our work. The lake is gorgeous and the mountains rising up around it make for some picturesque views.
Although the nights were a little cold and the days long, everyone remained in good spirits throughout the hitch. Along with the lopping we were allowed a few treats, mainly in the form of drainage. There was one long section that required a fair number of drainage ditches and then one stream through the trail that we spent a pleasurable morning putting back in place. However, the highlight of the hitch was definitely the bridge we cleared of sediment. A small footbridge had been absolutely swamped in dirt and we did it the favor of carting 75 cubic feet of that off of it, as well as putting a nice little lumber cap and drainage feature on the uphill side to ensure that it does not happen again.
All things considered it was an enjoyable hitch, now for three days of freedom before we tackle the Ice Lake Trail, dun dun dun!
-Sam & Laura