February 11, 2012 - 3 Crews

On the way into the park there was light rain falling but it didn’t deter 11 regular crew members and 3 new guys from showing up.  One of the new crew members was Jordan, who is an ultra marathoner.  He regularly runs 20+ miles through the park so he supplied the crew with a very good report of trail blockages.  We were able to split up into 3 crews with Dale P. leading one with Michelle, Peter, Janie, and Bill to take care of Hollow Tree Trail in the Lane Camp area.  Dale S. took Mike, Fran, Gene, and Michael to continue the work on the 2 4ft redwoods that fell across the STS just above the STS-Sunset connector.  I took the new guys of John, Josh, and Jordan on the trek around the Sunset>Timm’s>STS Loop.

Dale P’s crew headed to their work area via China Grade, with Dale S’s and my crew heading to the parking area where Middle Ridge, Sunset Trail, and Gazos Creek Rd meet.  I decided to take my Husky just in case and I asked if anyone had a hand saw (need to get the crew’s 24” saws sharpened) and Mike offered his up and it would turn out to be fortuitous.  We did light brushing and cleared 4 small trees across the trail with 2 being taken care of by the hand saw and 2 were around 10” and were quickly taken care of with the Husky.  We were moving at a good clip and we reached the blockage on Timm’s Creek in about an hour.
This was an 18” oak that had fallen on the trail and blocked about 25 to 30 feet of the trail.  This is at the same spot where a 36” Fir came down on the trail and covered about 60 to 80 feet of the trail.  We could see the tree across from where we were working.

The oak had fallen hard and was buried about 6-8”, which placed the truck in tension.  I was making the first cut and I was about 2/3rds the way through when the tree cracked and caught my saw.  We tried levers, releasing some the weight by trimming the top off with Mikes 9” folding saw, and after 3 or 4 cuts at different points over about an hour and a big push we were able to move the tree freeing the saw. 
After that we had lunch and when we started back up in less than 30 minutes we had the trail completely opened.
We finished up with a tan oak that had fallen next to the STS portion of the loop where a few small branches hung over the trail.  This was about ½ mile from the connector and as we approached the connector we could hear Dale S’s group working on the redwoods
We hiked up to the work area and got some video of log rolling. It took Dale S’s crew until 1 pm to finish the first cut because it was lying against the standing redwood and Mike said that it was a bear to make the cut and it took some time to find out what was still holding the round in place. It seemed loose and they could move it a little, but it just wouldn't break loose so they could roll it out of the way. What a pain! But after that cut larger sections were able to be cut. Dale eventually put us to work to finish off the first redwood that had the lowest clearance making it very difficult for hikers to crawl under. With that redwood cleared, the number of people climbing up and down a steep slippery route to bypass the blockage should be reduced
Dale P’s group cleared the tree on Eastridge Trail near Roger’s Rd and about 4 or 5 on the Hollow Tree Trail. They started from the Lane trail camp and went as far as the Johansen Shingle Mill. The last one was cleared and it was about 100 yards past the shingle mill. The upper part of Hollow Tree needed a lot of brushing and they did quite a bit of it but it could still use some more.

It was a cool damp day with a light rain coming and going. Every time we brushed something the water on the branches would add to the rain. With that said, we put in a solid 8.5 hour day for 119 volunteer hours. I would like to thank Mike, Michelle, Peter, Janie, Bill, Michael, Gene, Dale P., Dale S., Fran, and the 3 new additions to the crew Josh, John, and Jordan. Hope to see you all out next month.

See you on the trails.


Thanks to Mike and Dale P. for helping in the writing of this month’s trail report.
STS = Skyline-To-Sea