March 10 2012 - Pine Mountain

It was a cool morning with a lot of visitors in the park.  Ranger Karsten informed us of blockages on Gazos, Pine Mountain, and behind Blooms Creek campground.  It sounded like a plan.  I took Gene and Janette to clear Gazos and there was a small tree on the road before Middleridge.  We wondered if that was the blockage but the report was that the blockage past Middleridge.

We did find an 18" fir down between Middleridge and the San Mateo County Line.  We opened the road but the root ball was rolling down with each cut so we left it but it was still off the road.
Don't forget I need to be on the other side of the gate :-)
We caught up with the other group at an oak down along 40 ft of the trail about 10 minutes past the Pine Mountain fire road.  This report was found in the dark while the range was searching for a couple of hikers that headed out a 5:30 pm or about 30 minutes before the on set of darkness.
A lot of limbing was required.
Fran with her trusty saw.
 Still clearing after about an hour.
One last push.
After 8 cuts with the chainsaw, lunch, and the final clearing the trail was open.  About 15 hikers past us and they did express their appreciation. 

I had hiked back down to get fuel and bar oil and drove back to the intersection of the fire road and trail earlier.  This allowed Gene, Norm, and me to get back to the parking area before the rest of the crew.  I asked Norm about the blockage at the campground and he said that the first thing they encountered was on Pine Mountain.  Base on the description, I knew that there was something else on the trail.  We headed out and about 50 feet from the foot bridge we ran into this.
At first we thought that it was a short section that was blocked but it turned out to be a 22" oak and 2 smaller oaks that it took out and about 115ft of the trail was blocked.  It was impassable and had turned hikers around as we reached it. 
This took 2 saws working and the entire crew to hide the cuttings but after about 2-1/2 hours we had the trail opened.  There is still work to be done since the oak was so wet that we were cutting pulp so we left it and another 20" oak for next month.
It was a short day turned into a long day with the final blockage.  Someone suggested a brew at the pub and that was all that needed to be said.
Another great turn out with 10 members putting in 75 hours.  I would like to thank Janie, Bill, Michelle, Peter, Fran, Mike, Gene, Janette, and Norm.  Hope to see you next month.

See you on the trails.


Photos by Jeff and Janette

For the birders

At HQ: Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon), Acorn Woodpecker, Steller's Jay, Pileated Woodpecker, and Robin
Gazos: Hutton's Vireo, and Pacific Wren
Pine Mt: Band-tail Pigeon, Varied Thrush, Acorn Woodpecker, Pigmy Nuthatch, Chestnut-back Chickadee,  Spotted Towhee, Hermit Thrush, Pacific Wren, and Raven