AUG 2015 - Buzzard's Roost

I was out it the middle of the Sierra's so Peter was leading the crew of 2 with Janie joining him.  Here's Peter's report of what they worked on.

Janie and I were the only ones who showed up - is that an all-time low?  We had fun. We started by meeting with Susan and looking at the board - nothing else would have worked, because it was all either large trees that needed the chain saw that I didn't bring or repairs to signs and bridges. We went over the map with Susan about Buzzard's Roost, and she suggested we drive up, instead of hiking, and gave us the key to the one locked gate.

We drove up Pine Mountain Road and, after a couple wrong turns, saw a sign for Buzzard's Roost and headed there.  When the road was about to get REALLY steep, I mean REALLY REALLY steep, we parked at a place we could turn around in, in case there wasn't' another such place further along.  We trudged up the REALLY steep road, doing some clearing along the way as a reason to stop going uphill.  At one point, we cleared a bunch of REALLY prickly stuff with long sharp thorns.  We got to the top, but because we used the road instead of the trail, none of the directions worked.  We spent about an hour walking around and on a rock outcropping that we figured must be Buzzard's Roost because of the location, even though Janie kept saying that it didn't look like the place she remembered.  The problem was, there was no connector road and, in particular, no trial with a sign to not use it. But there was a rattlesnake.  I heard it before I saw it, and there it was, rattling away, all coiled up between rocks. I tried to get a picture, but it didn't come out.  It was exciting, though.  I don''t think I've seen one that close up before.

Anyway, we sort of gave up and headed down to the car, looking again for the connector or the blocked trial.  We very shortly saw what turned out to be the connector with the 4" pines across the trail.  We had missed it on the way up because there was a lot of manzanita shielding the entrance.  We cut the three pines and a lot of manzanita and cleared the connector trail.  We then decided to look for a place for lunch and headed up the trial and lo and behold, there was Buzzard's Roost as Janie remembered it.  We ate lunch there, and then decided to take a brief look for the blocked trail with the sign.  Sure enough, it was right where you said it would be.  There were a bunch of branches behind the sign, which should have been enough, but, sure enough an older guy walked out of the trail when we were there.  I asked him why he decided to ignore the sign, and he said he wanted a quiet place to eat lunch (there were a bunch of kids on Buzzard's Roost) and he wasn't going very far.  What are you going to do?  We added a lot of branches and some manzanita and the thorny plant to the barricade.  You'd have to REALLY want to go back there now, at least until the first storm blows it all down.

I'm attaching photos of the cleared connector trail, Janie working on that trail (which I took by accident), and the new barricade.

The crew put in 12 hours and I would like to thank both Peter and Janie for keeping the work day alive.  It wasn't the first time the crew was this small.  One day it was Mike and I and it was when we were building the ramp on the Kirsch Trail leading to the Schultz Bridge. We were putting in posts for the hand rail and we had to drill through a root with a rock bar because we had no choice.  The prickly things Peter mentioned were Chaparral Pea.  The thrones are sharp and get up to 2" long but it's the small ones you have to watch out for.

See you on the trails

Jeff and Peter
Photos by Peter