SEP 2016 - No. Escape and Eastridge

Our September workday had hints of an early fall as it was a little chilly early, but then warmed quickly for what turned out to be a beautiful day. 

We had a good turnout of nine and were fortunate to have numerous things lined up in advance, so after the usual greetings and figuring out who was going where we split into two groups with D2 leading one group and Norm and Mike leading the other.

While Dale's group headed out along North Escape Rd, the second group started up to the stretch of East Ridge Road that juts off Rogers Rd in the NE section of the park off China Grade Rd. Our goal was assist the Sempervirens Fund in one of their grove preparation projects and we were fortunate to be lead by Nan Bowman, a park interpretive docent who had recently been there. It was not an easy location to find and a fair hike from the road, so it would have been difficult to locate by ourselves.

Once we were guided the end destination, it was fairly easy to clear the route in. As in similar projects it was a lot of pickup sticks as we made the area safe for older visitors, but there were a couple of larger down trees blocking the way and we had to break out the chainsaw. 
By the time everything was completed it was time for lunch, so we headed back to the Sequoia Trail area to enjoy lunch on Slippery Rock. After lunch we made our way back over Hwy 236 and down the west side of Sequoia Trail where there were reports of a down tree that you could either a.) step over, or b.) climb over. 

This was a leftover report from August and on arrival we realized that anyone less than 7'2 in height would have a difficult time 'walking over' the blockage. There were two tan oaks blocking the trail and they measured 15-16 inches in diameter. We began by clearing the usual brush from the area and then started cutting the trunk sections blocking the trail. By the time everything was done it was almost 3:30, so we packed up and headed back to HQ and the end of another good day.
The second crew consisted of Janie, Peter, Michele and Dale S. We were safely piloted by Janie and somehow correctly navigated by Dale. 

Our 1st stop was on Hollow Tree Trail. While Peter and Michele went on up the trail to look for a smaller tree, Janie and Dale attacked this 20" Tanoak.

After 5 chainsaw cuts Dale and Janie rolled the pieces off the trail and down to ???. The crushing, rolling noises came to a halt somewhere out of site. Shortly thereafter Peter and Michele returned having only found sawdust in their quest.
Our next stop was a missing 8" Tanoak on Middle Ridge Road just north of its junction with Dool Trail.
Followed by a missing 10" oak across Gazos Creek Road, just pass its junction with Middle Ridge Road.

Next came our all important lunch break at Middle Ridge Road.
Seeing a red dot on our map not too far away on Sunset Trail, we decided to check it out. On the way, before the the Connector Trail, we cleared a Tanoak that was hanging low across the trail. While working on this, a coupled hikers reported that they hadn't seen anything on Sunset, saving us a few steps.

Next we headed up to China Grade Road. Parking at the Skyline to the Sea Trail crossing, we headed off to a 12" Madrone on the Basin Trail.

After 3 or 4 cuts the trail was clear.

On our way back, we cut back a Madrone that had been previously cut to about 8' clearance above the trail and a 6" Madrone whose trunk was broken 5' up and leaning across the trail.

The crew put in 74 hours with 762 hours for the year with a change to go over 1000 hours this year.  Thanks to Norm Beeson, Peter and Michele Gelblum, Janie Liefhelm, Janette Mello, Curt Patrick, Mike Peasland, Dale Stadelman, and newcomer Jordan McDaniel, for coming out.
Post by Mike, Dale S., and editing by Jeff
Photos by Mike, Kurt, and Michelle