OCT 2016 - Howard King, Buzzard's Roost, and the Shed

Thirteen members came out on our first workday in the Fall of 2016.  Only 2 more work days remaining in the year.  Where has the year gone.  The crew split up into 3 groups with Peter and Michelle leading a crew working on the Tool Shed, The Dales working on the chainsaws along Howard King, and Mike leading a group to Buzzards Roost.


Peter & Michelle, David Bryant, Herman, Curt, and Norm worked on the shed.  Thanks too to Mike for spending his day off priming both sides of the 4 plywood sheets then applying a grit paint to the top surface.  Many hours were then spent watching the paint dry and then hauling them inside safe and sound.  Thanks too to everyone who brought tools, extension cords, screws, and cookies!

The short and sweet story is that we installed the flooring and installed the new vice on the workbench.  Here’s the not so short version:

Once the other two groups left we hauled everything in the clubhouse but the work bench and began working on installing the plywood floor.  Removing the front door took a little while as a couple of the pins in the hinges were a little reluctant to come out.   The closet door was much easier as there were just screws on the hinges.

We started with the 1st 4x8 sheet in the far left corner going across the back wall, adding the 2nd full sheet, easy peasy.  The 3rd sheet which came up to the door required some fancy measuring and several attempts to lay it down.  After a few minor adjustments we were out to the door.

The 4th sheet needed to be ripped to fill the workbench side.  We started with it from the back right corner but realized later that we should have brought if forward to the closet door – many thanks to Peter & Curt who removed all the screws they had just put in and re-did once we moved the last sheet forward.  We were concerned about where the floor was rotted out under the front door so we cleaned out the old wood on the front side, added a 4’ 2x4 for support then used 3 layers of the plywood to create a level floor surface out to the edge of the landing.  Will need to do more work (flashing, caulking) to make the opening as weather proof as possible.  Trimming about 5/8” off the front door bottom worked perfect with the new floor height, ditto with the closet door.  Using some scrap pieces of our new plywood and some that was shelving in the closet, Peter completed the back corner and closet. 

Once done, we hauled everything back inside and David, Peter, and Michelle started to hang the single lamp under the work bench shelf but there were issues with the screws, the pressed board wood, so will bring a few tools that we didn’t have and take care of next time.  The new vice was also installed on the end of the workbench.  Speaking of tools, we could use a couple of screwdrivers, flat & Phillips, pliers, and perhaps vice grips that we can keep in the toolbox.  I’m sure we’ll think of more but that would be a good start.

Sorry we didn’t get to see the other two groups.  Looking forward to reading about the hard work out on Howard King and Buzzards Roost. 


Today's  chain saw group consisted of Dale P. and Dale S. Our goal was a 'hatted' tree across Howard King Trail, 20 minutes from Skyline to the Sea Trail. With Dale P. driving, we headed out Hihn Hammond Rd to the first trail crossing and decided to see if we might find it close by. After a short hike we met some hikers who said that the trail was clear back to Skyline to the Sea. So back on the road, pass Mt. McAbee Overlook to the last trail crossing. Then the long downhill hike to the prize. Along the way we came to 2 small trees across the trail. A quick cutting with a hand saw cleared the 4 inch trees.

Arriving at the 24 inch prize, 

the fun tools were put to use. Dale P made 4 cuts and Dale S made 1.  Hats off for a great result.

Then came the long torturous uphill hike.  After we got back we checked out the new floor, vise, etc then we called it a day.


While the two Dales headed out to the Howard King Trail and the second crew set to work putting the floor overlay in the tool shed, the third crew lead by Mike headed up to Buzzards Roost. We typically get up there during the slower summer season, but it had been delayed this year because we've had a series of down trees to deal with each month.

It had been over a year since we hiked the entire length of the trail, so we parked at the back of Blooms Creek Campground and started the uphill trek. The lower section was clear and we did some minor brushing as we moved along. Just below where the trail crosses Pine Mountain Fire Rd we stopped at the false trail which every year we close and every year hikers reopen.  Nice to see a sign.

As we climbed higher and entered the chaparral environment it became clear that last winter's normal rainfall created an environment for a lot of growth and we were looking at a lot of brushing work. Since it was almost noon, we decided to push on and take lunch at Buzzards Roost before doing the brush work on the way down. 

A little, some times a lot, makes a big difference.  Look like a super highway

When we arrived at the top we were surprised to find that the trail closure that Janie and Peter put in place to keep people from hiking into the old Pine Mtn Overlook was still in place! This was first time in decades that our previous year's work had not been undone by hikers.

After lunch, but before heading back down, Janie showed us the short trail that connects Buzzard's Roost to a fire road below that heads over to the Little Basin area. This was the trail Janie and Peter opened last year at the request of park staff and though it's not yet signed it is on the current trail map.

The trip down the mountain was much slower than coming up as we took time to widen the trail as much as we could. Unless a tree drops on the trail, it'll be next summer before we return for regular maintenance.

The crew  put in 115 hours and thanks to Herman Aster, Norm Beeson, David Bryan, Paul Fleischman, Peter and Michele Gelblum, Janie Liefhelm, Janette Mello, Curt Patrick, Mike Peasland, Dale Petersen, David Philleo and Dale Stadelman.

See you on the trails.

By: Mike, Peter, and Dale S.
Photos by: Peter, Mike, and Dale
Editor: Jeff