OCT 2017 - Basin Trail

It was a typical cool morning/warm afternoon fall day and we had what has become a routine excellent turnout of 13 crew members including two new people. Even with the devastating fires still burning in Napa and Sonoma the skies were clear though new crew member Alyssa Hanover said she had been in the park the day before and there had been a lot of smoke from the fires.

With only a couple of reported items to work on, it was suggested that we followup on some 'unfinished business' from the May workday when we completed only about half of the brushing on the Basin Trail.

After splitting into two crews, D1 and D2, along with Peter and Michele, headed out to check on some chainsaw work while the majority of the crew headed to China Grade and the Basin Trail. Back in May we started from the Lane Trail Camp end and worked our way down, so this time we parked in the Skyline-to-Sea area and worked our way up the trail.

We Were Equipped for Brushing, So Left This Overhanging Tree on Basin Trail

We Were Equipped for Brushing, So Left This Overhanging Tree on Basin Trail

Dodging occasional  poison oak we made steady progress before hunger set in and we decided to hike ahead to the same Basin overlook where we had lunch in May. The plan was to clear the remaining stretch of trail on the way back to the cars after lunch, but Shyamal Kapadia said he was in a groove and kept working while the others hiked ahead, ate lunch, and enjoyed the view.

After finishing lunch and heading back to handle what we expected would be a lot of brushing, we discovered that Shyamal had already completed a large percentage of the work. What could have been a long afternoon of brushing turned out much better than expected. 

As for the chainsaw crew's workday, it was a mixed bag. After taking care of a 12-inch Tan Oak along 236 near Sky Meadow Rd and a 5-6-inch tree on Shadowbrook Trail near Sempervirens Campground they headed off to look for the major work of the day, a 3-4 ft tree down on Hollow Tree Trail. After hiking about 3/4 of a mile further than expected they found the tree, but it had already been cut and removed.

The Chainsaw Crew Took Care of a Tan Oak on the Shoulder of 236

After returning to the cars for a lunch break, the chainsaw crew decided to check the upper Basin Trail to see if it needed any brushing. Unfortunately the area had recently been worked by a state crew in preparation for a controlled burn and there was only some minor brushing needed. As Peter said, 'The trail looked liked it had been swept with a broom or leaf blower'. A nice day for a fall hike, but frustrating at times.

Year to date the crew put in 1130 hours for the park, thanks to Herman Aster, Norm Beeson, David Bryan, Peter and Michele Gelblum, Jan Hill, Shyamal Kapadia, Jordan McDaniel, Mike Peasland, Dale Petersen and Dale Stadelman, and newcomers Alexandra (Alex) Barone and Alyssa Hanover, for supporting what is developing into a near record setting year for hours worked.

By Mike

Editor Jeff

Also of interest read more . . .

Holiday Get Together

And just another reminder that the December workday includes our annual Holiday Party! If you haven't already marked your calendar, it's Dec. 9th and as usual we'll work until about 1 and then regather at 2 at Boulder Creek Pizza & Pub in town. Whether you've been out every month this year or it's been a while, I hope you can make it.

Winter Scouting

Those of you who have been out in our busy winter season know that we benefit from scouting reports provided by Kurt Leal. Kurt hikes virtually all the trails in the park during the winter and provides information on what problems are out there and exactly where they're located. Even better, Kurt includes photos so we know exactly what we're facing and what equipment we need to carry. To say his reports are invaluable is an understatement. Kurt also maintains a website on Big Basin events and activities (including the Trail Crew) along with some nice photos and you can check it out at http://jadenrose.net/bigbasin/ .

How do they know how tall is that Redwood?

If you've wondered what modern technological tools are being used to measure the height of redwood trees, you can find information at https://sempervirens.org/searching-for-the-tallest-second-growth-trees/. Kind of interesting that you don't need to venture into the forest in order to measure the height of a redwood tree and the same technology that police use for catching speeders is used on redwoods. 

Why Berry Creek Fall

And a post-Halloween tale to end this month's note. Most of you have made your way out to Berry Creek Falls at some point as it's one of the most popular waterfall hikes in the Bay Area, but you may not be familiar with why it's named for a sawmill worker by the name of George Berry. Well the Sempervirens Fund wants to fill in the blanks and you can find the tale at  https://sempervirens.org/tilford-george-berry/.  Let's just say it's worth clicking on the link to find out why Berry's skeletal remains ended up hanging in a doctor's office!