JUL 2017 - Pine Mt, Eastridge, and Hihn Hammond Trails

On Saturday, July 8th, along with 6 CCC crew members, Jack Schultz, and his friend Natasha, and myself, headed up Pine Mountain Trail looking for a Doug Fir that had just fallen a few days before.

We only had a whip saw as only one chain saw showed up and it was sent to where we were told was a 42” Doug Fir was down on the East Ridge Trail (turns out it was already taken care of).   Senior Park Aide Patrick Rosso later shared with me a video (see here) of the very Fir we were looking for, as it fell!  It seems a group of visitors were hiking up to Buzzard’s Roost when they heard a crackling, crunchy sound.  One hiker pulled out his cell phone and caught this amazing image.  While we took a break at the site we heard quite a few crackling, crunchy noises so we didn’t spend much time there.  The tree is so big that maybe a notch could be cut to allow hikers to duck through.  Right now you can limbo or crouch to get through.

Oh, some good news!  The two Doug Firs, one of which had spiked into the pavement on N. Escape Rd., have been cleared!  You would hardly recognize they were there!  All the debris that we had pushed to the side of the road is gone and all that remains of the first Douglas Fir we had cleared a year or two ago is just the trunk going down into the creek area.  The trunk on the uphill side is gone!

There is still some stuff just up Hollow Tree Trail from Skyline to the Sea Trail so hopefully in August we can drive out to the last kiosk and take care of that.  Docent Peggy O’Shea reported too that there is stuff on the Hollow Tree connector trail up to Middle Ridge Rd.  I’ve asked her to let me know if she came back along Middle Ridge Rd. if there is any stuff on the road.  Last month we sent a crew up to Middle Ridge Road but the key they were given by the park aide did not open the gate from Gazos so they just walked up a bit and took care of several things.

Norm's crew comprised Chris, Dave P., Shyamal , Aaron (a new young guy who lives in San Jose, but grew up in SLV), Peter, and Michele.

We checked out 6-8 places where there were reports of trees down, all without success - all the work had been done.  We started on Eastridge, near the big entry sign to the Park and the house and parking lot there.  Among other trees, there was supposed to be a 42" diameter tree across the trail, but all we found was sawdust and some nicely hidden rounds.  We then drove on Hihn Hammond Road and up Middle Ridge, where there was supposed to be 2 or 3 trees on the road, but, again, nothing.  We then drove back to Pine Mountain Fire Road, where the other crew (with the CCCs) had gone to check on a couple more possibilities, but there was nothing.

Aaron said that 2 weeks ago he had seen two largish trees across the trail near Little Basin.  Having nothing else to do, we went up the road and onto Tan Bark Loop Trail.  Quite a ways up and then down, we found the two 10" diameter tan oaks. 

It was after 12 by then, so we had lunch and then attacked.  Chris's chain saw, loppers, and hand saws took care of the trees in short order, including two large impaled branches.  On the way back, Dave, Shyamal, and Aaron took Pig Ridge Cutoff Trail, while Chris, Peter, and Michele went back the way we had come, and both crews did some minor lopping and trimming.   We got back to the shed around 3:30.

The crew put in 126 hours and thanks to Chris, Dave P., Shyamal , Aaron (new member), Peter, Michele, Norm, Jack, Natasha and the CCC crew Owen, Jesse, Jaqueline, Angel R., Elijah, and Angel C.