MAR 2018 - 2 Crews at Lodge-Middle Ridge and No. Escape

A good turn out of 15 crew members including one new person and Fran from days past!  It's veterans like Fran who make the Crew special and have kept it going for 49 years, so it was good to see her!  Two crews this month with most people heading out to N. Escape Rd to work on that massive 100ft length Doug Fir on the road at a 30deg angle with a 16ft circumference at the base that equates to 4.5ft diameter and still ~3.5ft OD at 70ft from base!  Now that some work.  The other crew took care of a couple of things off Lodge Rd for Sempervirens and then a tree on Middle Ridge near Ocean View Overlook.

Crew getting ready for the day at the tool shed

Crew getting ready for the day at the tool shed

Chris' Crew: No. Escape

Eleven of us drove up Hwy 236 to the North Escape road gate to check out the report of a Doug Fir down on the road.  North Escape is still impassable coming from Headquarters as State Parks is still waiting for FEMA money to repair the washout near the Hollow Tree Trail kiosk.  Among us were Dale S, Norm, Michelle, Janie, Dave P, Dave B, Curt, Jordan, Aaron, special appearance from veteran crew member Fran with her dog Atticus and myself, Chris Y. Janie told me that she was hoping there was some slash to clean up as she didn't want just CS work (CS being Chicken S***).  Wish granted!


We were also lucky that the rain forecasted turn out to be just a few drops here and there.  We pressed on until 4pm and then decided to wrap up it up.  The road was much improved but there is still some tricky cutting to do with the base of the fir suspended up on the embankment.  It will no doubt roll onto the road as the trunk is removed below it. 

We set to work clearing around the trunk of the fir.  A couple tan oaks and a madrone had come down along with it.  A couple hours of work and we stopped for lunch.  We had as yet touched the main trunk but the north end of the road leading up the the tree was looking good.  Lots of work for the McLeod cleaning off the road and the new Pulaski's got a work out too.   

Jordan and Janie with the Fir

Jordan and Janie with the Fir

Many of us got some angry ants on us which had a nest in the middle of the rotten portion of the fir.  It's all part of the experience!

After lunch the main chainsaw work began.  The fir landed along the road which made for a lot of cutting with the added difficulty of it being large (about 4' across) and resting squarely on the black top.  I dulled 2 chains on the 24" bar saw by cutting too close to the ground. Fortunately we were more careful with Big Bertha and we kept her sharp for the work day.  Dale had been using his 36" saw but it refused to start after lunch.  He switched off to Bertha and I put Dale's 24" saw to work on the north end of the trunk. 

Fran and Janie walked up the road and did some brushing while the chainsaw work was taking up the afternoon.  We had a little added fun figuring out how to turn our four vehicles around to get out.  Luckily no one got stuck.  So, yes, Mike was right and four wheel drive was not needed!

And while we kept our safety record intact a few of us discussed that it's time for a refresher on safety practices at the work site so we'll go over that next month. 

Mike's Crew: Lodge Road and Middle Ridge

The only other scouting reports were of some small-medium things off Lodge Rd and Middle Ridge out towards Ocean View Summit, so we decided start with Lodge Rd.

When the Sempervirens Fund's grove dedication manager Linda Yule retired several years ago she was replaced by Amanda Krauss and we had continued working with her in prepping grove areas for visits by potential donors. Right before the March workday Amanda wrote that she was leaving Sempervirens but she had one last favor, clean a couple of trees from grove areas off Lodge Rd above Sky Meadow, so that would be our first stop of the day. 

One of the Sempervirens volunteers, Lance, provided a detailed map that looked like a pending subdivision of the area, so we had no problem finding the trees despite the isolated area. 

Grove Map at Lodge Road

Grove Map at Lodge Road

After prepping the saw, we headed to the first tree. It looked like it would be a couple of quick cuts and we'd be done, but there was a lot of small debris that needed to be cleared so it took longer than anticipated.  After hiding everything so it looked like nothing had happened, it was back to the cars and a little further along Lodge Rd. 

The second tree was pretty much what the photo looked like, so it didn't take long to clear along with a smaller nearby one blocking the trail.  We were finished by noon and headed off to Middle Ridge Fire Rd and lunch.

 The tree on Middle Ridge wasn't too big, just large enough to prevent a vehicle from getting by in an emergency, so we cleared the way and then drove on a little further to Ocean View Summit before heading back to the tool shed.

Crew at Ocean View Lookout

Crew at Ocean View Lookout

The crew put in 140 hrs and thank to Norm Beeson, David Bryan, John Collins, Michele Gelblum, Janie Liefhelm, Fran Loop, Jordan McDaniel, Janette Mello, Aaron Poulos, Curt Patrick, David Philleo, Mike Peasland, Dale Stadelman, Chris Young, and new comer Chris Sanford.

by Chris, Mike, and Jeff

Photos by: Chris Y, Chris S, Mike, and Norm