APR 2019: 3 Crews Worked on Creeping Forest, Campfire Area, and East Ridge

The initial plan for the April workday was to have two crews, but with an excellent turnout of 17 we decided to make it three crews with one group removing a tan oak jumble near the campfire center, the second tackling a redwood blocking the East Ridge Trail behind the Blooms Creek Campground and the third following up on a Kurt Leal trail report of numerous trees on Creeping Forest Trail.

Mike’s Crew on Creeping Forest

After the usual morning logistics, the East Ridge crew headed off to scope out their work while the remainder walked over to the campfire center to start work on the down tan oak.

After helping delimb  the small debris on the tree and dispersing it out of sight, the Creeping Forest crew split off and drove over to the Gazos Creek picnic area and the nearby trailhead. None of the reported trees were too large and with the Marbled Murrelet nesting season noise restrictions in place for this area of the park we decided to take along the refurbished crosscut saw to tackle the work. 

All told we removed five trees along the Creeping Forest-Dool loop and they were nicely spaced out, so along with some brushing work, everyone kept busy but not too busy. Two of the trees required the crosscut saw, which everyone enjoyed using, while the others were handled with handsaws or in one case a pulaski since Peter couldn't wait for the crosscut to show up!

We finished everything and were back to the tool shed and we had a very productive workday.

John’s Crew on East Ridge and Shadowbrook

Long walk to find our first tree

Long walk to find our first tree

Four of us, Janie, Devdutt, Aaron, and myself, set out to remove a sizeable redwood on the East Ridge Trail by Blooms Creek Campground. We parked at the turnout before the bridge, packed up our tools and headed up the Pine Mountain Service Road. As crew leader I had total confidence in our destination, so much so that I left the map and notes in the car. An hour later we had hiked to the top of the service road, back down and halfway around he East Ridge Trail before finding the tree. Note to self, bring the map and notes.

Now that we were warmed up, we started our size up of the work site for hazards, put our plan together, identified safe areas while cutting and discussed the aesthetics of the cleanup. The 24” diameter redwood was tricky to clear since there was so much weight bearing down on the cuts, but after several intermediate cuts and allowing the tree to settle we were able to remove it. It must be impressive to be there when a tree that size falls.

After work we had lunch, packed up and headed back to the tools shed. The next assignment was to clean up a few down trees on the Shadowbrook Trail at Sky Meadow. After working on the 2ft redwood the 12” madrone and fir trees seemed easy. There were numerous hikers that passed through and we are very careful to stop work, make sure the work area is safe and let them pass. We used the the back side of the root ball to stash the logs so the hikers don't see the debris.

We packed up and hiked back to the car, found a geocache on the way and met up with the rest of the crew to share the days experiences. Working with old and new friends, taking pride in your work and getting an occasional thanks from a passing hiker, you can't ask for more.

Chris’ Crew Work Around the Campfire Center

John, Dale P, Herman, and myself tackled removing the two oaks that had been sitting behind the campfire center since January. 

A good sized, a little over 20" and a smaller tree had been blocking the access road for a while.  It was a little different from how we normally deal with down trees in that we were bucking the log into smaller rounds so that maintenance would remove the wood.  The slash had to be dragged away so it would not be visible for visitors and scattered.

I underestimated how long it would take to buck the tree into parts and thought we would be done around noon.  As it is it took us until a little after 2pm and at that we left some of it behind that we judged was not in the way.  I dulled two chains on the 24" saw and Dale went through a couple as well.  We burned through 3 quarts of gas together. 

It was nice to be so close to the tool shed so we made good use of a Peavey and a log choker to move the cut pieces around.  It was nice to have Susan Blake on hand at the end of the day to express her satisfaction at the result.

The crew put in 124 hours and thanks to Herman Aster, David Bryan, John Collins, Michele Gelblum, Peter Gelblum, Laurie King, Janie Leifhelm, Jan Hill, John Martin, Janette Mello, Mike Peasland, Dale Petersen, Aaron Poulos, Yagya Regmi, Devdutt Sheth, Chris Young and newcomer Mike Gerhardt.

by Mike, John, Chris, and Jeff

photos by Mike, Aaron, Jan, Mike, and Yagya