Attending:Chris Christensen & Arlene (Work Boss) Sherry & Ole Stortroen Ron & Carol Engelbrecht Steve Gordon (with Trailer) John & JC Skier Jim Hodges (with Dixie & Kaiser) Bill Farley riding with Dave in a nifty Toyota 4Runner Jason Green (Chainsaw Man) and guest Todd Ellen Layendecker (Trail Boss) with Alicia Wilson (official photographer) Darell Kroeker with guest (sorry - I somehow lost your name) Doug Greig & Connie Details: About half the people drove up Friday and either camped at the Horse Gulch campsite or at Timberline Lodge in Arnold. Camping is about right - I had to change rooms twice due to some plumbing problems.
Saturday AM: Hungry Prospector at 7am - a few more people showed up. We ate, then collected the group at the Horse Gulch Camp. Strangest sight was Jason’s old pickup on the trailer behind his new pickup with the camper. OK, so the Jeep is broken, but it really looked strange!
Evidently, we left too early because more people arrived after we left and caught up with us on the trail. Not too hard - we had a lot of work to do! After clearing a log from the trail by the simple expedient of letting Chris’ Scout push it downhill, we blocked off the bypass that had been created and headed out. Well, 30 feet later, we cleared another log from the road. Then another! This one was big enough that we needed tools and the chain saws came out.
While we were working on this one, Lonnie Allison and Don Paterson(?) caught up with us, thanked us for the work we were doing, then vanished back over the hill. They didn’t tell us what was coming up next!
After a gentle meander down a vertical hill of loose dirt, we stopped in front of a log jam! 100 feet of train had 10 logs down across it, ranging from 18 inches to 3 feet in diameter! And, some were on top of others! It looked like a windstorm had toppled them all at the same time, as they were all fallen in the same direction. (There will be pictures.) There was a little discussion of a bypass, but eventually we decided to just get started and see if it could be cleared. 4 chain saws (only one of which was longer than 12″), 2 axes and a hatchet were put to work clearing branches and cutting sections out of the fallen logs. We destroyed thousands of dollars worth of beautiful red fir timber by cutting it into sections small enough to be rolled by hand or pushed by the Scout. 2 3/4 hours later, we all drove through!
Well, we only found a few more logs down the rest of the day. One aspen was 3 feet in diameter, and instead of moving it we cleaned up a bypass through some rocks and away from the meadow. I tried it first, and got stuck. But, lockers and some ballast in the back got me through (thanks guys!). Unfortunately, a branch took out one of Sherry tires with a 4 inch rip in the sidewall. After she changed to the spare, there was little more trouble as we headed up the switch backs (with some snow patches!) and we got back to the campsite by 5:30pm. Total log count: at least 18. I lost count!
Those going home Saturday or staying in town got cleaned up and enjoyed dinner at Snowshoe Brewery.
Sunday: we got a bit later start, and got to camp about 10am - just in time for everyone to leave! With only with 4 vehicles and 3 chain saws we hoped that we wouldn’t run into any more log jams. It was a bit cooler than Saturday. We caught up with Doug (who had camped elsewhere) and started our day with a run out to the bypass we made 3 years ago. It is marked as a black diamond, and it deserves it! There are some seriously off camber sections and it is still very soft dirt. Dave got his 4Runner very tippy (with one tire up in the air)! He was able to ease it back down onto the trail, and a slightly different angle got him through, but we were holding our breath and holding down the uphill side! At the bottom, another log needed removal, and we got an object lesson about not parking your vehicles downhill from the log you sawing! Chris moved his Scout in time.
Back up to the loop, we found the spot Doug had gotten stuck at - there was another REALLY big log across the trail and just no way around it. Saws out! These pieces rolled a long way downhill. And we got back to where we left off on Saturday.
It was still fairly early, so we went back down the switch backs to Mattley Meadow and stopped at the rock pile that the rangers suggested we make into a rock garden if we wanted to. It didn’t really look like it would be terribly difficult. It would provide another bypass around a meadow, so we took GPS endpoints, walked and marked out a trail! Chris is going to have the rangers look at it to confirm that it doesn’t cross private land. Next work project might be clearing the brush and deadwood to make a more interesting bit of trail!
We went back up the switchbacks and down to the pavement by 3:30, aired up and started for home. It was a long weekend, but we got a lot of work done! Thanks for coming and working your butts off!