Patty and I arrived Thursday (7/28/11) afternoon at the campsite. Thanks to the GPS coordinates and ED4 signs, we found the campground easily. Some members had already arrived, but Ole was at the campsite making sure that we had the space we needed. After setting up our tent / site, we walked around to introduce / greet those members at the campground. Dave came over and introduced himself and gave us a run down of the events to occur. As prospectives, we felt quite comfortable. After dinner, we walked over to the group campfire and joined in the "party". We finally called it quits about 10 pm. Friday morning was the start of the trail maintenance work. The forest rangers were on hand to give up a pep talk and explaining the forest service guideline's and new trail maps (someone mentioned that they should have brought their decoder ring to decipher the map... true). We broke up into 2 groups, one for Mattley Ridge trail (leader was Dave) and the other for Corral Hollow trail (leader was Jason).
The Mattley Ridge crew consisted of Dave and Loro (& Alpine), Ole and Sherry, John and Hope & family, Mike and Reynosa, Gary and Marlene (& Molly), and Chris and Patty. We followed the trail up to the ridge then took the right fork of the trail at the "hunters" staging area (?). Then the fun began. Our 1st tree was cut up to reveal a snow bank. We got thru this one easily enough, but then came the next snow bank. There was a LOT of snow to move. Everyone worked real hard to get it down to a level where the vehicles could get through. All in all, I think we cut up 10 or 11 trees (Ole had the BIG saw, while John and I had smaller ones) and dug out 4 snow banks (We destroyed at least one shovel). By the time we hit the bottom of the trail, the only thing anyone wanted to do was get back to camp. And that's what we did, very quickly I might add.
Dinner that nite consisted of a Taco Dinner. Everything tasted great! It was great seeing 2 empty tables all of the sudden get filled with a large quantity of food. Rumor had it that Jason held the record with 4 taco's. The desert was two types of ice cream and some pie, cookies, and brownies. Thank you Dave for organizing this. After dinner, people sat around the campfire and talked about the day's events and jeeping in general. Since the Mattley trail hadn't been finished, it was decided to finish it up on Saturday. We finally agreed (reluctantly) on a start time of 7:30 am.
Saturday we hit the tail around 8 am. We broke up into two groups again. Dave's group (w/ John & Shane, Chris & Patty, Ellen &Loro) took the upper ridge trail while Jason's group headed lower. After a nice climb to the top of a ridge, we decided to clear an extra trail. Chain saws made quick work of a small tree. At the junction of another road, we turned around and headed back to the last trail junction and continued on the Mattley trail. We eventually came to a 30" plus log crossing the gravel trail. A bypass had been made around the log in the soft dirt. It was decided that we should clear the trail and close off the bypass. John's chainsaw and my chain saw were not long enuf to cut clear through the log in one cut, so it was done in stages. Eventually, we made two cuts clearing the log off the trail. John's chain saw got stuck in the log when the weight of the log shifted. We managed to use 2 hi-lift jacks to re-position the log and allow the chain saw to be pulled out. Since the log was so huge and heavy, we winched 2 sections out off the road. It was gratifying to see some ATV's use the newly cleared trail shortly thereafter.
After lunch on the trail, we returned to the campground. We met up with Gary & Marlene, Vidas, Mike & Reynosa to determine if we were going to run slick rock. I was concerned about the trail since I was running stock tires, but everyone assured me that I would be fine. After some discussion, Dave, Loro (& Alpine) and I decided to go ahead with the run. We drove up to Bear Valley and gassed up. We then proceded to the trail head. All in all, I didn't find the trail to be too difficult. While I made bottom contact several times and scraped some paint off my driver side fenders (and rock rail), I got thru the run pretty good.
After the run, we aired up near the main road and returned back to camp. Vidas and Dave had to leave, but Gary, Marlene, Ellen, and Loro remained and we all had a great shared dinner that evening. Everyone packed up and left Sunday morning. Thanks to everyone at the campout and the trail run. Patty and I had a great time. See you all at the next meeting.