Saturday, November 29, 2008

Ladybug Redux

Romero Canyon today where the ladybug invasion is still on.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Cold Springs Trail Open....Again.

We just spoke with County Parks who told us that the press release saying CS trail was closed, was a mistake. They said they never closed Cold Springs although there may be some lingering smoke on the trail.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Mountain Drive Flood Prevention Day Photos

Probably the best thing that I have done all week or maybe even all month was help with the MDCA flood prevention today, 11/23/08. At least a hundred people were all volunteering to prevent what could be horrible mudslides for anyone living below the burn area. It was a well organized event where groups of volunteers were sent to different areas along Mountain Dr. to work on preventing erosion. The Multiuse Trails Coalition was happy to supply our work crew with Mcleods and Pulaskis that really came in handy.

I was assigned to a group of properties on E. Mtn Drive where none of the 10 or homes were left standing. We met with one of the homeowners who directed us on how to protect the properties and creeks from flooding. While talking with her we about the fire she told us how there was 15 minutes to get out with everything including her 2 daughters. Her neighbors were not as lucky, they are the two burn victims still being treated for their injuries. This property is almost the next door neighbor to the Tea Gardens but in a canyon so the flames would not have been visible until they were right on top of her. Interesting to know that as she was evacuated fire engines lined the road and were unable to do anything to fight the massive flames. It is one thing to see the photos in the newspaper or even drive by one of these burnt down homes but it is another to actually see them up close. Some of the properties in our zone still contained personal items in the rubble, obviously the homeowners had not gotten a chance to sift through what was left.

Back to the reason we were all there. The main task was to prevent erosion and flooding of those who live near the watersheds down below. The plant life gone prevents any absorption of water and the creeks simply can not contain the amount of run-off. We lined the driveway with sandbags, dug ditches for silt fences, and created diversions in the creeks. It was a huge amount of work even with a good sized crew of about 15. When looking to neighboring properties the same task was occurring up and down Mtn Drive over and over again. Good work to all those who helped out and lets hope we helped prevent some major problems this winter.

Still Smoldering

Fixing the creekbed

Intstalling silt fences

Good to Go!

All that's left

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Help The Mountain Drive Residents Prevent Flooding! 11/23/08

We came across this non-trail event but had to include it because it is so important.....for everyone! Help out the homeowners prepare for the rains this Sunday, 11/23/08. Website with more info here.

Friday, November 21, 2008

More Trail Closures- Cold Springs

We were just notified about this closure- Cold Springs Trail is also closed until further notice. Read the press release. Scroll down our blog for pictures of this trail and others damaged by the Tea fire.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Goats are on Tunnel Trail!

Yes you read it right. Goats are now on Tunnel Trail right near the trail head. There are about 100 of them behind an electified fence so keep fido away. They will help thin out the vegitation and thus lessen the fire danger at the same time. Look for them next time you are up there and to learn more about them visit:

First Look Post Tea FIre: Parma Park, Cold Springs Trail, Rattlesnake Cyn

*At the time that these photos were taken the fire was 100% contained. 100% contained does not mean 100% out and therefore there were hot spots and smoldering areas on or near the trails. The effects of these hotspots could be felt in the lungs when hiking on these trails- hike/ride at your own risk, hike/ride only in open areas, and do not hike/ride off trail in the burnt areas. At the time of this post Parma Park and Rattlesnake Canyon are both closed until further notice. Cold Springs is open unless we hear otherwise.

Parma Park- The night of the fire I stood at the edge of Mtn Drive where it meets Parma Park and took a few photos(see older posts). I returned to that same spot to four days later to see the after math. Parma Park got burnt from one end to the other leaving almost no plantlife alive. Most of the oak trees either are completely black and dead or appear to be badly singed.

I then entered the main entrance off 192(which was open at the time these photos were taken 11/18) and walked up the fire road a bit. The hillsides were bare and sadly areas previously not visible now could be seen. These hillsides are now at risk of sliding more easily when winter rains comes since no plant life is there to absorb it. Parma offers an excellent view of the surrounding areas and really allows you to see the devistation that this fire caused. Surpisingly many of the homes that seemed to be right in the fires path were left standing. At the time of this posting Parma Park is closed.

Parma Main Entrance

Parma Overview from W. Mtn Dr.(Permission to enter this area by SBPD)

West Mountain Drive

Parma Trails

Parma Fire Road

Parma Hillsides and above W Mountain

Picnic area still standing!

Cold Springs Trail- Of the three trails affected, Cold Springs had the least amount of damage. The fire primarily stayed to the west of Cold Springs Cyn due to the winds and from the help of fire fighters. The lower part of CS Trail up to just past the West Fork seemed to be the only affected areas. At the time that the photos were taken the West Fork was still closed.

Cold Springs Trail Head(west side of creek)

Cold Springs Main Trail where the fire stopped

Phos-Chek coated sign at the juncion

Phos-Chek coated rocks in the creek from aircraft

Warning at the W Fork

Tea Gardens

Hillside above West Fork(note- the fire did not continue up towards Tangerine Falls or the trail to Gibralter)

Rattlesnake Canyon Trail- The Lower part of Rattlesnake was burnt up pretty good. The fire burnt down the hill from the monastary up to St Marys Seminary and down the canyon a few hundred more yards. For about 1/4 of a mile the trail is burnt on both sides really leaving the trail in a unrecognizable state. From that point up until the next creek crossing the fire primarily stayed on the east side above the trail. It does not appear that there is much if any damage past the second creek crossing except on upper hillsides. This trail is closed at the time of this posting.

Rattlesnake Trail Head

St Marys Seminary

Rattlesnake Trail(photo taken from adjacent property)

Fire Fighters still working hot spots in RS and Skofield Park

Friday, November 14, 2008

Tea Fire Photos From Parma Park

After hearing of this fire I decided to see it for my self on the way to parents Riviera home. From the edge of Parma Park the fire looked gigantic. Below Mtn Drive and way above it into the hills were all glowing. It was like a giant wave of fire moving faster than you could hardly believe. The wind was so strong from my vantage point that I could barely stand up straight at times. Off in the distance you could hear peoples propane tanks exploding- the whole site was very surreal. After watching the fire move quickly below my location I realized that it was moving in the direction of the Riviera and my parents home. I bolted and made one stop at a friends place just above APS and told her to start packing quick. At that time I don't even think she knew there was a fire just behind her house. I helped my parents pack a little and then went to work with the foam and coated the house and surrounding plantlife with a nice layer. I waited most the night on the roof to see what it would do, but luckily thanks to the wind and fire fighters, it never made it to their house.

Above Coyote

Fire Funnel

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Mountain Unicyclists in the News Press

Nice article in the SB News Press this Weds 11/12/08 about Mtn Unicycling. If you haven't seen the article read it here.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Talk About A Shitty Task

You've noticed it, I've noticed it. We all try and ignore it like income taxes or an ex-girlfriend. I am talking about dog shit on the trails. Yesterday up on Tunnel I ran into a couple who took it upon themselves to help rid the trail of these fecal funbags. From what I saw so far they had filled up a grocery bag half way mostly with unbagged dookie- only 100yds from the gate. Good job poop pickers, whoever you are .

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Ladybug Feeding Frenzy on Romero

There were thousands if not billions of ladybugs all over Romero Cyn Trail today. They must have hatched recently because I did not seem them last time I was there two weeks ago. As I stood there and took a couple of pictures, easily one hundred landed on me. After I got home one fell out of my shirt surviving about 5 miles of trail running sweat.