Sunday, June 14, 2009

National Trails Day Report and Photos

It was a beautiful sight to see so many cars pour into Skofield Park this past Saturday AM. You always wonder if the turnout is going to be enough to get the goals accomplished. In this case the turnout was so great just about every last tool available was being used. The main objective of the day for the 100 or so volunteers would be to clear a shale like material or "dry ravel" covering the trails and repair water drainage structures in preparation for the upcoming rains.

The crew of 14 I led was dropped off at the bottom of Tunnel Trail and we worked on Tunnel between the trail head and Rattlesnake Connector. It is extremely tiring work cleaning a trail following a fire. Beneath piles of rubble lies the trail, getting to the trail required pulling tons of this shale material and rock from above the trail to prevent future slides and then off the trail itself. Most of this work is accomplished by using Mcleods, which is a tool that was invented for wild land firefighting but has become a staple in trail building. Vegetation that was lost in the fire clearly had a huge role in the stability of these hillsides. My hat goes off to the 14 who helped on Lower Tunnel and the other 80+ volunteers that worked on Upper Tunnel, Jesusita, Rattlesnake, and Cold Springs- all trails effected by the Jesusita Fire.

We were proud to participate in this event sponsored by the USFS, City, and County who did a excellent job of organizing it. The agencies told the crowd at the beginning of this event what factors are going to be taken into consideration before re-opening the Front Country Trails damaged by the Jesusita Fire. They included a re-evaluation of the trails to determine the safety of the trails and further maintenance, whether or not a "hydromulch" is to be used on the burnt hillsides, and respect and privacy of the homeowners near the trail heads who are still trying to recover from this fire.

Thanks to all that showed up and helped out at this event, below are some photos from the crew working on Lower Tunnel Trail. Dave on behalf of the MTC.

The Crew(still clean)

Uncovering a Switchback

Shale Removal

Shale Covered Section- Before

Shale Covered Section-After

One Of The Few Plants That Survived- Yucca

Creating Dust
The Crew(dirty)

Uncovering Trail

Hiking Towards Rattlesnake

Lot's of Work

The Trail is Under There Somewhere

One Of The Worst Sections On Tunnel

The View

Creating Water Control Structures

One of Many Sections of Trail That Was Damaged

Rattlesnake Connector

Heading Into Rattlesnake Canyon

View From Rattlesnake

Rattlesnake Meadow


dorothyvid said...

thanks for all your work and the great photos.

Multi-use Trails Coalition said...

You are welcome Dorothy! Check out our homepage where we have set up links to other peoples photos of the trail clean up: