We spent two days clearing the trail aroung Pine Valley in August, 2023.
All photos courtesy of Carl Perry.
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01) Crew at the trailhead
02) Jim Westmoreland
03) Jim Westmoreland
04) Big log
05) Ernie Warzyca
06) Dennis Wetherington
07) Three guys
08) Chain saw exercise
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The Pine Valley Camp restitution and trail clearing was very well attended. On August 25th-27th there were 16 people that participated in any one or all of those days of working. The trailhead leading to the Bell Meadow trail was re-established by the Scott family. Steve and Wendy and their four children rearranged cut logs to define the entrance and cleaned up all the debris around the camps. That was about four hours of diligent work and we thank them for that.
Steve Tucker was there and filled up the water tank so that our horses and mules had fresh water to drink. On Thursday we cleared the path that leads up to crab Tree trailhead. There were only about 6 downed trees blocking that trail.
Saturday morning at 8 am, 6 of us including our president Doug Dollarhide, Dennis Wetherington, Ernie Warzyca, Jim Westmoreland, Darren Eaton and myself loaded up our 4 pack mules with 5 chain saws, wedges, bars and fuel for a day of trail clearing. Lots of water and lunches were also included. We only rode 45 minutes before the Mud Lake trail was completely blocked. We parked the animals and proceeded to fill up the chain saws with gas and oil. We had 5 chain saws running with one extra man rolling rounds off the trail. The buzzing didn’t stop until 12:15 pm. We only cleared maybe 200 yards by that time and probably 100 cuts. Several times we had to decide where the original trail was before we even started cutting. There was on 36” tree laying diagonally in the trail that took 2 cuts and a lot of barring. When we stopped cutting, we left the chain saws there and walked back to the horses for lunch.
After lunch we hopped on our horses and rode to the next demolition site. After about 50 feet of clearing a 200’ tree had fallen directly in the trail and covered the creek crossing also. Four of us started searching for a new path to clear to reconnect to the original trail. We probably lost half an hour before a new plan of attack was decided upon. Four chain saws were throwing wood chips like a dog digging for a gopher. The bars were prying and moving the 8’ sections that were being manicured. After about 50 cuts the new trail was reconnected to the original path to Mud Lake. We finished a few more blockages and headed for home. Next year we can try to complete the task.
When we rode into base camp Roy Jones was cooking a delicious New York strip roast and the ladies had all the fixing prepared for us. It was a productive weekend and thanks to all that participated.
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