Posted by Scott Crellin on Monday, April 14, 2014
Yes, the ceanothus keeps on growing so we keep on doing trail work! But not without proper nutrition and hydration...... On Tuesday, April 8, John Martinez (the capo di tutti cap1 of SURF) graciously hosted dinner and a selection of ales at O'Brien's Pub for yours truly, Dave Capron, Howard Wiggins and Ken McIntyre. This was a nice "thank you" to us geezers who make up the Wednesday trail work squad. It was an unseasonably warm evening and the company was delightful. Many tall tales, gross exaggerations and outright lies were told around the table, made more believable by a couple of excellent stouts.
The next day, Ken McIntyre and I drove up to Paso Picacho, where we met up with a couple of new volunteers enslaved, or rather recruited, by Dave Capron: Ed and Kip. We drove up to the top of Cuyamaca Peak and work on clearing brush on the upper section of the Burnt Pine trail. We made quite a dent and now pretty much all of this trail enjoys a nice wide trail corridor free from the pernicious influence of the dreaded ceanothus. So far, no sign of the killer 'pillers!
On Friday, McIntyre and Howard returned to the peak to perform a chainsaw-ectomy on a bunch of downed trees on the Conejos connector trail to Burnt Pine that we discovered in the course of our hike on Wednesday. See the attached photo of Howard surveying the scene.
Lastly, on Saturday, I met another eager crew of volunteers to work on the Sugar Pine trail (the start of SD100): Bud Phillips, Jeff Conery, Cameron Balma, Andrew Moreau, Mike Bell and Hector Aleman. First off, we put in several large stepping stones through a marshy areas so that the runners in the upcoming SD100 won't get wet feet in the first mile of the race. Next, Jeff and Bud did an excellent job of digging out and re-contouring a section of the trail so that it would not erode during next years winter rains (at least we hope it rains!). Amid all this, I powered up the brush cutter and along with the rest of the crew, we cut and slashed our way up the trail, widening the corridor and generally grooming it like you were playing a round of golf at the Masters.
Before we headed back to Paso Picacho campground for lunch, Jeff showed us how to make a very, very loud whistle out of the cap of an acorn. Another important life skill that I had previously lacked! Everyone enjoyed a hearty picnic lunch on a classic spring day: sunny but brisk.
Many thanks to our hard working volunteers. Thanks to you, our local trails are looking better and better. In June, I'll have a recap report to share for the year-to-date work.