5/18/13

Posted by Scott Crellin on Sunday, May 19, 2013
Well, the ceanothus is in bloom and the killer 'pillers are beginning to emerge from a long winter sleep.  But our trail crew volunteers, like the IRS, know neither fear nor shame.  On Wednesday, May 8, Ken McIntyre, Howard Wiggins, Wally Boerschel, Paul Schmidt and I met up at the Paso Picacho toolyard for an early morning session.  We were joined by John Sproule and then we headed out to theSugar  Pine trail.  Despite the recent rain and slippery mud on the Middle Peak fire road, John maneuvered the CRSP van up the road so that we could set to work.

We took out several downed trees, cut back ceanothus and sprayed the cut stumps of ceanothus.  I also sprayed several clumps of poison oak.  This trail is now in excellent condition.  If you've never run on it, it connects Lake Cuyamaca with the top of Middle Peak.  Having completed our work on the Sugar Pine trail we piled back into the van and headed out for a new adventure.
John had a report of large downed oak across the Minshal trail near the old Stonewall mine.  We drove over to this area and indeed it was a big one.  See the attached photo.  John's removal of this giant squid was a masterpiece of chain saw work.  
On Saturday, we got together a new crew:  Dave Capron, Nancy Martin, Jeff Martin, Aldredo Zepeda, Steve Anderson, James Schoelles, Jeremy Andre, Tarrah Harnden, Matt Edell, Josh Floyd, Joe Rowland and yours truly.  Our target was the ceanothus zone on the trail coming up the north east side of Stonewall Peak.  It was a cool morning but everyone warmed up fast once we started hiking up the trail.  Armed with loppers and a gas powered brush cutter, our hard working crew made some great improvements to the trail corridor.  Photos are attached.  Apologies to Dave Capron, who was accidentally cut out of my group photo.  
In addition to cutting back ceanothus, Dave and I periodically sprayed the cut stumps.  I  had done similar spraying on this same trail two weeks earlier, and you could see that it was effective in killing the stumps, so I have high hopes that next year's ceanothus crop will be easier to contain.  Thanks to Tarrah for serving as our group photographer.  Note her picture of a large butterfly (hopefully not a future killer 'piller).
We were able to finish off the worst of the dense ceanothus on this trail and so headed back to the campground for a nice picnic lunch (thanks to San Diego Ultra Running Friends for paying for the same).  I'd brought a couple of growlers of ale from Alpine Beer.  In addition, James had a couple of bottles of his home brew and Tarrah brough some bottles made by her husband.  So, it was quite the festive lunch indeed.  Kudos to our two local home brewers!
Thanks again to everyone on the crews for their outstanding effort. 



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