Posted by Scott Crellin on Sunday, May 22, 2016
Despite a gloomy weather forecast, I met up this morning with Jesus Garcia-Fernandez, Hector Aleman, Treacy Sommer, Ken McIntyre and Ken Marsh at Paso Pichacho campground in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. Our plan was to work on clearing brush on the Black Oak East trail, which is part of the SD100 course. But, first we had to get to the trail......
Sure, it started out easy enough. We drove past the gate at the bottom of MIlk Ranch Road and started up the hill. The higher up we went, the deeper the mud seemed to get. Finally, just before we reached the start of the trail near the top of the hill, it got so bad that we tried pushing Treacy's SUV up the road but even that didn't work. Sorry about all that mud on your car Treacy. At last, we gave up and backed down the hill a ways until we found a couple of relatively dry spots to park the vehicles. And then we hiked back up the road, through the mud, and onto Black Oak East.
We were more determined than ever to start working on BOE. We fired up two brush cutters and Ken Marsh and I proceeded to whip the daylights out of the ceanothus growth. See attached video and photo. The rest of the crew worked feverishly to swamp out the cuttings and the completed section of the trail now looks like a boulevard in Paris.
Post-work, we headed over to Los Vaqueros group camp for a delicious lunch hosted by the San Diego chapter of the Backcountry Horsemen (thanks!). The BCH folks had been camping for a couple of nights, in spite of the rain, and they were also busy working today on some other trails in the park. They had a big fire going in the fire pit and lots of tasty grub. They are a friendly bunch. No one explained the absence of a saddle on the huge dog......
We got lucky with the weather: no rain. The plants were wet and the trail was muddy but that just added to the pleasure of a morning's work. Many thanks to our hard working (and extra muddy) crew!