Trail work reports archive


Posted by Scott Crellin on Monday, February 10, 2014
There has been plenty of trail work completed since my last missive.  On February 1, I took a nice long solo hike on the Secret Canyon trail starting from the Pine Creek trail head.  Starting from where Ken McIntyre, Howard Wiggins and I had left off several weeks ago, I clipped the new sprouts that were coming up from plants cut over the past year or so.  As a result, the first 7-8 miles of the trail is groomed like the fairway at Torrey Pines golf course.  Sorry, no selfies were taken that day.

On Wed. February 5, Dave Capron, Ken McIntyre, Howard Wiggins, John Sproule and I took a park vehicle into the Granite Springs primitive camp and from there hiked over to work on the upper portion of the Harvey Moore switchbacks.  In addition to cutting ceanothus, Dave and K-mac hiked way down the switchbacks with Dave's 2 man bucksaw.  They cut out a big oak that had fallen across the trail.  Post-work lunch was back at Paso Picacho where we sampled some interesting ales:  a classic coffee stout, an amber ale with chile peppers and a bourbon sour porter.
On Saturday February 6, we got a truly international crew together to hike about 4.5 miles into Secret Canyon from the Horsethief Canyon trailhead.  We had Sylver Valentin (France), Ken McIntyre, Ray Miller, Bob Fowler, Edward Wang (China), Rob Distante, Jim Dascoulias, Jay Hilton, Alex Batchelor (England), Enrique Medina, Juan Gonzales, and Chris Jensen.  Extra kudos go to Chris for overcoming a dead battery en route to the trail head and then running up the trail to catch up to the rest of us!.
It was a terrific assault on the overgrowth (see before and after pics).  We cleared about .5 mile of trail, including some outstanding work by the guys using the Pulaskis to cut brush and re-establish the trail in its original trail bed.  Jim, McIntyre and others gathered up and removed a big sack of plastic bottle and other trash (see photo).

Because this trail is in the Pine Creek Wilderness, all of our work was done with hand tools.  Those of you who have been on one of our trail work outings can appreciate that clearing half a mile of trail with hand tools is a good days work indeed.
For our post-work lunch, I brought a folding table and we had a picnic at the trailhead.  As we arrived, there was a friendly woman on horseback who turned out to be Bob Fowler's wife.  She had ice cream and cookies for us that she had planned to bring us out on the trail.  Thank you Marty!  It was a delicious treat on a day that turned out to be pleasantly warm.  In fact, a few crew members, who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty, had their ice cream before eating their lunch.  We washed down our sandwiches (and ice cream) with a couple of growlers of ale from Alpine Beer:  the ever-popular Cap'n Stout and the newly released San Francisco Surprise.  
We're hopeful that the inmate crew will soon be returned to work on the remaining portion of Secret Canyon.  We have one more outing there on the 16th, at which point we're probably beyond the point we can realistically do work without spending the whole day out on the trail.  In any event, it's close, really, really close to being fully restored.  

Thanks to all of our volunteers for their hard work on this trail.  Happy running everyone!