Posted by Scott Crellin on Monday, March 31, 2014
Over the weekend of March 21-23, Wes Edell, his wife Louisa, and I joined ranger Fred Braun as part of a backpacking crew to work on the Dripping Springs trail in the Agua Tibia wilderness. After a long slog uphill to our campsite, we set up camp Friday night shortly after it got dark. Saturday, we hiked about 4 miles and worked on clearing brush and cutting out a couple of good sized downed trees. This area burned in a fire back in the late 80s or early 90s and it still has a fair amount of poodle dog bush. In this case, however, the stuff was over 10 feet high!
Saturday night we shared our various libations and had a fun time talking until it got too cold. Sunday morning was another trail work session followed by a hike back to the cars. The Dripping Springs/Wildhorse loop is in excellent condition and now is a great time to run this loop before it gets too hot. There is also water in the little spring or seep, near the Crosley Saddle, about half-way in the loop.
On Saturday March 29, we had another crew together to work with Jim Dascoulias of Cuyamaca Rancho State Park: Chris Muller, Art Messier, Cory Schmelzer, Michele Pauley and Kelly Schirber. We drove on some little know back roads to the top of Mason Valley Truck Trail and from there we hiked down the Pacific Crest Trail to clear brush. Our crew did an outstanding job on this section which looks like it's been manicured to host a golf tournament.
Post-work lunch was back at Paso Picacho campground. Due to the proximity of St. Patrick's Day, I'd brought along some Guiness to go with our IPA from Full Sail Brewing. It was a lovely sunny day and everyone enjoyed a pleasant lunch. Many thanks to our hard working volunteers!
P.S.: along with the section we cleared, it appears that PCTA has also cleared back the brush on the PCT from Chariot Canyon south to the north end of Rodriguez Canyon. So, you could now do a nice loop run down the PCT to Rodriguez, then south thru Rodriguest to the Oriflamme jeep road, and then (alas) up Oriflamme back to Mason Valley Truck Trail.