A big thanks goes out to Dave Ledford, along with his sidekick, John Horton, who patiently walked a group of approx 15 people through the ins and outs of trail building. All skill and experience levels were represented. Among them were a few folks from the LA Conservancy Corp, Kate Allen from the Sierra Club, several leaders from various Boy Scouts of America Troops, Matt Lay from Pasadena Cyclery, Martin Gomez, President of PMBC, our local mountain bike club, Jenny Johnson from MWBA and individuals who are interested in learning the proper techniques of trail conservation.
The day started bright and early at the entrance of Red Box off of Angeles Crest Highway, home of the Haramokngna American Indian Cultural Center. Dave began the training session with a introduction of trail tools, what they are used for and how to safely handle the tools while using them as well as while traveling with them. We were able to practically apply our tool knowledge later that morning. The class focused on 2 areas that were in need of repair. The first location was just a few hundred feet from the trailhead. This section of the trail had been eroded by water and needed to be buttressed with a containment wall. We learned how to use backing plates, mesh, wiring and posts that will provide longevity to the trail for decades to come. We also learned how to reinforce our containment wall by installing “deadmen” lines that run underground. These deadmen will help to keep the containment wall steady and will prevent the wall from buckling out from the pressure of erosion due to weather, use and time.
The second section we worked on was above the trailhead. It was in dire need of repair as the asphalt had been eroded and diverted water to flow down on the trail section we just fixed instead of flowing into the culvert that sat next to it. This work will insure the work we did earlier will not be in vain, as the water will flow into the culvert and down the side of the mountain so it won’t damage our trails. We again created a containment wall, reinforcing it with a deadman to support the asphalt we added.
All in all, it was not only a great day of effective trail work, it was a fantastic opportunity for all of us who came out to learn a thing or two about trail conservation.
It’s true! The league moved a whole lot of dirt around last Saturday on Upper Brown to make the trail safer to ride and hike.
Usually, when these kids gather together, they are competing for a podium position. However, on Saturday, over 50 kids convened from the San Gabriel Valley Composite, Crescenta Valley HS, Clark Magnet HS, San Marino HS, and St. Francis HS, along with some coaches and parents, and worked as a cohesive group. The parking lot was a mob! A huge thank you goes to Banner Moffat from Friends of El Prieto for putting this together and Steve Messer from CORBA for providing the tools and the know-how!
The kids, coaches and parents either biked or hiked up the 4 mile fire road in order to reach the sections designated for improvement. The trail is in much better condition and adds a fun bonus ride for those who are not too tired from climbing the fire road (Fern Truck Road) up to the Saddle.
If you are a Doubting Thomas and can’t believe that if we put our minds to it, we can move mountains and motivate high school kids to give back to their community, grab your bike or hiking poles and go see for yourself!
The March L.A. River Ranger District Angeles National Forest Volunteer Meeting was held March 21st. This bi-monthly meeting allows all volunteer groups working in the forest to report on their work and discuss common issues with the Forest Service staff.
Mike McGuire and Steve Messer both reported completing chain saw recertification.
Banner Moffett, Steve Messer of CORBA, Mitch Marich, Jenny Johnson, and others will be leading SoCal Cycling League teams in a work day on the Brown Mountain fire road. The road was heavily damaged following the Station Fire and is currently a single track trail with some technical sections. There is always brush to cut back and some parts that are rutted need drainage work. Some sections of the trail will be widened to allow passing and in other sections the trail will be moved away from drop offs. Keep in mind the trail is still in the closed area, although it is in frequent use. The Forest Service is considering reopening this trail to the public in the near future.
April 14th is California Trails Day. We will be out again to finish the work we started in December 2011 with CORBA. Currently the plan is to cooperate with others on the Gabrielino from Red Box to Switzer again. Since most of the major problems are cleared, one priority will be removing the Poodle Dog near the trail.
Since our 2012 Group volunteer agreement is approved and our MOU is on track, we are in a position to request a tool loan. Mitch will be doing that this week.