Work Party # 2 was a success. We made some good progress, but there is still a lot of work to do!
We worked Friday night on the East entrance to the trail. We may have kind of screwed ourselves here by building the entrance before the rest of the trail was done, but we opted to do this to keep the non-wheelers out. Unfortunately the area we are building the trail in has been a popular location for trash dumping. We started the East entrance at the end of work party and I was very happy to see no trash on the trail when I showed up this weekend. It will be a bit of a pain to have to move equipment down the trail vs being able to off load from the truck right where we work, but having it be clean is worth the pain.
Saturday we focused on the middle section of the trail that winds through the forest. We had 10 rigs show up throughout the day to run the trail. This helped out greatly! We can shape the trail with equipment, but until a rig runs it it's hard to tell how different wheel bases, turning radius etc impact the trail. We learned a lot, made some changes, and while I farmed for rock, the team worked on lining the trail with logs and other slash to help guide people on the trail. The trail is not pretty well defined, and while the logs and slash will only keep the honest people on the trail, as we continue to add obstacles into the trail we are confident that staying on the trail will be more fun than straying off.
On Sunday we did more work on the trail. We found a natural rock garden (yep, they exist) and moved these boulders and basketball sized rocks on to the trail to build a rock crawl. We had three different rigs with us at that point, and at first it was to wide, then it was to easy, and finally we had it perfect. Just enough challenge and pucker factor for a medium built rig keeping us within the Trail Management Objective of a Medium difficulty (for class II) trail. In addition to the rock garden we also defined (and slightly hid) our access points for machinery that will be used for trail maintenance. This will enable us to get machinery to various sections of the trail during our build out, and also in the future for maintenance.
Monday I woke up with my back screaming, so we only worked a half day. Bouncing around in an excavator really takes it's toll it seems. We tore down our camp site, and then moved boulders up to the West entrance that will eventually be used for the filter. After driving the hauler out we tightened up the West entrance that OHV's will use, making it to difficult for a non-4x4 vehicle to use, and then mildly tank trapped the entrance we use for our equipment hauler. We dug an easy to fix berm and placed some root balls in it. This will keep non-OHV's out and will be easy to "fix" next week when we bring back in equipment.
Thanks again to everyone who came out this weekend! Having all those rigs out on Saturday helped us learn a lot, same thing with Sunday. I moved a lot of rock with the excavator on Sunday, but what was amazing was how much rock was moved and placed by hand to create that section. Truly some back breaking work that could not have been done without the volunteers. My hat (hard hat of course to comply with the PPE requirements), is off to those guys and gals. Ya'll are a amazing bunch of folks!
We still have a lot of work to do!!! We still really need a piece of equipment rippers. The road we are reclaiming for trail was built to handle 80k+ lbs log trucks. There is 18-24" of rock in these road beds that has been mixed with dirt and clay and compacted over the years. The result is that it is basically like Portland cement now. "Ripping" this with the little (but mighty) excavator we have will take forever. We had been hoping to find someone in the "community" that had one we could borrow for a day but so far have been unlucky. At this point we are probably going to have to rent one, an expense we had hoped to avoid but I doubt we can do that.
Like I said, there is still a lot of work to be done. We will be back out there for work party # 3 on Saturday 9/8 starting at no later than 9AM. Things we need help with.....
- Dozer with rippers d4 or d5 size
- excavator 8k plus in size, ideally with a thumb and 6 way blade
- dump trailer - to move rock from an old road bed up to our filters
- small trailers that can be hauled behind a 4x4 or quad.
- manual labor :-)
- Trail rigs to run the trail, ideally with winches to help haul rock and logs into the trail
We could also always use donations of diesel fuel or money for fuel / rentals. We have a few ways to donate. The first is to show up at one of our work parties and donate in person. We prefer this route as we don't have to pay any fee's, we can personally shake your hand, and you get to see first hand how your money will be spent.
The second way to donate is to donate online via our wepay (it's like pay pal) account. Simply click the following link and you can donate on line from the comfort of your easy chair. https://www.wepay.com/donations/la-dee-flats-trail-fund
Last, but not least, if you are in the Portland / Vancouver area and want to donate, let me know and we can meet up and you can donate in person.
Thanks again to everyone who has donated / volunteered to the trail. This trail is truly being built off the hard work and sweat of the community. It's coming along nicely, and while there is a lot of stuff to still do, We've also made a tremendous amount of project. If your in the area check it out! The first section is open and wheelable. It's our goal that as we work the trail we do it in a way that people can also run it. The feedback we receive is vital, not only for this trail, but also for the next set of trails we build.
Here's a couple pics from this weekends work party.