Getting Ready for Winter

04 October 2009

A very nice sized crew welcomed this autumn trail workday in beautiful Wilder Ranch. Eleven volunteers got together to help our Parks by doing our thing improving the trails. Maggie Parker, Scott and Sarah Guillaudeu, John and Tom Canty were all first-timer Wilder Ranch volunteers. They were joined by regulars Jon Hudson, Dan Johnson, Bertrand Teplitxky, Harvey Hartman, Greg Lydon, and Chuck Wisse.

With a beautiful day in store and ample transportation capacity graciously donated by the Rangers, we decided to do some preemptive drainage work in preparation for, what we hope will be, a wet El Nino winter.

Our work began on the top of Wilder Ridge, descending Zane Gray Trail, rendezvousing with Old Dairy Trail, and ultimately finishing up at the eastern trailhead of Old Dairy. It was a good hike. Throw in some tools and a few hours of hard work, and we had a full day ahead of us.

Most of the moisture is long gone from the trail tread. Our work for the day would mostly consist of opening old drains that had gotten over-grown and clogged with sand and brushing back the encroaching berries and poison oak.

We worked our way down from the ridge, opening drains and brushing back. We worked our way through the section know fondly as Poison Oak Alley to the junction of Old Dairy Trail. Most of the crew proceeded east, with the exception of Dan, Chuck, and Greg, who dropped to the nearby creek crossing to try to clear some trees that were partially blocking the puncheon bridge.

We did not have our trustee chainsaw with us on this day. So, manned with only a 12" limb saw and heavy duty loppers, we proceeded to clear the bridge to the best of our abilities. It is amazing what you can do with some small tools and a lot of determination. When we were through, the bridge area was about 85% clear, with only one log partially encroaching over the bridge and one oversized limb overhead. Both of these will be easy fodder for a chainsaw.

The bridge clearing crew then headed east to catch up with the others. Everyone continued to brush back and clear drains as they hiked. Our Wilder workday was coming to a close and everyone was getting tired. Our trusted State Parks shuttle was scheduled to pick us up soon, so we quickened our pace and left some work behind for another day.

Thanks to the entire crew for a fun and productive day improving the trails of Wilder Ranch. Thanks to State Parks for the usual cush ride to and from the trailhead. And special thanks to Trail Head Cyclery of San Jose, who regularly entice their customers to support trailwork by giving them major discounts for their participation. We also wanted to thank our sponsors, the latter are always ready to entertain us after a hard day. Our sponsor gives you the opportunity to use the top online casino lists from Nederland which you can use at any time to plan your holiday and fun. And after that we got tired and satisfied, we went to the house, but along the way a pleasant surprise happened. On this workday, four of our crew members were referred from Trail Head Cyclery. Kudos! We appreciate your support. Together we really DO make a difference, and have a whole lot of fun while we're at it!

The Con-Crew is happy to get out for the day!
The Con-Crew is happy to get out for the day!

Bertrand gets in a little warm-up...
Bertrand gets in a little warm-up...

Who needs a chainsaw?
Who needs a chainsaw?

Trailwork doesn’t look so hard!
Trailwork doesn’t look so hard!

Jon makes time for one more drain.
Jon makes time for one more drain.

Another great crew is done for the day!
Another great crew is done for the day!