Dry and Foggy on Dairy Trail

03 October 2010

The familiar high marine fog greeted us on this Sunday morning trail workday in Wilder Ranch. It was cool and it appeared that the overcast conditions could stay with us for a while.

With no significant rain for quite a few months, the trail treads in Wilder had become very hard, making it virtually impossible to install new drainage features. Our work options for this day seemed limited to opening up existing drains that had been plugged up with dirt and vegetation and brushing back encroaching poison oak, berries, and coyote brush.

It seemed like a nice day for a hike with some trailwork tools and some friends. We opted for Old Dairy Trail. It one of our favorites and always seems to need a little TLC, especially before the rains start.

Our six volunteers for the day were first timer Simone Williamson, and regulars Doug Blaisdell, Ed Casper, Harvey Hartman, Greg Lydon, and Chuck Wisse. We picked up the tools and were shuttled out to the trailhead.

After our safety talk, we worked our way down the trail. As planned, most of our time was spent opening drains that were installed in years past. Because of the dry, sandy composition of the soil, the our work was pretty much as expected, getting the sand and plants out of the old drains and doing a little brushing back. We also had time to assess how some of our older drainage projects of the past, using a series of ditches and small culverts, had held up over the years. Happily, all seemed to be still in tact and functional.

The marine layer kept temperatures cool. As we hiked and worked, we once again admired the beauty of Wilder Ranch. Of course, there is always the incredible landscape. In addition, we were treated to seeing several red tail hawks soaring above the ridgeline in search of a meal. And our newest volunteer Simone discovered the skeletal remains of some former unknown Wilder inhabitant. All of this was just for us on this beautiful fall day.

When our workday was done, the Park Aid met us back at the trailhead to chauffer us back down the hill. It was another fun and productive day on the trails of Wilder Ranch. Thanks to all of the volunteers who came out to make this day special. We really do make a difference!

Getting a drain ready for the winter rains

Getting a drain ready for the winter rains

Dead... whatever it is

Dead... whatever it is

A little work and a lot of fun on Dairy Trail...

A little work and a lot of fun on Dairy Trail...

Thanks everybody!

Thanks everybody!