Enchanted Touch Up

01 August 2010

We had a good turnout for a midsummer work day. Perhaps it was the cool weather, overcast and almost drizzly. Whatever the attraction, these eight volunteers signed on with the work crew:

Kirk Kaubish
Doug Blaisdell
Chase Cummings
Bertrand Teplitxky
Christie Teplitxky
Malissa Cline
Greg Lydon
Harvey Hartman

After some discussion over coffee and bagels, our crew leader, Greg, decided that we would go back to Enchanted Loop with the idea of grooming it for next Saturday’s Firecracker Endurance Run. We loaded tools and crew into the park service truck, and our driver, Ben, headed up Wilder Ridge Loop toward the work site.

As we were crossing the marine terrace below Wilder Ridge, we met a couple of hikers coming down the road. Ben slowed to let them pass, and they excitedly informed us that they had just encountered a mountain lion right on the road just a little farther up the hill. We proceeded slowly up the road, all hoping to share in the sighting of a rare wild animal. Christie was the first to spot the medium-sized bobcat trotting along the road. When the cat heard the truck approaching, it turned off the road and headed across an open grassy area toward dense brush. At the edge of the thicket, he stopped and casually started to groom himself. We watched for a few more minutes then continued on toward our work site.

The upper wooded slope of Enchanted was in pretty good shape as we had worked on drainage in this area about six months ago. So we were able to proceed quickly down the hill doing only a little light drain cleaning as we went. Lower down the hill we pruned overhead branches in several places to increase the vertical clearance. At the bottom, where the trail levels out, we brushed back poison oak along both sides of the trail.

Ben stirred up a hornets’ nest while trying to smooth some ruts in the trail. His work was interrupted by the angry buzzing of many wings. Fortunately, he sustained on two stings which he endured with only minor complaints.