Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Fall trail work report #9. Vista being cleared

Vista Trail is being cleared. If you'd like to help, just get in touch. 
BIG thanks to Collin P and Eric N for helping.

You can get in touch at 370-2911 or arlyn.aronson@gmail.com

Yes it really is this pretty out there.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Today your faithful ski trail mower was out letting some daylight on to trail at the far northwest corner of the Mud Lake Loop when a miracle occurred. 

I knew there was a large semi-rotten windfall birch tree blocking the trail at the top of the hill.  As the new Kodiak as of yet doesn't have a good situation for securing a chain saw I packed along a Pulaski and figured that I would just chop through the tree as it was too big for my Sven saw.  What looked like a doable chopping job on a dog hike turned to be more of a challenge for this sixty something guy in humid, 90+ degree heat in mid-afternoon.  I was getting pretty tired and over-heated and was taking a break before setting up the saw to finish the first cut (two other large portions above a fork were waiting for me when I finished the first cut).

Not too much left to go on this cut.

Then I heard a noise.  Angels and Ministers of Grace Defend Us, an ATV with a man, his son and their dog pulled up from the other side. They were also blocked by the down tree.  It was a gentleman I had spoken to on the trail last spring and he remembered me.  So I invited him to share the fun and offered him the Pulaski to go at the two smaller stems while I finished my saw cut.  And somewhat to my surprise he did.   But necessity being the mother of invention he stopped before long and said, "Say my ATV has a winch on it if you think we have this tree ready to break up"  Yeah!

So after using some old choker skills we made short work of the remainder of the tree. Without breaking any more sweat.  This was the only person I encountered in five hours on the trail this afternoon.  My trail angel arrived at just the right place and just the right time.  Sometimes things just work out.

Skidding the log off the trail

Mowing setup waiting for deliverance

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Fall trail work report #8, Pedestrian bridge and more cleared.

Today we got back into the gorge and cleared Tomasi ditch, the pedestrian bridge area, and started up the Pine Loop descent.  If you get out there, please let us know what you think.
Erin helped whack those weeds back.

With higher temps and plenty of humidity today.  It was steamy!

This was the clearing of Tomasi RD ditch, trail 8. Sandy has a whacker,
Ashley is lopping, and farther down is Erin.

We needed a break.

This shows the bridge area before we cleared it.

What a crew! And the most beautiful creek.

The Pedestrian bridge area is now cleared!

We'd love more help with fall trail clearing. Since we'll be out every weekend, and most weekday mornings, certainly there is time on your schedule to join in the fun!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Fall trail work report #7 Dam hill done!

Here is a few photos taken this week on Dam Hill and the Vista trail that we're clearing west on.  Saturday morning at 8am we'll be working in the gorge and we'd love to see you there to help.  Just contact us if you can.
Looking west on Vista

This is looking down Dam hill.

On Vista, looking east.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Fall trail work report #5 and 6

We didn't do a report the last time out hence this one will be called #5 and 6.   We've been in the gorge and clearing more brush than usual, to make the creek more visible again.  Last fall, we never did get to this, since we had early snow.
We've been clearing our way upstream.
This is very near the dam site.

Bridget ran by to say "hi".
She's one of two KNSC board members who represent Phat bikers.
If you like to bike the trails, please support these efforts and buy a season membership.
This section is now fully cleared and ready for snow.

Not pictured is Eric N. who got a start at
whacking down the 4ft tall weeds in the dam meadow.
The rest of the crew cleared their way up the Dam hill as seen here.

This is looking up hill and what we like to see here.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

KNSC Nature Journal Club - September

Fall is in the air and in the leaves at the Maasto Hiito Trails. The Red Maple trees seem to be changing first; plenty of deep red in the sunniest spots on the trail. The Oaks and Birch trees are coming up behind. 

As always on Nature Journal Club days we ventured out from the Chalet, down Sisu Hill before coming upon Swedetown Creek off of the Grill House Trail (click here for map). On this breezy but sunny, 65 degree day, the trails were an absolute joy to trek. We stopped at the creek to listen to the water skip and fall over the rocks and took the time to write the things we noticed, wondered about, and were reminded of into our Nature Journals.

Here are a couple of my own musings from the hike that perhaps you can enlighten me on or join in the fun of thinking about: 

1. I notice that in the leaves, whether they be a Red Maple or a Paper Birch, that as the green was leaving the leaves and they were turning an yellow, orange, or even red color, the last spots on the leaves to turn color seem to be the area around the veins of the leaves. Why would that be?

And 2. The Latin name for the Paper Birch is Betula papyrifera. The word papyrifera reminded me of the word papyrus. I remember from my days of reading about ancient cultures that papyrus was a sort of paper used in ancient Egypt. Though I know that paper came from the papyrus plant, I wondered if there was a connection there; certainly the word paper. 

In all, it was a beautiful afternoon. Without doubt I'll be spending a lot of time on the trails in the next month to continue watching the beautiful fall colors unfold. And don't forget, if you are planning on joining our Nature Journal Club in the near future and there is snow on the ground, bring along your snowshoes (perhaps not next month, but likely for November!)

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Fall trail work report #4

A crew of 4, plus Gromit showed up and we got some serious clearing done in the gorge today.  We made it upstream to RR ravine. Visitors to the River Trail should notice vastly improved views of Swedetown Creek from Sidewinder Hill to RR Ravine.
Obviously some people haven't shown up yet.

Dusty's work bed is filled with tools, food and
various needed supplies for the day.

It certainty looks like fall.

This is a nice photo of Josh so it was made larger.   Look at all those leaves on the ground.

Carolyn and Sandy knocked down the weeds
and saplings as far upstream as the Hog Wallow.

We stopped for lunch along one of the
 most beautiful creeks in the area.

Trail clearing isn't all about work you know.

Not seen was John D who was mowing the Vista trail and Jason M who helped get the mower functional.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Fall trail work report #3

Today we completed clearing Sidewinder descent, then we worked on the gorge trails.
This is at the bottom of Sidewinder at the intersection with the River trail. 
Yes it's weedy!

The same location, a few minutes later.
It's a snap, when you have three people working at
 it with professional tools.

Next Colin heads downstream on the River trail.

It's all coming down.  This is done so we can
groom earlier and see the trails edge.

These weeds are no match for these powerful machines with .155 string.

Almost to the Bridge.

Lunch at the office.

How does this compare with your midday view? 

OK, this passes inspection. Let's continue up stream. 
Get in touch, if you'd like to help.
Its fun!
As seen along the trail, Nonesuch shale
aged 1.1 billion years for your viewing pleasure.

Another view just 30ft further away. 
Both these sites were cleared today for better viewing.
Get out to enjoy! Remember to support these
efforts - buy your season membership soon.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Trail clearing, day 2

Today, after many organizational fits, the top of Sidewinder Hill was whacked back about 1/2 way down to the creek.   Also cleared was a short ways towards Mud Lake.  BIG thanks to Eric N. for helping today.
This was taken from the top of Sidewinder Hill, looking down it.

We sure appreciate the help getting these trails back in shape for XCing.

Taken at the top, looking down the trail headed to Mud Lake at the Vista intersection.

We'll be out doing this most every day. Join us!

Clearing up the trails is a very fun, gratifying way to get some outdoor exercise.
Contact us to help.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Trail work begins (again)

Today we hiked around to see how much brush a wet summer can produce here.  We will start on Monday morning and clear the weeds from Sidewinder trail and others in that area and could use your help. 
We checked the gorge trials out first. This map will be replaced.

Then, we headed up Dam Hill to Vista Trail, then around the Mud Lake Loop.

Fall is really here!

We're considering reopening this old corridor to Mud Lake.  Could you help with that?

What would we do without the beautiful Swedetown Creek?

Let us know if you can lend a hand to get the trails ready for THIS.