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  1. #1
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    40 Dig BTC at Crockett Hills

    A great day of work! Nat Lopes of Hilride lead the crew with lots of support from EBRPD's Sean and Suzanne. we worked both sides of the Back Canyon; rolling green Sugar Hill and the trails under the oaks on the other side. While 25 showed up from the BTC crew, including 6 of our leadership team, we had local Crocketteers, Pinoleans, and EBRPD regulars.

    We also had some great people from the American Conservation Experience. These young folk do a lot of this and really schooled us. They were efficient, strong, and steady. They got to camp in the wide valley just at the edge of Back Creek and seemed to take it all in stride. I was very impressed by them.

    Just about everyone gushed over the the trail experience. While it is not Santa Crauz it does act as a local Demo for what can be done in our infinite East Bay expanse of rolling hills and Oak and Bay filled ravines. It clearly shows the difference between archaic ranch roads that have lost their purpose and low-impact trails that peg the cool-o-meter.

    This gem is crafted from Hilride's flagging, Jim Jacobsen's carving, and no little finageling by EBRPD Executive Jim Townsend on the inside track. The park folks are naming the trails after birds. I want to call the area Jims' Hilride. Let's make it so!

    I want to encourage you all to go out to this venue. The locals are jazzed, the NorCal teams love it and folks who have responded to our pronouncement are baffled that the EBRPD did this. But it is the result of a lot of challenging effort by both sides. I think we can expect more to come.
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  2. #2
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    Looks worthy of a trip north.
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  3. #3
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    40 Dig BTC at Crockett Hills

    Very nice! Kudos to all who are making what seems like the impossible, possible!

  4. #4
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    Wish I could of made it but with my shoulder injury I would of been useless. Im super excited about this as its 10 minute drive from my house so I'll be there often and would love to keep helping with maintenance and building. Where do you park and enter?
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  5. #5
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    Looks awesome! Nice work.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    Wish I could of made it but with my shoulder injury I would of been useless. Im super excited about this as its 10 minute drive from my house so I'll be there often and would love to keep helping with maintenance and building. Where do you park and enter?
    Go here to download a map:

    Michael Mejia's Gallery :: Jims' Hilride

    I made this from the park map and some gps tracks.

    Park at the Staging area on Crockett Blvd about 200 yards above town. Grab a map. Go through the gate and climb the fire road for about 1/4 mile. Take the right up hill and go through the tunnel at the top. Take Soaring Eagle to the "helipad" (actually a plug over an old Diatomacous Earth Mine; Diatom Pad I call it.)

    The gate immediately SE lets you out to the start. You'll zig-zag descend the new stuff for a couple of miles. It dumps you out at the bottom paralleling Back Creek. Follow this out across a small bog, across a field and onto Big Valley Rd. It hits near the creek (note the derelict bridge) and off to the right, across a nice open valley. At the end it tuns to the left, swoops down, and crosses the creek.

    To your left is a small barnyard with a wrecked galvanized shed. Make that hard left and you will parallel the south side of Back Creek (in blue). At the derelict bridge the trail continues as North Treefrog. Shortly you will ascend into the oaks where you get a very civilized 500 ft twisty climbing tour of the canopied hillside, fields of Miners Lettuce, and grassland.

    Gaining the top you get a wonderful view of the Back Canyon as it opens out to Highway 4, 2 miles away. At this point you can:

    1) take North Treefrog fire trail (in blue) down to the barnyard.

    or

    2) turn back and retrace your track, taking a turn that puts you directly to Bach Ranch and Dow to the Barn yard. You might continue on to the left on Back Ranch Loop to the next track of new trail ahead. I do not show this on the map as I did this in October and it was really rough and haven't had time to go back. I believe it is bedded-in much more now.

    There is no loop as yet; the canyon doesn't really avail itself of that. The route to the new trail is flagged across from the top of Treefrog, but a concern has been raised for the possible nesting of Eagles. Between that and funding, that work has been halted awaiting developments,

    However, out and back is doubling your pleasure. Returning on Back Ranch Loop past the Barnyard take the Big Valley Trail reentering into the open valley. Past the valley it turns uphill left and there you have a choice:

    1) The Big Valley Trail ascends in a steep fire road (in blue) for about 350 ft of climbing (Park guys call it the Short Cut, and it is, if you have a throttle) which gets you back up high. Continue through the gate NE and you get back to the Diatom Pad.

    or

    2) Continue to the NE to traverse the Sugar Hill along Back creek and re-ascend the new trail. It takes longer but is much more fun.

    Either way you get to the Pad. You know the way from there.
    Last edited by Berkeley Mike; 03-01-2015 at 08:08 PM.
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  7. #7
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    I've never ridden in Crockett but those trails look fun! I live pretty close too. If anyone is going there soon and wouldn't mind some company I'd love to tag along. Thanks for the map Berkeley Mike!

  8. #8
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    Great day for trail work. Thanks for the coordination.

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    I am very interested in checking this out. I'm not very experienced though. I've only ridden JMP so far and have mostly stuck to Sequoia Bayview and Sunset trails. I've gone down Sinawik and up Palos Calorados once (had to walk one steep, rocky, slippery down section on Sinawik). I ride a 100mm hardtail, I'm an ok climber, and working on my ability to handle slow technical stuff. Think Crockett is within my ability?

  10. #10
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    It was great to see you there J. You've been strong supporter for many years.
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  11. #11
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    Thanks so much to the volunteers and builders for making this happen. A group of us took the Berkeley HS team out there a couple weeks ago and we had a grand tour (we would have shown for this work day but it was a race day) and were even able to do a short race simulation safely and with completely clear trails (on a Sunday!). Planning to gather some other local teams and head out there again. It is perfect this time of year; most of the soil is tacky, the hills are green, the bare treeless hillsides are gorgeous and the sun not too oppressive.

  12. #12
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    How many miles is a good run out there, and how would you rate the climbing?
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  13. #13
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    You have to climb about 250-300 from the Staging area tot the tunnel. The traverse of Soaring Eagle to the Daitom Plug (helipad) has a teense. You descend down to Back Canyon but climb into the toads about 400-500 feet but very civil with switchbacks and grade reversals. If you go on to Harrier at the south end there is another 200 ft.

    If you climb back into the Oaks for there it is another 200-300. The climb out of Back Canyon and back up to the Diatom Plug is another 400 or so.

    In 9-13 miles you an get 1200-1600 but it is not grinding.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by J-Flo View Post
    Thanks so much to the volunteers and builders for making this happen. A group of us took the Berkeley HS team out there a couple weeks ago and we had a grand tour (we would have shown for this work day but it was a race day) and were even able to do a short race simulation safely and with completely clear trails (on a Sunday!). Planning to gather some other local teams and head out there again. It is perfect this time of year; most of the soil is tacky, the hills are green, the bare treeless hillsides are gorgeous and the sun not too oppressive.

    With the recent grooming last weekend the trails are even nicer.
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  15. #15
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    Thanks ^^
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    Evil Already at Crockett Hills.

    I got this from one of our Directors who has been riding C Hills for quite a while:

    "on the first flow trail about 1/4 mile down from the Sugar City gate, I noticed what I thought was a bike trail going off into the grass and down the hill, but I figured maybe someone just biked to the edge to see what was below. I went down a little further and there was another bike track, so I followed it. It went down the hill, down past the next switchback of the flow trail, and down further where I didn't go.

    So I'm pretty disappointed with rogue bike riders who perhaps are trying to find more suitable downhill stuff than the flow trails or biking off trail for whatever reason they might have. It would be very sad to have EBRPD find out about bike riders chewing up the hillsides when EBRPD just spent lots of mula to put in basically bike-specific trails.

    This worries me. Is there some way when you're getting word out about CH to make a case for staying on the trails and that it is not cool to ride off trail at CH? That would be great."
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike View Post
    Evil Already at Crockett Hills.
    "
    That sucks. Definitely do not want to piss off the Parks people - especially right after they have given us such a huge present, tied up nice with a big bow. I was really impressed by the Parks staff that was there on the work day Saturday. I don't know about Suzanne, but Sean is totally a mountain biker (he talked with me in detail about which sections of the trail he thought had the most "flow!"), and it is such a huge win for us to have someone like him working from the inside and advocating for MTBers.

    I went back to the park on Sunday for a ride, and met another Park staff member (Sean's boss - can't remember his name), also out for a bike ride. Super cool guy and he was happy to see how many MTBers were there in the parking lot, either just leaving or arriving - the lot was full. He said that a year ago, it would be hard to remember seeing more than 1 car in the lot. In fact, a woman walking a dog came up to him and asked, "is there some kind of event going on today?" He just smiled and said, "No, but from all the cars, you would think there was! This is just the new normal now that cyclists are finding out about the new trails."

    On the topic of "do no evil," does anyone know the policy on night riding at Crockett Hills? Many of the other EBRPD parks are open till 10PM. I think I remember seeing a sign saying that the gate at the Crockett Blvd staging area closes at 5PM. Can we ride in the park after dark, and if so, does anyone have a tip on where to park vehicles?

  18. #18
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    Suzanne was hired by Jim Townsend from a long list of candidates. She was chosen because, unlike the other candidates, she specialized in the development of dirt, not pave. She come from Colorado.

    I have ridden with them both and they seem to enjoy it well enough.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by IP_Ale View Post
    Many of the other EBRPD parks are open till 10PM. I think I remember seeing a sign saying that the gate at the Crockett Blvd staging area closes at 5PM. Can we ride in the park after dark, and if so, does anyone have a tip on where to park vehicles?
    I have it from Sean Dougan at EBRP: "All of our trails and parks close at 10PM." Still waiting on confirmation about the parking lot itself. Word is that there have been car break-ins on the nearby streets.

  20. #20
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    Sean spoke about break-ins in the area as an ambient problem. Classic; close to traffic, quick escape.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by IP_Ale View Post
    I have it from Sean Dougan at EBRP: "All of our trails and parks close at 10PM." Still waiting on confirmation about the parking lot itself. Word is that there have been car break-ins on the nearby streets.
    ...while the [entrance] gates may close at 5-6PM, the exit gates have "tiger teeth" that allow cars to exit after hours. So...all good! Again, trails open for night riding until 10PM.

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    rode it today. brutal poison oak on first climb....the new pump trail is crazy being in east bay. loved the wall ride turns, berms and the small tables. will have to say tho, I will never understand these peaky rollers littered throughout the trail. same as tamo flow trail. don't wanna be a complainer but I find those to be a waste of energy and flow killer. hoping the trail will be sustainable through the summer. not exactly prime dirt. super fun tho and unbelievable that this work was done in the east bay.
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    stravatards are gonna have a field day with this trail. I truly hope people keep it friendly around there and not piss people off coming back blasting down the trails
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    how do we keep track of future trail build/main days?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    rode it today. brutal poison oak on first climb....the new pump trail is crazy being in east bay. loved the wall ride turns, berms and the small tables. will have to say tho, I will never understand these peaky rollers littered throughout the trail. same as tamo flow trail. don't wanna be a complainer but I find those to be a waste of energy and flow killer. hoping the trail will be sustainable through the summer. not exactly prime dirt. super fun tho and unbelievable that this work was done in the east bay.
    I'm not sure why the peaky rollers are there either. So I ask this. Did you climb back up the same trail. What did you think of the bumps then?
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    how do we keep track of future trail build/main days?
    There has been building of the trail below the tunnel and of Soaring Eagle Trail in 2008 with 3 separate major trail maintenance efforts of some 600-800 hours since then.

    Work on this phase has been going on since September 2014. A few key volunteers and American Conservation Experience volunteers have put untold hours into some of the modest recent shaping.

    Saturdays effort put in 160 hours of finish work, weeding, root chopping, raking, clearing slumps.

    BTC was responsible for about 100 hours. We only keep track of our own.

    I am not sure what to do after that.
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  27. #27
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    No I didn't, we went up the steep fireroad. either direction not a fan of the rollers. I know they do them for a reason but I can't think of a good one. never seen them before other than tamarancho.
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike View Post
    There has been building of the trail below the tunnel and of Soaring Eagle Trail in 2008 with 3 separate major trail maintenance efforts of some 600-800 hours since then.

    Work on this phase has been going on since September 2014. A few key volunteers and American Conservation Experience volunteers have put untold hours into some of the modest recent shaping.

    Saturdays effort put in 160 hours of finish work, weeding, root chopping, raking, clearing slumps.

    BTC was responsible for about 100 hours. We only keep track of our own.

    I am not sure what to do after that.
    no, I meant how do we know when they will be doing work again, so we can volunteer
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  29. #29
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    You have been frank and I appreciate that.

    No, you didn't climb back up the new trail and then you write it off. Then you suggest that you know that the bumps are for a reason but cannot think of a good one. Interesting.

    What that tells me is that you don't like them and no reason would be good enough.

    *******

    I come from climbing 700 ft fire roads over and over for the last 30 years. It has always been a strength of mine. It was that or whine about them.

    I've listened to people whine about them for years. I developed a saying" first you climb 700 feet and then you start riding. If you can't do that you can't mountain bike around here."

    And lately I have listened to people whine about new trails and reroutes, after 30 years of fighting the battles for access, not being what one might hope or understand, being worse than what they replace....whatever.

    Yodi, I'm not objecting to your comment: I just don't care. I don't care because I just want access and access to something that is not a fire road; access to what we have been denied. Just about anything that fits that description makes me happy.

    This is far beyond that in its design and execution. As a climb the new trail is so not that 18% 400 ft. Big Valley shortcut fire road climb and I am thrilled, warts and all.

    It represents new thinking by old institutions through new permission, new trail building techniques, new styles of trails, for a pariah of a trail use group.

    I know nothing about trail building. I don't have the eye for it. I hate trail maintenance work: I have my own yard, thank you. What I do, though, is create the opportunity for access by talking with people, raising money, building PR and sometimes just serving coffee and pastries.

    As such I celebrate the whole damned thing and hope to god that it leads to more. Bumps? Puh-leez.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    no, I meant how do we know when they will be doing work again, so we can volunteer
    I'm hoping that they let the BTC know. If we know, you'll know.
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  31. #31
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    I wasn't complaining about the fireroad climb. whatever. and I know we lucky as hell to have people come build a trail like this. don't get me wrong on that one! I like this trail way better than the tamo flow trail. these guys are getting it better and better. it's just frustrating that they got this far, did all this work, and then basically put rows of speed bumps in the trail....anyway I don't wanna take it any farther and discredit all the hard work. I'm very appreciative of this new playground right in my backyard. it's unreal that we have this In the east bay
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    There will be something posted here ,you can also find out other BTCEB events on Meetup.com.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    How many miles is a good run out there, and how would you rate the climbing?
    Been ridding the C-hills for years and super stoked about the new trails. The other day I rode as much single track as possible with out doing the same trail in the same direction and put down 15. 8 miles with (guess) only a mile or less of fire road. The climbing is steep and short like most hills around Briones. I think my climbing totals were around 1800 feet. After many rides down the new trails I'm getting a bit tires of the speed check whoop-ties but understand its better than anything else EBPRD has done! Thanks for all the hard work everyone has put into the trails!

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike View Post
    I'm not sure why the peaky rollers are there either. So I ask this. Did you climb back up the same trail. What did you think of the bumps then?
    These bumps looked like water bars to me. Please keep bedding in the berms and walls..

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    Quote Originally Posted by IP_Ale View Post
    I have it from Sean Dougan at EBRP: "All of our trails and parks close at 10PM." Still waiting on confirmation about the parking lot itself. Word is that there have been car break-ins on the nearby streets.
    Ten others and I had a fantastic night ride at Crockett Hills last night. Upon arriving at the main entrance on Crockett Blvd at about 6:45PM, the entry gate was indeed locked (kind of sends a confusing message: park/trails open till 10PM, parking lot closes at 6PM). NO PARKING signs seemed to be all over on Crockett Blvd, so parking there on the street wasn't an option. We ended up parking on Rolph Ave, adjacent to Alexander Park - just a 1 min ride from the park entrance.

    Route: Edwards Loop to the Tunnel, Soaring Eagle to the gate, down the new trail, up Treefrog Loop Fire Road to the start of the new trail (a little painful vs. climbing the new trail, but so much quicker), down down down to the creek, and then we traced our steps back to the start. ~15 miles, 2000 ft climbing.

    Since the weekend, cows have been re-introduced into the area. There were a lot of them between the tunnel under Cummings and the new trails. All I can say is that where ever they were being held for the last several months obviously didn't have a bathroom. Beware the cow patties, b/c they are like those fancy molten chocolate cakes, solid on the outside, but gooey on the inside - and definitely not as tasty. This was a problem considering how the new trails were making everyone smile. Nuff said.

    We rode all the traverses and climbs without lights. The full moon was so bright, and the trails are so smooth. Perfect evening! Go get some.

  36. #36
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    The parking lot is pretty big problem area for break-ins and such...but...the park is open til 10pm.
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  37. #37
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    Okay I feel stupid, went back to day and did some exploring, hot damn they did some major work out there. Awesome. Hope it maintains. Was also filled in by Josh, that those rollers are only there because thats how the trail was cut in, and they left those rollers extra high to leave some dirt to work with. Easier to remove dirt than try and add it. Sounds like theres more to come. A+ effort all the way around.
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    I just hope it doesn't become braking bump city. I have a feeling its riding the best it wever will right now as we speak. Before the skidders and the summer heat comes
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    Dude! Go wear those trails out and stop worrying about it.
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    Map link?

    Hi, is this map still available? The link is no longer valid.

    Thanks!

    [QUOTE=Berkeley Mike;11806537]Go here to download a map:

    Michael Mejia's Gallery :: Jims' Hilride

    I made this from the park map and some gps tracks.

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    I don't rattle.

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    Thanks for the map image!

    Following the Google Map link in the other thread, what is the suggested directional route to minimize disruption to DH flow?

    Is it as illustrated in this image?
    http://note.io/1KdODtn

  43. #43
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    Keep in mind that these are 2-way, shared trails, maximized for bikes. You can go in any direction. Anyone who tells you otherwise is just wrong. Stay alert.

    That said, the directions indicated are pretty good.

    Note that the far southern portion on you map is closed.
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    The bottom (exit to fire road) of Sugar City and significant portions of Tree Frog are in desperate need of nettle clearing at the next dig / trail work day. The nettle population exploded with the spring rains, and are chest high and unavoidable for large sections of the trail now.

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    The Artichoke Thistles are a speed mitigation tactic.....kidding.

    Had we all taken a moment from our joyous scramble down those new trail to step on the base of the young plants and break them we would not have this problem.

    An upcoming EBRPD trail work day was cancelled for C Hills out of concern for our Golden Eagle and her puppy or whatever you call them.

    It was a huge event with VoCal, which means 100 folks with other-than-mountain-bike concerns. In some sense it is a godsend and they tend to "fix" things. Further they might complain about them not being "for" hikers," (actually a defacto truth). They will be sent into the wastelands of Las Trampas where no bike can go anyhow. Go nuts guys.

    I just sent an email to one of contacts at EBRPD to see if a few of us could go out there with McLeods to take care of business. It is just a few hours of work for a few volunteers. I think we could arrange a beer budget. Stay tuned.
    I don't rattle.

  46. #46
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    Definitely keep me posted on that, I'm happy to help and live in town, so no big deal to get there on weekends.

  47. #47
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    So is there a baby golden eagle in CH these days? If so, that is way cool, great trails and a couple of big birds!

  48. #48
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    I was there last weekend early in the morning and stopped by the closure area and saw a little bird following/flying with a big bird so maybe there is? I'm no good at identifying birds though so I could be totally wrong.

  49. #49
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    I've become one of those 'bird geeks'!! If there was a golden eagle flying around you would probably know it, bigger than anything else we have here. Also, if she had a baby it probably wouldn't be flying yet...

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