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  1. #26
    Is now still the time?
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    Jackson Trail Continuum of Maintenance




    If only it were as easy as painting.(Photo from 12/30/12)


    This thread is two years old, and records the last time we did "official" maintenance was done on the Jackson Trail. Since then a majority of attention has been diverted into the construction of the Jim Donnelly Trail. This incurred some sacrifice on other trails, like the Jackson and Grizzly Gulch. Of course one has to acknowledge persistent trail fairies always exist.

    Without the work of trail fairies and past efforts Jackson Trail would be in even worse shape now.

    We built scores of small drains and dips, and debermed the trail tread in practical places (meaning the labor investment was small). The first things we do to the old trails is make sure that all drainage crossings are sunk in so that flood water doesn't hop out of the gulch and start flowing down the trail. Now, after a series wet winters and maintenance efforts on the Jackson Trail, we are able to see what works and what doesn't. The grade reversals at gulches have worked well. Some need reinforcement now. Small multiple drains don't last, clog, and are overwhelmed. Even the big reversals clog up.



    In the photo above, shot into the sun, the trail tread reflects the sheen of standing water. There is a big drain dip by the exclamation point. It has been working to reduce the flow of water below, and the trail below it (where the bike is) is better off for it. The drain is almost completely silted up though, and may cease to function in the future, as water is clearly going over it even in the post strom trickle.

    The next photo is of a reversal which Drew Perkins (of Emma McCrary Trail fame) helped us install.



    This one is situated just below the approach to the first steep ramp of the Jackson Wall section. There's a drain right at the bottom of the wall. This one is the second water-trap. I wanted to make this a very big reversal. I remember saying something like, "Drew, what we need here is something at least as big as a coffee table hump across the trail at an angle like this (scratches line with mcleod) to stop water for a good while."



    Looking down at this drain dip the extent to which the tread below the dip has been spared erosion is evident. Clearly the drain is doing what it was intended to do. It was well sited and robustly constructed.

    The bad thing is that the trail above the dip is now deeply cupped, and the berm is formidable.


    (Above, the way it looked on 1/30/2010)

    I've shied away from massive berm removals because the labor is so hard. The option of cutting gaps, dips, lenses, and reversals into these berms to give water a place to escape is much more attractive when you perceive the magnitude of the excavations in reality.

    Diesel and I have had so many discussions about this stuff over the years. Now with Pliebenberg in the mix we have another voice. It would be great to bear motorized equipment upon these problems. It would be great to have more time labor too. In the end, finish hand work is required.

    My conclusions after the 2010 trail work season, to be realistic with the amount of labor we have, were that we should be building bigger reversals and rolling grade dips; focus more upon quality rather than quantity of drainage; and take trail maintenance section by section.



    Cupping, concave entrenchment of the trail tread, is a general result observed above the dozens of drain dips that have been constructed on the Jackson Trail. In some areas this has become severe. Switchbacks suffer from this as well. Sometimes it looks as though that when the drains clog up, there is an acceleration of erosion, as the the venturi effect speeds up the water and loose materials bearing small rocks scour the trail into a v-shaped profile.



    When a drain clogs under an intense rain-storm it forces the water back onto the trail.



    Happy New Year!
    Last edited by Sorcerer; 01-01-2013 at 11:46 AM.
    SOrCerer

  2. #27
    middle ring single track
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    Slippery slope...

    ...I'm just full of puns and double entendres today; must have something to do with the New Year.

    Problem with drawing too much attention to the Jackson Trail (or many others in Coe) is that if it is truly worked to State standards either the Sweco comes back or either horse or bike access is removed. None of these outcomes please me. Much better to work on changing those standards. (Or find a State staffer more liberal in their interpretation of same) Or get Drew out with a mini-ex!?!?

    Here's how the State categorizes Jackson Tr in their database:


    Those letter codes:


    In other words the 1.408 mile Jackson Tr is Existing, to be Maintained, Hiker/Bike/Equestrian use, Maintained with Sweco and Trail/Single (single track).

    That flag pole mentioned in the notes is a new one on me; sounds like there were more flag poles than just the ones on the Cullen Ridge---another hike-a-bike adventure is needed
    The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not represent any policy of the CA Dept. of Parks & Rec.

  3. #28
    Is now still the time?
    Reputation: Sorcerer's Avatar
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    De-berm or not de-berm, that is the question.

    Yeah, well Pliebenberg, it's not my intention to pick on old scabs. It being a new year and all, a retro-perspective is part of my mood today. Seeing as how Diesel has been making noises about the problems other trails in the park develop due to inattention, there may be some volunteer work on these problems this year. [Maybe not though. Two factors against it are: I want to ride more than do trail work. Tread work requires paid supervision.]

    I haven't gone looking for Ye Olde Jackson Trail, but I bet you can still find it given your excellent tracking skills. There used to be an old "gate" entry to the trail just past where the current Jackson Trail single track takes off from the top by Elderberry. There may be still a bit of that wood left in the grass rotting away.

    Given the local political situation official remedial trail work would probably permit de-berming, out-sloping the tread, occasional mild grade reversals, locally sourced rock armoring, and insloped drains at all switchbacks (the switchbacks lack this currently). Personally I don't agree with that approach entirely. It's crazy to work for free doing practices you don't agree with.


    The Jackson Trail is like that ramp with poor traction, slippery slope, analogy, which is a phrase I have banned from my vocabulary along with:

    Lake Superior State University's 38th annual list of banished words:

    fiscal cliff

    kick the can down the road

    double down

    job creators/creation

    passion/passionate

    YOLO

    spoiler alert

    bucket list

    trending

    superfood

    boneless wings

    guru

    SOrCerer

  4. #29
    middle ring single track
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    The Coe "trail fairies"...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sorcerer View Post
    I haven't gone looking for Ye Olde Jackson Trail, but I bet you can still find it given your excellent tracking skills. There used to be an old "gate" entry to the trail just past where the current Jackson Trail single track takes off from the top by Elderberry. There may be still a bit of that wood left in the grass rotting away.
    ...have been doing a great job in this vicinity; on my ride up Anza Trail (to begin my "Ye Olde" search) I was very impressed with what they've been able to do with failing "State Standard" corners. I've been thinking of starting another "Pliny Photo Contest" with topic being "State Park Corners That Don't Cut It" so I've been taking some photos of my own. Just about all the corners on the Anza/Jackson Trails are State-issue "in-slope drain; outslope climbing turn" and nearly every one has failed in some manner or form.

    Here are 3 near the bottom that the "trail fairies" have tried to improve:





    This one in particular was very nicely groomed IMHO.

    In a couple of weeks the State trails crew will be coming through this area; it'll be interesting to hear their feedback!



    On with the "Ye Olde Jackson Trail" hunt; rather than start from the top down as Sorcerer suggested I decided to hike-a-bike it from the bottom up---I was already pretty familiar with the area around Cullen Meadow so I already knew where not to look for the "Found Spring". I found it fairly quickly; locating one of the troughs it fed first:


    This might be a good time to plug MTBR and FC:


    The spring is a real beauty; I think I know why it's been left off the maps (archeological resource):



    Well protected by PO...


    Old water tank had been re-purposed as another trough.

    I had made mental note of all the fence lines I could see in Google Earth so based my navigation on them:


    Fine rack...

    Coe is famous for the skeletal remains abounding!


    New style bar ends???


    I do have a fascination with bones but I don't think it's morbid...


    Palassou Ridge on the horizon. The closer I got to the top the less sure I was that I was on the old trail. Never did find that Flagpole (used for foot races from the Gilroy Hot Spring back in its heyday) after surveying the most obvious spots. Need to do another hike from the top down...later!
    The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not represent any policy of the CA Dept. of Parks & Rec.

  5. #30
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    In Pliebenberg's photo above of some tasteful minor trail fairy work on the Anza Trail we see what appears to be the trail continue straight ahead framed by an apparently unfinished back-slope which still stands steeply beyond a 1:1 ratio. That gateway leads to the original proposed alignment which is impractical due to the fact that it enters an active spring zone. A Sweco had excavated a pretty long section of trail ahead of the point which had to be abandoned. This is another example where modern CSP trail work is disappointing.
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