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  1. #151
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    It's that time of year, two trees are down on Grapevine. The larger of the two will need a chainsaw to take out, it's the tree that fell a few years ago and made an arch over the trail that was tall enough to ride under. Now at handlebar height. The second probably could be cleaned in 10 minutes.

  2. #152
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    Quote Originally Posted by shredchic View Post
    Ah, nice!!! If you guys are looking for more trees to clear, I might suggest the trail around Mississippi Lake! hint hint.... I might join you and maybe even get an appearance of Mr. Shred, who is now an expert trail builder (thanks to Drew and Patty's course). Let me know.
    Quote Originally Posted by pliebenberg View Post
    FWIW the "C's" (Californian Conservation Corps) beat us to it; Mississippi Lake Trail is now a "road" (was to begin with apparently).

    Mid-March I had seen them working on White Tank Spring Road…





    …which seemed to me to be a waste of resources but clearing the Mississippi Lake Perimeter Road is a very worthwhile project. It was the most feral bit of the Hard COEre 100km route. I was very curious to go see for myself…

    Paul, the story is true, the Mississippi Lake Perimeter Road was cleared wide enough to drive around:





    I'm sure the backpackers and fishermen will appreciate that there is easy access around 100% of the lake now.



    Quote Originally Posted by knobs View Post
    It's that time of year, two trees are down on Grapevine. The larger of the two will need a chainsaw to take out, it's the tree that fell a few years ago and made an arch over the trail that was tall enough to ride under. Now at handlebar height. The second probably could be cleaned in 10 minutes.
    Another front-country problem is this on lower Elderberry Spring Trail near Rock Tower:



    I cleared the area to the left where the overhead clearance is enough to ride under but it is off-sloped in soft ground. I expect users will quickly begin to short-cut this turn.

    ///Charlie

  3. #153
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    Cleaned in 10 minutes?

    Quote Originally Posted by knobs View Post
    It's that time of year, two trees are down on Grapevine. The larger of the two will need a chainsaw to take out, it's the tree that fell a few years ago and made an arch over the trail that was tall enough to ride under. Now at handlebar height. The second probably could be cleaned in 10 minutes.

    Before I lobby staff to come out with chainsaws, etc I need get exact location and size; so I made Grapevine part of my patrol ride yesterday. Tree was pretty much as Knobs described it and within the realm of removal with a handsaw.



    Just for the fun of it I set a timer to see if I could make Knob's estimate; the job went smoothly but as I was by myself I had to make an extra cut on the main trunk to make the pieces manageable. It took me a bit under 14 minutes. 2 blokes each with a saw probably could have had this cleared in 3 or 4 minutes (remove a couple of limbs and roll the whole thing off of the trail).



    "Handle bar height" tree; just as Knobs had described---ditto the chainsaw advice.



    I needed to be sure he wasn't describing this tree nearby on Coit Springs Tr; this one also needs removal but can still be ridden under.



    Anybody remember the Monty Python bit about "lupines"?


    "Like father, like son". Tule Pond supposedly went dry last summer due to the drought which would have wiped out its bass population; more turtles than ever though.
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  4. #154
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    Not many things would make me go, "Awww..."

  5. #155
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    Quote Originally Posted by pliebenberg View Post
    Just for the fun of it I set a timer to see if I could make Knob's estimate; the job went smoothly but as I was by myself I had to make an extra cut on the main trunk to make the pieces manageable. It took me a bit under 14 minutes...
    It is the new me, in which I underestimate to make sure the job gets done. Thanks for the fine effort.

    Those other trees are widow makers.

  6. #156
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    The Drought and Its Effect at Coe

    Pliny hasn't had much to say lately; here's a combined update on trees and water resources:

    Possibly due to drought stress the huge oak at Coe's HQ (SE of the "Metal Barn") has come down. It had shed a very large branch on the west side and about a week later (just after a tree service was contacted to balance the tree up by removing the eastern half) nature finished the job. Just missed the modular housing of a park employee but took out a fence. IMHO they should leave what's left but since the main trunk is rotten at the core Parks is going to have it cut down and the stump ground out. Talk of a shade structure now being built in this location. On the bright side, we now have plenty of cooking wood for the next dozen Tarantula Festivals! Some photos courtesy Sue D:









    This last weekend's Coe "Trails and Springs Volunteer Planning Committeee" (TASVPC) held a "Springs" camp-out weekend. Not too much biking content other than that the only attendees were 3 of us from Coe's bike patrol. (The only ones tough enough or foolish enough to deal with the heat?)

    The tree drama continued; a couple trees down right in Pacheco Camp including this one blocking Coit Road:

    (Photo courtesy Dan H.)

    Bad news good news bad news good news; bad news #1 the drought has dried up an unprecedented number of springs and ponds at Coe. Good news #1 resources such as this horse trough at Pacheco Camp being full means that there's adequate water in the storage tank to supply the all-important camp faucet. The trough:


    Bad news #2; that this trough along Coit Rd. at Pacheco Camp is bone dry means that no water is being fed to the main storage tank. I wish to hell that somebody would have alerted us to this! This trough is THE bellwether of the all-important Pacheco Camp storage system:

    (I suppose we should install a "call this number if trough is dry" sign!)

    So Dan and I headed off to check out Live Oak Spring; the source of water for Pacheco Camp---more bad news:


    After:

    Check out the time stamps; 23 minutes---not bad for a couple of old guys with only hand saws!

    So we found Live Oak Spring to be producing water; we'd have to back-track later to check on the 2-mile long pipeline feeding the camp. We needed to report on all the water resources in the area so we continued our travels. Some ponds we expected to be dry but still held some water. Here's Mallard Pond (near Coit Lake):


    And Coit Lake as seen from Hoover Lake Airstrip:


    We expected Hoover Lake to be dry and were not disappointed:


    Willow Ridge Spring is a crucial source of water in the park and has been reported as dry for some time now; we confirmed this:


    We were hoping to find a repairable problem with the spring box but alas; there's just no water---not even damp:


    Further along Willow Ridge is Rat Spring; still "flowing" at about a drop a minute (hardly keeping up with evaporation)---one would need a really good filter to make this sulfurous milky brew palatable:


    On our way back to troubleshoot the PC pipeline we caught a glimpse of Wood Duck Pond (just above Pacheco Falls):


    Somehow we drove right past this without noticing the very obvious leak from a broken riser vent; after digging up 3 other test locations we came back to here. It was an easy fix as a consolation prize:


    One last spring to check; White Tank Spring's modern black poly tank is hot tub hot after a full day in the sun; the spring has stopped running but there's still plenty of water in the tank:


    Dan nets out excess algae:


    Fast Eddie showed up in camp just at dusk in his FJ; for some odd reason I didn't even notice this photo being out of focus. Later in the evening we all took turns testing the lighting on his bike; the only bike brought to the event:


    On Sunday Ed shuttled Dan and I to the top of Canteen Trail; we cleared brush and visited all the water resources along that section of Pacheco Creek on the way back to PC---everything was dry including the important Canteen spring:

    At least its spring box was still damp; maybe it'll return when weather cools???

    On my way out of the park I went past James, Brem Horse Camp and Dowdy Sulfur Springs; all were full and had adequate flow. Here's Brem Horse Camp; a little funky but would probably filter out just fine:


    As a PS Ed reported on Caviata, Bear and Sada's Springs; all had water albeit needing maintenance---issues that we'll have to follow up on.

    So make sure to carry plenty enough water to make it from lake to lake; the intermediate springs and ponds may be dry. Also a filter is probably the way to go; when water is found it may be a bit "chunky".
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  7. #157
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    Quote Originally Posted by pliebenberg View Post
    Pliny hasn't had much to say lately; here's a combined update on trees and water resources...
    Wow, scary dry out there right now. Thanks for the update and all of the hard work, PL!

    I'm going to miss the big oak at HQ.

    -D

    Pliny's "Tree Down at Henry W Coe SP" Contest.-2009_04_17_coe_158a.jpg

  8. #158
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    Sort of like removing downed trees...

    Big thanks to Diesel for coming out to Coe in his volunteer kit to be my fire spotter for today:



    This really was a big deal; the group I volunteer through, the TASVPC, was supposed to have cut the dry grass at Pacheco Camp earlier in the year---but one thing lead to another which resulted in a poor turn out which lead to very little having been done. So a big group has an event scheduled at PC this coming weekend and it needed to be done before then. No worries; I was able to put together a small group of volunteers that should be able to take care of the acre or so that needed clearing.

    Ooops! 2 cancellations; leaving just Diesel and me---BTW Diesel should be on Rider down. Raise your hand. as he is on leave recovering from back surgery. (He showed me the scar) Made him a perfect candidate to be a fire spotter! (Stand there and tell me if you see smoke!)

    Just about when I was beginning to wonder how I was going to do it all solo with a weed-whacker the State Park's grader rolled up; after a short conversation with the operator, Javet, he agreed to blade a fair portion of the area needing to be made fire-safe for the park guests:



    Other good news; the repairs made to the Live Oak Spring pipeline worked and a full supply of water is back in camp:

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  9. #159
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    Quote Originally Posted by pliebenberg View Post
    Big thanks to Diesel for coming out to Coe in his volunteer kit to be my fire spotter for today...
    Nice day to be out in the park, and more state activity than you'd expect on a given weekday.

    pliebenberg did a huge amount of work, on a very warm day. Props!

    Getting started, near the Pacheco trough. I was surprised how cool and clear the water was, given the time of year and drought conditions.

    Pliny's "Tree Down at Henry W Coe SP" Contest.-2014_08_21_coe_04.jpg

    Moving on, closer to the cabin.

    Pliny's "Tree Down at Henry W Coe SP" Contest.-2014_08_21_coe_16.jpg

    Yvette and Alex swung by, so we asked if we could get a little help from the rig to the left...

    Pliny's "Tree Down at Henry W Coe SP" Contest.-2014_08_21_coe_14.jpgPliny's "Tree Down at Henry W Coe SP" Contest.-2014_08_21_coe_11.jpg

    Why the hell not? Talk about a force multiplier, and WAY quicker than a string trimmer!

    Pliny's "Tree Down at Henry W Coe SP" Contest.-2014_08_21_coe_06.jpg

    While we were at it, Alex busted out the Stihl to take care of an oak that shed a limb near one of the picnic benches.

    Pliny's "Tree Down at Henry W Coe SP" Contest.-2014_08_21_coe_09.jpg

    Thanks guys!

    Pliny's "Tree Down at Henry W Coe SP" Contest.-2014_08_21_coe_12.jpg

    Now, with fire perimeter and weed free spots for camping.

    Pliny's "Tree Down at Henry W Coe SP" Contest.-2014_08_21_coe_07.jpgPliny's "Tree Down at Henry W Coe SP" Contest.-2014_08_21_coe_19.jpg

    -D

  10. #160
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    Tree down on Coit Rd right next to the Grapevine - Cattle Duster junction.

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    Easy to ride around. Easy for a truck to move.

  12. #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sorcerer View Post


    Tree down on Coit Rd right next to the Grapevine - Cattle Duster junction.
    Thanks; I'll pass the info along. That road sees a lot of use by staff so it'll probably be taken care of pretty quick.

    Here's a limb that was blocking the JDT on Thursday:


    It was a little larger than the photo shows; with a grunt I was able to roll it off the trail without having to resort to making any cuts. We expect lots of drought-damaged trees to be coming down this winter and in years to come. Almost like having a fire go through.

    I'm posting this photo because the topic of tool use came up during today's CMBP meeting. Staff really doesn't want any trail maintenance work being done by the general public if it involves using tools. They may be posting "No Axes or Saws" signs at the Park entrances. It's OK for the general public to move a fallen branch off the trail like I did in this photo; just don't do it if you have to make cuts on it first.

    Uniformed volunteers can still do impromptu trial maintenance with saws, etc. in regards to trees and brush; in regards to tread work we must give advanced notice to staff. (Use of any digging tools; picks, shovels, McLeods, hoes and etc)

    Cleaning drains was sort of a grey area; probably OK for UV's to remove silt clogging a drain; not OK to improve a drain by digging it deeper. (without prior approval)
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  13. #163
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    Our ride took us down Jackson and Anza, then we climbed Spike Jones and went down the JDT. Jackson was in pretty good shape; better than I thought it would be. Obviously someone, and probably a CMBP person, has been preparing the trail for the season. Drains were functioning.

    Our climb up Spike Jones gave plenty of time to observe. The steep bottom section up to the Grizzly Gulch junction is going to rut badly if nothing is done. The drains we built so long ago are worn down. The huge one drain towards the top of this section is a champ though. It was built the right way with pride by Team Wrongway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sorcerer View Post


    Our ride took us down Jackson and Anza, then we climbed Spike Jones and went down the JDT. Jackson was in pretty good shape; better than I thought it would be. Obviously someone, and probably a CMBP person, has been preparing the trail for the season. Drains were functioning.

    Our climb up Spike Jones gave plenty of time to observe. The steep bottom section up to the Grizzly Gulch junction is going to rut badly if nothing is done. The drains we built so long ago are worn down. The huge one drain towards the top of this section is a champ though. It was built the right way with pride by Team Wrongway.
    CMBP member Eric S recently did some work on Anza, Jackson and others; I suspect there may have been some vigilante work being done near the Coit Road side of things also. The Sweco is supposed to visit Timm Tr; I hesitate putting any manual labor downhill from Timm on SJT or GGT as it would be labor lost when the tractor comes through.

    I just worked the lower JDT; you probably noticed I had left the wheelbarrow near the turn featured in your above GIF. That turn suffered some up-slope sloughing during the last miniscule wet season so it's primed for a major slide if we get a lot of rain. A bunch of soil needs to be moved to make it right. (Hence the wheelbarrow)
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  15. #165
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    Quote Originally Posted by pliebenberg View Post
    The Sweco is supposed to visit Timm Tr;
    What is with the staff and this trail? It's in great shape. There are ruts on Serpentine that a Sweco would fit into (figuratively speaking).

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    Quote Originally Posted by knobs View Post
    What is with the staff and this trail? It's in great shape. There are ruts on Serpentine that a Sweco would fit into (figuratively speaking).
    I agree with that. Serpentine has much deteriorate over the last 3 years. My top 3 candidate for trail repair would be Serpentine, Lyman-Willson (the lower to mid sections have developed some bad ruts) and Kelly Lake (west).

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    Quote Originally Posted by knobs View Post
    What is with the staff and this trail? It's in great shape. There are ruts on Serpentine that a Sweco would fit into (figuratively speaking).
    Serpentine would be a priority of mine if I had any say in the matter. I have far more misses than hits when it comes to my suggestions!

    The problem with Timm is it's so close to the Coyote Creek entrance it gets a lot of attention from park visitors who report the biker-built features to staff. The fallout of the last big brouhaha of a couple of years ago was that staff discovered that Timm as we know it doesn't follow the mapped route. This social re-routing was as much a product of equestrians as from bikers (and regardless of the matter that the current route is better in some regards to sustainability) but it was ordered that it be returned to the original route (which comes out at Upper Timm Spring).

    They also want to use the tractor to pull that overhanging fallen oak out of the way. All this could happen this season or??? (Took 10+ years to close "Final Exit" after that decision was made)
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  18. #168
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    Quote Originally Posted by pliebenberg View Post
    Serpentine would be a priority of mine if I had any say in the matter. I have far more misses than hits when it comes to my suggestions!

    The problem with Timm is it's so close to the Coyote Creek entrance it gets a lot of attention from park visitors who report the biker-built features to staff. The fallout of the last big brouhaha of a couple of years ago was that staff discovered that Timm as we know it doesn't follow the mapped route. This social re-routing was as much a product of equestrians as from bikers (and regardless of the matter that the current route is better in some regards to sustainability) but it was ordered that it be returned to the original route (which comes out at Upper Timm Spring).

    They also want to use the tractor to pull that overhanging fallen oak out of the way. All this could happen this season or??? (Took 10+ years to close "Final Exit" after that decision was made)


    I have hiked the old Upper Timm Spring alignment years ago, can't recall that it was anything special. IIRC it did seem to be way off the current route, so I'd want a Sweco if I were cutting that too. But still... it's very easy to be critical of such a plan, on so many levels.

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    Timm Trail

    This thread needs a bump; we're getting lots of tree down reports at Coe but not with good location/scope information. So when you see something @ Coe try to give an accurate distance to a landmark (like a trail intersection) and it's really neat to include a photo with a person or a bike for a size reference. (Like Sorcerer did )

    Here's a tree on Timm Trail we removed yesterday:


    That's Dan and Ken doing the dirty work; both are uniformed volunteers at Coe:


    I did help out although there's no proof; those guys each hauled out a 2-man saw:


    Success! Which way now?


    I should mention that ticks are out:
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  20. #170
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    I dont mean to pick a fight with the equestrians but I came down Lyman-Willson on Sunday and the trail has been decimated by horses. Giant hooves craters all over. So much that this one horse lost 2 horseshoes which I recover. Good portions of that trail is on sandy soil that can endure such punishment. But where ever it was soft it is now a mess.

    Very sad to see...

  21. #171
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    That's a pity.

    This gets me to thinking well what if we had a gang of fat bikers descend this trail a couple of times to smooth things out?

  22. #172
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    Quote Originally Posted by adagioca View Post
    Giant hooves craters all over. So much that this one horse lost 2 horseshoes which I recover. Good portions of that trail is on sandy soil that can endure such punishment. But where ever it was soft it is now a mess.
    Got photos?

    I gotz a few:

    Blocked drain @ JDT; must come back and clean,


    Post-holing by horses (cave-in at rodent burrows really can't be helped)


    Pig damage, not much can be done about this from a volunteer's perspective.


    Everybody's had their hand in doing trail damage here.


    There's a long story behind this section, we (bike patrol volunteers) had it built with adequate drains and then the State brought it up to their "standards" (4' wide full bench cut) and WYSIWYG.


    Here's a real good case for narrow (1') single track, same mixed traffic as in the other photos and in fine shape.
    (This is in the area of the JDT the State will finish with the tractor)


    Oh yeah this is a thread about "Pliny's Downed Trees". Grizzy Gulch Trail west of Willson Peak Trail.


    The HOHAs are going to have a field day with this; sometime it's best to get off the bike and walk it rather than rut it. You can see in the grass off to the left where I walked my bike. GGT east of Dexter Tr.


    Another tree further west on GGT; somebody swings a mean ax!
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    The trees keep falling and there's still no Pliny in Hollister

    Thought I should resurrect this thread so I don't have to look so far back for it the next time.

    Since the last post ^^^ there's probably been a couple dozen major "Trees Down" at Coe; most but not all have been taken care of. A few by staff, a few by vigilantes and most by park volunteers.

    Here's a really recent one and it's a doozy:

    Domino Pond Trail not far above the terminus of Rock Tower; photo taken today.

    Here's the same image cropped to get around MTBR's "1990's tiny digital images style":

    Seriously guys; why not allow the BB code for image size for those of us of whose "size matters"?

    This has been on Walsh Trail for a long time:

    The Boy Scouts had promised me that the had cleared this when they worked on this trail earlier this year; I need to QC them closer!

    adagioca sent this photo of a tree down on Willow Ridge Trail:


    It was so precariously balanced it only took 2 cuts to get it off the trail; here's a very short time lapse of me removing it:


    The after:


    Keep those reports coming in!

    Say something here or send an email trail-reports@coepark.net
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    Heard second hand but apparently 2 trees down across Flat Frog Trail.

    The one on Domino Pond looks like a doozy. Any plans near term to take it out?

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    Quote Originally Posted by adagioca View Post
    Heard second hand but apparently 2 trees down across Flat Frog Trail.

    The one on Domino Pond looks like a doozy. Any plans near term to take it out?
    There's one I know about on FFT near the north end; it's a pretty big oak but people are getting past it. Been there for a while now; been waiting for staff to show up with their chain saws. Not sure about a second one?

    It was getting rather hot today so I didn't spend much time sizing up the task on Domino. It's actually 3 trees that fell "domino style" (ha-ha) but maybe it won't look so bad if some of the foliage is removed. Maybe I'll have another look sometime next week?
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    Since we are on the subject....

    Laurel Trail- a couple of small trees down and one bigger one where folks have bypassed on the left.
    Jackass Trail- 3 small trees down and lots of overgrowth.

    Lost Spring Trail- starting to get overgrown. PO is encroaching enough where you will touch it with your shoes and shins.

    Willow Ridge Trail- similar to Lost Spring but the overgrowth is at chest level in places.

    Sorry, no pics. I rode these trails in the last 3 weeks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cragnshag View Post
    Since we are on the subject....

    Laurel Trail- a couple of small trees down and one bigger one where folks have bypassed on the left.
    Jackass Trail- 3 small trees down and lots of overgrowth.

    Lost Spring Trail- starting to get overgrown. PO is encroaching enough where you will touch it with your shoes and shins.

    Willow Ridge Trail- similar to Lost Spring but the overgrowth is at chest level in places.

    Sorry, no pics. I rode these trails in the last 3 weeks.
    I rode Laurel Tr early this year myself and noted those detours; looked like they were working OK so I didn't bother making a report. There were a couple of snags that looked like they could block the trail in the future though.

    Jackass Tr; need to get over there---half-hoping some vigilantes beat me to it!

    Lost Spring we've had quite a few reports (especially about the PO) so it's on our list but we will probably wait until we get some rain so we can use some power tools.

    Willow Ridge Tr we brushed it on 8/28 so I'm guessing you went through right before then.

    Thanks for the report!
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