Trail Report: 50 Year/Upper 50 - Gem - Chutes- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Trail Report: 50 Year/Upper 50 - Gem - Chutes

    Despite all the rain the trails are in relatively good shape. There is some rutting on a couple areas of the Upper 50 before you reach the FS fence, but it could still be ridden. The Gem was in okay shape with a bit more flow rutting. The higher areas were in better shape than I expected and I rode most of the areas I usually ride. The spots I walked 'walked just fine'.


    Rollercoaster (chutes return) was good and could be ridden the whole way. I foresee a reroute happening where the trail converges at the top, where there is a rut and people keep moving rocks. Maybe a few locals could join me in a reroute and relocating of native vegetation (it is only about a twenty-five foot section). There is a natural 'go round' that I fear will soon be employed, so being proactive might prevent multiple serpentine trail sections on the 'coaster.

    Chutes are excellent and fast. Wipeout wash has more abrupt drops on the right high side (and they are higher, too) and the middle line isn't as smooth of a roller as before. The loose stuff has been scoured from the bottom and you can bounce right off the rocks and head right up the little rise.

    All in all, things looked pretty good considering the amount of rain that went through. All the trails are 'new again' and demand attention.

    Here's a shot from Upper 50 looking south. The desert is quite verdent right now.
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    Last edited by C.J.; 08-31-2008 at 04:45 PM.
    CJ
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  2. #2
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    that was alot of water.

    Any other good pics?
    and the lurker returns to the dark corner

  3. #3
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    The neighbor got 1.86 inches on his meter. We had a spot overflow due to all the pooling and have a nice big erosion that took out all out rock rip rap in one area 5'-6' wide and prolly 15-18 down the hill(probably "only" 2-3' deep though) all the rock and dirt went bye bye. So dont know if I'll get to hit the trails tomorrow but gonna try..... Thanks for the update... oh ya and I dont mind helping out.
    Last edited by EPDP99; 08-31-2008 at 09:31 PM.

  4. #4
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    More Rain Last night - one more pic

    M
    Quote Originally Posted by EPDP99
    The neighbor got 1.86 inches on his meter. We had a spot overflow due to all the pooling and have a nice big erosion that took out all out rock rip rap in one area 5'-6' wide and prolly 15-18 down the hill(probably "only" 2-3' deep though) all the rock and dirt went bye bye. So don't know if I'll get to hit the trails tomorrow but gonna try..... Thanks for the update... oh ya and I dont mind helping out.
    I didn't take many photos as I was by myself and enjoying the ride. The wildflowers were blooming en masse and the large bush 'Tecoma stans' was covered with it's signature bell shaped flowers. Tahoka Daisy was all over at it's normal 8-11 inches tall with beautiful purple flowers with bright yellow centers. (The ones I've grown at home, with supplemental water and the occasional biker urine have grown to six feet!). Butterflies, robber flies and lizards did their respective flutter, ambush or scurry as I moved about the trail. The violets were starting to grow over the trail in spots. There were several fields of violets. "What's all this talk of violence?" (oooooooold people flashback…) It was an excellent ride. I'm going to hit the waterfall this week. I'm pretty sure it will be flowing.

    The rains have been intense enough to alter the cave. The top opening, (where you could just fit your head and shoulders) has tumbled and there is a large open sunny spot.

    Here are Morning Glorys growing over the trail…
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    Last edited by C.J.; 09-01-2008 at 02:39 PM.
    CJ
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  5. #5
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    Hey C.J. - PM me, and lets figure a date and time - I'd love to hook up and work on the spot you describe... it's a high-traffic area, and proactivity would be a great thing.

    It is amazing how much rain we've had - last week, I had just under 1 1/4", and then 3/4 the next day - this weekend woke with another 1.5 inches!

  6. #6
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    Extra Hands would be good!

    I rode the little trail fix this weekend and it flowed well. I've located some 'donor cholla' for obscuring the old section. I've got a large packet of NATIVE wildflower seeds (a few thousand or so…) that I'm going to incorporate into the area. It should provide some nice spring-through-autumn color, if conditions are such that they germinate. The positive aspect about native seeds is they survive many years until that time. These are all harvested from cold hardy stock from my butterfly and hummingbird gardens.

    We have guests arriving tomorrow, but NOT riders, soI plan on getting out there to work by Friday. I hope to have a substantial part completed before the 'weekend traffic'.

    If you or EPDP99 (Eric) can make it, excellent! If time allows, I'll be out there tomorrow, too.

    EDIT:I have my own McLeod, loppers and Estwing Hoepick (my favorite trail tool), as well as an Estwing Prospector's Pick (excellent for cactus transplant). I'll be walking out with these. I might start today, instead of riding, seeing as the ground is easier to work right now. Can you guys make it today?
    Last edited by C.J.; 09-03-2008 at 08:54 AM. Reason: Set Trail Work Time!!!!!~
    CJ
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  7. #7
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    I wont be able to do it until later as I have a dentist appt. at noonish. hope to be home by 1:30...

  8. #8
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    Heading out into the heat, today.

    I'm heading out around 1. ME & Dr Al (Ph.D. in botany, specializing in the Sonoran Desert) are helping me carry tools. Additionally, there are some plants I wanted to show Dr Al and consult with him on the vegetation.

    I suspect I'll be out there for a number of hours. Come on out and help if anyone can. I'll have my cell with me 520.907.8735
    Last edited by C.J.; 09-03-2008 at 12:36 PM.
    CJ
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    I got home later than planned but I headed out there around 3:30 or so. I tried calling when I was out looking for ya but it went straight to your voicemail. I rode the 50 to the chutes then walked the chutes looking. I actually guess I am confused as to where this was cause I didnt notice any re-workings near the top(start). I had my dogs with me and we took a nice water break for them at the chutes then walked them cause they couldnt keep up as I like to hit those pretty fast. I also tried calling againg when I was out at the chutes and again straight to the VM. I yelled out there for ya too but you guys must have been packed up bu then. I think I was at the cutes from 3:45-4:15( including break and walking them...then headed home slowly with the pups...

  10. #10
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    6:40 - I just got home!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by EPDP99
    I got home later than planned but I headed out there around 3:30 or so. I tried calling when I was out looking for ya but it went straight to your voicemail. I rode the 50 to the chutes then walked the chutes looking. I actually guess I am confused as to where this was cause I didnt notice any re-workings near the top(start). I had my dogs with me and we took a nice water break for them at the chutes then walked them cause they couldnt keep up as I like to hit those pretty fast. I also tried calling againg when I was out at the chutes and again straight to the VM. I yelled out there for ya too but you guys must have been packed up bu then. I think I was at the cutes from 3:45-4:15( including break and walking them...then headed home slowly with the pups...
    I just got home. I have some photos I'll post after a shower and dinner. I completed the reroute and a lot of the transplanting. Several thousand wildflower seeds were sown, so there might be one or two next year!!!

    If you would have ridden the chutes, you would have seen me on the way back up to the top. My phone wasn't picking up well and I was listening to music a good part of the time.
    CJ
    WOW Arizona!

  11. #11
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    oh i walked down and then back up. we must have missed each other. I didnt take the marked trail out so maybe thats why... Oh well. You going to ride it tomorrow? Let me know if so. I will try to get out there with ya.

  12. #12
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    Trail Pics

    Quote Originally Posted by EPDP99
    oh i walked down and then back up. we must have missed each other. I didn't take the marked trail out so maybe thats why... Oh well. You going to ride it tomorrow? Let me know if so. I will try to get out there with ya.
    It would have been impossible to walk all the way down through the chutes, through the wash/sandy area and return to the top and not pass me. Late notice and faulty communication are the culprit! We'll coordinate better next time.

    I got a lot done. I need to get out with a shovel and fill a some of the old line. I pulled down some of the edge with the Estwing and then smoothed it with a McLeod. I don't like the haphazard scattering of dead material to cover a trail. If it doesn't fit the landscape/contour I believe it just looks like junk and actually draws your eye.

    Five riders went by and four complimented it. One, I should add, lamented the challenge of the old line. I agreed, but, the 50 being what it is, it would have been a short time until it was a bunch of 'go arounds', (IMHO) and pointed out the beginning of two. There were horse and bike tracks traversing the area, completely off trail. People kept moving rocks when it wasn't raining and the result was the ditch going down the hill. Rocks were left in the tread wherever possibble. With some riding, I think it will be as fast as the old line (before it was a derailleur bending mess).

    The first guy (the lamenting dude…) was cool enough to ride it both ways twice for me to check route and flow. He had actually said "Nice" when he came up and starled me from my music/work escape. Response was good, I heard "I Like it!", Nice Work" and Excellent" from the next riders.

    Still a bit more to do and any help would be nice.

    Here are some shots…first one me grubbing the trail, then looking up from the new trail on the left, old on the right. The third shot has the areas highlighted.
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    Last edited by C.J.; 09-03-2008 at 11:04 PM.
    CJ
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  13. #13
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    last one

    looking down
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    CJ
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  14. #14
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    Nice job, CJ... while I loved that techy challenge, I also concur that it would lead to an eventual nightmare with "ride arounds"... and this design leaves for a good water exit to flow off towards the east without being siphoned down the trail. Looking forward to trying it tomorrow.

    I PM'd you about trying to get together for further "clean-ups" before the winter rains come - unfortunately, my time is precious, but with fall break coming up, maybe we can discuss over a beer, and spend some "quality trail time" in october.

  15. #15
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    How far out of the bottom is that? I dont recognize it. I can tell its where it faces north northwest for the most part. I always take the right trail out of the chutes as well not the marked one. This looks like it could be the marked one when you come out of the bottom sandy wash area. I always start the chutes at the big entrance by middlegate. I walked down to before you start the small climb(little drop and small wash crossing) up that has the nice long down. Then walked back up it. I didnt walk the whole way cause the dogs were tired(is what I meant by not walking the marked trail the entire way)

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by EPDP99
    How far out of the bottom is that? I dont recognize it. I can tell its where it faces north northwest for the most part. I always start the chutes at the big entrance by middlegate. I walked down to before you start the small climbs(little drop and small wash crossing) that has the nice long down. Then walked back up it. I didnt walk the whole way cause the dogs were tired(is what I meant by not walking the marked trail the entire way)
    If you were to keep going at the bottom of the chutes and take the return ALL THE WAY BACK TO THE TOP, it is right before the last junction and 'carsonite' sign. If you were standing at the top of the chutes, looking west, this is the trail two ridges over that returns to the top.

    I wanted to add a photo of Dr Al. He's a great asset for the trail community, yet, they don't even know he's helped them! I've learned a lot of my plant information and cactus info from him. Al's a specialist…I used his instruction to instruct IMBA trail guys on cactus transplant at the 'original' Trail Care Crew stop here, 10 years ago. Itis now part of their curriculum. At 24OP, one of the TCC came up and started telling me about their desert program. I told him I gave them their info for cacti. He was a bit surprised and unsure until I filled in details.

    We have a census of the flora for that particular area. Nothing out of the ordinary by way of plants, but, there were several butterfly species that were a bit 'out of their element' and no where near their host plants. A testament to the still moist desert allowing overflight in what would normally be forbidding transit corridors.

    Thanks Al for sharing your knowledge!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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    CJ
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  17. #17
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    ok so that is on the marked trail back up. I walked by there too but never headed down it but 20 or so feet. I thought about it but figured I was too late. Looks like you did a stellar job though!! Nice work!

  18. #18
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    C.J. we rode this last night. Good work on your part as every time it rains that section erodes to the point that it is less than rideable. Thanks for your contribution to the local MTB community.

  19. #19
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    Ditto CJ - Not only on the last night ride, but especially taking a look at it this morning in teh early daylight... a stellar job, and an incredible amount of work for one person (or did you have help?). The extra effort to place boulders, cacti, etc. back into the old rut will not only keep that old area from eroding more, but in short order, you'll scarcely be able to tell that the "old" trail was there... Helmet's off to you dude!

  20. #20
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    might try to hit it in the AM tomorrow

  21. #21
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    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by wurensh
    Ditto CJ - Not only on the last night ride, but especially taking a look at it this morning in teh early daylight... a stellar job, and an incredible amount of work for one person (or did you have help?). The extra effort to place boulders, cacti, etc. back into the old rut will not only keep that old area from eroding more, but in short order, you'll scarcely be able to tell that the "old" trail was there... Helmet's off to you dude!
    MaryEllen helped put some rocks in the bottom of the old trail, but was only there for about half an hour. She's involved in some classes right now and had limited time. The rest I did myself.

    The intent was to obscure the old trail. If fall rains come, the amount of wildflower seeds should give a nice cover to the exposed ground.

    I moved all the cacti by myself, ( I have a method to do it and USUALLY avoid gettng completelyimpaled.) The ocotillo fronds will drop their leaves, but, most likely, will root and grow a new plant.


    The trail tread should hold up well. I'll check it inn a couple weeks after it's had some traffic and correct it where necessary.
    CJ
    WOW Arizona!

  22. #22
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    I rode it this AM. Well done!! Thats the way I usually go but just couldnt recognize it till I got out there and saw where it was. Lightbulb!! ding thats the place I have to walk as everytime I try to pedal throught there my pedals hit about 8 times...thats starting and stopping cause I really want to ride through it and get better. I rode the chutes multiple times and took the marked trail out thinking thats where the work was done but nope on the other side when I went out that way I saw it. The very last Y on the chutes seemed more water rutted than usual too. Came into it pretty fast(usually take the first or left trail) and hit that rut and burped the tire in the slightest and continue straight without my bike but on my feet... good job!

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