Friday, July 28, 2017

North Lake Trail Work Party Update

On Wednesday July 19th Bennet and Cathy Upper, DK Williams, Mark Brantner, Dave Johnston, Joe Hebert, and Betty Wagoner finished cutting out the North Lake Trail from the creek crossing. (We discovered the meadow at the “tarn” lake before North Lake is just beautiful!) Washington Trails workers had cleared to the creek earlier, but snow prevented them from going further, and MVBCH members had cut out to the wilderness boundary with chain saws. After a lunch break, we worked on widening the sloughed off area and remaining part of the rocks in the trail below. 


Williams Creek Trail Work Update

On July 16th Bill and Jan Ford went about 1 1/2 miles on Williams Creek Trail and cut out 20 or so trees by hand. They could have used a chainsaw, but reckoned there would not be many trees outside the wilderness so opted to ride and carry the cross cut and smaller hand saws -  wrong guess! Bill had a cross cut saw that is half of a long one, and Ted Lindsey made a scabbard for it so it could be carried under the saddle fender. 
First log down and nearly out
Log along length of trail, lower branches removed
Log along lower length of trail, torqued over the side and off the trail
Now for the top half of the tree...
Logs laying on switchback need to be cut on upper and lower trail


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

2017 BCHW Hot Shot Crew in the Pasayten Wilderness and Crystal Lake Trail

BCHW’s Jason Ridlon organized a very ambitious work party ("Hot Shot" crew) of over 30 workers to work on Pasayten wilderness trails.
(Pasayten Hot Shot crew--Photo courtesy of
Meanwhile, Betsy Devin-Smith and Cathy Upper joined 4 others to work on Betsy’s project of the Crystal Lake trail. Two years ago she and her son Casey started with the 4+ miles of trail outside the wilderness. She figures she and Casey had cut out around 500 trees. We had around 70 left to go outside the wilderness. The packers brought in our tools and gear and most of us hiked in to this area where there is a pass with water before the trails heads over to Disaster creek.
Crystal Lake Trail (Source:
Crystal Lake Trail (Source:

Crystal Lake Trail "before" (Source:

Crystal Lake Trail "after" (Source:

We worked for 4 days and logged out the next 3 1/2 miles, brushing as we went because the trail was hidden in the brush. Lots of lodge pole pines. We made it to the last Disaster creek crossing with 8 trees at the crossing and then another 10+ as the trail heads up the last mile and 1,000 feet to the lakes. The rest can be gotten around the trees and brush as it thins out, but it would be nice to log out the trail. 

NOTE: Many photos of the Hot Shot Crew working in the Andrews Creek/Pasayten wilderness area are featured on the web site. You are encouraged to view them to understand the complex project that was undertaken for just a few days.

Great people and fun to camp in the back country for 4 days.(Source:

"Welcome" BBQ For The 2017 BCHW Hot Shot Crew

Cathy was the Chef for the entire crew!
On July 1st President Cathy Upper brought (and cooked) 45 steaks for the arriving Hot Shot crew, and club members Betty Wagoner, Joe and Carol Hebert, Mark Brantner, Jill Calvert, Marian Webster, Jackie Iddings, and Bill and Jan Ford also brought pot luck dishes and helped with the BBQ. It was held at Darwood’s camp/corrals far up the Chewuch River near the Andrews Creek area.
The BBQ was a fun event before lots of hard work
Forest Service trails crew member Clark Simpson was also there, and he said their crew had gotten the huge Andrews Creek Trail avalanche tree slide cut out using chain saws with special permission from the FS Supervisor office in Wenatchee for this hazardous project.
Opening up this slide section for stock was essential for the Hot Shot crew to access areas on the trail that required attention.   
Andrews Creek Tree avalanche (Source: Methow Valley News)

4th of July Celebration at Twisp River Horse Camp

The 4th of July BBQ at the Twisp River Horse Camp was attended by 23 people—lots of visiting and, of course, great food! MVBCH member Carol Hebert took care of the BBQ’d hot dogs along with her husband Joe, and there was a full spread of food brought by the other attendees. The camp’s doe population noticed the group and thought there might be a sweet handout here or there, so they joined in the camaraderie!
Some of the folks had already arrived the day before and brought their rigs and horses, camping at the TRHC for a couple of days over the holiday. They were having a good time riding and fording the Twisp River. BCHW member and our LNT Chair also joined the group. It was a great afternoon spent relaxing and enjoying the company of all; and, many thanks go to Carol and Joe who brought the club BBQ and picnic supplies! 

East Fork Buttermilk--Checking the Trail

Bill and Jan Ford went up East Fork Buttermilk on Sunday July 2nd. There were no downed trees at all to the wilderness (there were 150 last year!), and only 5 to the creek at 2 miles.
Temperatures were very hot, but they got the job done!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Twisp River Horse Camp Clean Up 2017


On June 24th, eight of us + Lucky (Mark Brantner’s dog) checked camp sites, hi-lines and feeders (the usual team of Ann Port and Betty W. painted them with anti-chew gunk).  We put up the pamphlet holder on the information board for the lists of trail descriptions.  The new map is in the process of being made by Green Trails and should be ready for display at the end of July.
Workers take a break for lunch--BBQ'd hot dogs by the Heberts, plus Pot Luck by other members

Manure Bunker Clean Up at Twisp River Horse Camp

On June 13th Mike McHugh emptied the manure bunkers at TRHC.  This had not been done since the SWWP, so there was rather more manure than would fit in Mike’s dump truck, but most of it was crammed in!

National Trails Day 2017

Casey clears branches from Eagle Creek bridge

Not a big turnout (14 in all counting the cooks), but quite a bit achieved considering the low number.  We had a boost when a truck load of energy arrived in the form of Casey Smith with two friends of similar age (20’s?) plus Jill Calvert – a very effective brushing team! Nick and Annette Koontz were the members who came furthest, and we had the fortune to have Jason Ridlon and a hunting buddy, Darrell; they and Willie Kemper and Dan Stanley (non-member) worked off the Twisp River Trail – up War Creek and Scatter Creek respectively. Bill and Nick removed the only impassable tree of the day, a tricky one by Scaffold Creek.  They also brushed a section of the trail near Slate Creek. 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Wolf Creek Trail Ride & Work Party

On Sunday June 18th five MVBCH members (Jill Calvert, Marion Webster, President Cathy Upper, Bennet Upper, and Mary Pat Bauman) created a spontaneous work party for the Wolf Creek Trail. They enjoyed a beautiful 10-mile ride, working hard clearing the trail and having fun along the way. Perfect day!

2017 Boulder Creek/Swimming Pool Ride

Climbing the "Jeep Road"
On June 7th, nine riders navigated the steep “Jeep Road” that took us up to the Ramsey Creek Road. We turned off through the trees to a beautiful overlook of the Chewuch River Valley and mountains beyond. After tying up our mounts we enjoyed our lunch. 

Lunch on top of the world!

It was especially heart warming to have Dave Stephenson, after a couple years hiatus from riding, join us on his new mule. Thanks to President Cathy for guiding us on this great ride!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Lewis Butte Ranch Ride

On May 19th good times were had by all at this great ride and BBQ at Stacey and DK Williams’ ranch. The afternoon ride in the beautiful area above their ranch was sunny and cool, and we enjoyed spectacular mountain vistas; the ride topped off at Lewis Butte overlooking the Methow Valley and Winthrop.

After returning from the ride, Stacey and DK hosted the group to refreshments and a BBQ, with other members also bringing snacks and salads. They raffled a great saddle blanket to the group with funds to be used on expenses for the local chapter members going to the SWWP in August. Thanks for hosting us Stacey and DK!