Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Trail Work Update - June and July

Louis Lake trail is a very good example of co-operative efforts.  A lot of different work parties have battled with the trail which was burnt all the way to the lake, had numerous trees down and badly damaged tread. MVBCH, WTA, NW Youth Corp (funded by BCHW) all worked on it and the final 30 logs before the lake were taken out by two FS Wilderness Rangers.  The trail is now open and to the lake.  Care needs to be taken as more tread repairs are needed.
06/07 Louis Lake trail tread

06/24 NW Youth Corp on Louis Lake Trail
06/24 Louis Lake Trail.  Pete Stoothoff cutting out larger log than NW Youth Corp can manage.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

2019 BCHW Hot Shot Crew Cookout

Our chapter sponsored a cookout dinner at the Robinson Creek Campground (just west of Mazama) on July 16th for Jason Ridlon and the BCHW 'Hot Shot' crew. We fed 40-45 people at the dinner! Jason had been able to secure a grant that helps to fund some of the crews' expenses and our 'welcome dinner' and MVBCH members' efforts were greatly appreciated!

The group also included Amber Goodman of the Forest Service as well as outfitter Aaron Burkhart and his packing crew who would pack food and horse feed pellets in for 3 separate work parties (Tatoosh Butte, the Pasayten airport, and a third work party about 6 miles north of the Pasayten airport). The plan was to clear segments of the Pacific Crest Trail that traverse the northern portion of our state.
A 4th crew was re-decking a bridge up Robinson Creek that burnt 2 years ago. They would travel into the wilderness every day hauling planks on their mules and then back to camp at night.
Chapter members who helped and/or brought food were President Cathy Upper, Jackie Iddings, Mark Brantner, Carol Hebert, Bill and Jan Ford, Mary McHugh, Betty Wagoner and her daughter (and MVBCH member) Jill Freeze. Our 'master steak BBQ-er' was member George Schoenfeld with the help of his wife Michelle Schmidtke!    

The "Kids Ride" at Beaver Creek

The MVBCH chapter sponsored a "Kids' Ride" (Yep—just for kids!) on June 28th at the Beaver Creek Campground. It wasn't a big crowd, but enough for plenty of fun! Member Betty Wagoner organized the event and member Michelle Schmidtke was the lead rider. Roger Hammer had his daughter Katie and two grandchildren, Heather MacArthur and 'Gramma Mary McHugh' brought Pearl up to ride. 

They went out for about one and a half hours and then retuned to Camp for hot dogs, chips, salad and drinks. They also had a fun time 'roasting' marshmallows on the grill and making S'mores. President Cathy Upper had brought one of our chapter's grills to cook the hot dogs (fire restrictions had not gone into effect yet).

Joining the group at the campground were Rachael Munis with her 2 young daughters and the daughters' Grandmother Dianna Painter, Ann Port, Mark Brantner, President Cathy and, of course, Betty. Everyone had a great time and were glad our chapter would promote a youth activity. And, there were even requests for another ride next year! Good job!  

2019 Rendezvous Hut Ride

Ever think it sure would be fun to just ride your horse up and stay in a Rendezvous Hut cabin? The best part is the 4-wheeled 'pack horse' that carries your food, horse feed, and camping gear up for you!

Well, these gals do an annual trip up to the Rendezvous — Jill Freeze, Sarah Sweetser, Bev Masteller come from Davenport and Marion Webster comes from Seattle to join locals Julie Johnson, Julie Hensley, our blind (oh, excuse me — our rider that just can't see!), Sue Robbins, Cathy Upper, Lori Ulner, Kay MacCready and Betty Wagoner (our truck driver). Yep, every year! 

It was a warm and sunny day...

It was a warm, sunny day in July so Cathy Upper, Ashley Ahearn, and DK Williams spent some time cleaning up the Crystal Lake Trail. Looks like they could have used a brush mower!😉

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Trail Work up Twisp River May 27 to June 13

Twisp River Trail is now completely logged out (about 15 miles) – until more burnt trees fall down.  This has taken MVBCH approximately 181 volunteer hours to date from early May, and given those involved a lot of exercise! 
In earlier posts we spoke of work at the east end of Twisp River Trail (TRT) and logging out South Creek/Louis Lake Trail and Twisp Pass Trail to the wilderness boundary.  Since then, trail work has concentrated on the west end of TRT, and North Creek Trail has been cut out to the wilderness boundary. The three trails cut out to the wilderness boundary were completed, as hoped, by the time the Washington Trails Association (WTA) team arrived at Poplar Flat on June 1 for a week; thus the WTA could concentrate on cutting out in the wilderness.
TRT E from whale culvert
TRT E from whale culvert. Source of fire, Crescent Mountain, in background.

Friday, September 27, 2019

2019 National Trails Day

National Trails Day was June 1st and we had a great (and lively!) group of MVBCH members joining in the fun! We traditionally work on the Twisp River Trail for Trails Day, but this year we changed our venue and decided to do as much as possible to repair damage to the Twisp River Horse Camp from the Crescent Mountain wildfire. We had a good turnout of certified sawyers and the camp was cleared of felled hazard trees and other downfall; the swampers had a real challenge keeping up with them! 
Tailgate briefing by Pete Stoothoff.

Joe and Carol Hebert brought the  chapter BBQ equipment and saw to it that everyone had a hearty lunch. It was nice to see Betty Wagoner on her feet after her accident at the Joe Watt Ride. And, two of our members were thrilled to see a Moose cow with a very young pair of twins near the road end! 

Rendezvous/Lewis Butte Ride 2019

The Rendezvous/Lewis Butte Ride was held on June 6th and was hosted by members Dave & Gina Johnston. The ride was about 3 1/2 hours; Ann Port and Betty Wagoner took the "refreshment taxi" up to the Butte and met the riders half way with cold drinks. The scenery was quite beautiful with the Cascade peaks beyond. A great time was had by all—there were 16 riders and many more non-riders joined in after the ride to enjoy the great food and merriment. 
Riders head out from the Johnston's
A special Thank You to Dave and Gina for hosting, and DK and Stacey Williams for lending support wherever needed. The BBQ meat provided by our hosts was especially delicious with ribs, pulled pork, shredded beef, and a super bean dish! Guests brought plenty of side dishes and desserts to finish the meal, and no one ended the day hungry!
Heading to the hills.
Where's the trail?

End of the trail and time for the BBQ!

No one goes home hungry😊


2019 Golden Doe Ride

Mark and Jackie on an old road riding up to view the Methow Valley

On May 8th the Golden Doe riders Mark Brantner, Jackie Iddings and Betty Wagoner were joined by new member Alyssa Jumars on her horse "Willa". 
Alyssa on "Willa" with the Ellsworth homestead in the background

Joe Watt Ride 2019

The Joe Watt Ride was May 18th this year and it was a beautiful area to ride in during early spring. The hospitality of BCHW members was great and we offer special thanks to Jason Ridlon for organizing it with the benefits going to the North Summit Horse Camp. Member Betty Wagoner was there to help, along with President Cathy Upper and several others, including Kay MacCready. Betty had a nasty fall when a dog spooked her horse while she was having a ride with Cathy before the Prize Ride, and she has been recovering nicely while still keeping up with our chapter activities. Her injuries were a broken pelvis and broken ribs, and while this has slowed her down a bit, she has made a point of being wherever she can to cheer us on during work parties! You go, Girl!! 
(L-R) Cathy Upper and Kay MacCready checking out the trail.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

More Updates on Trails

Don Hecker, a new member of our Chapter, cleared over six miles of the Twisp River Trail from the site of the fire front 0.6 mile west of Poplar Flat back E to War Creek Meadow. Don is a mountain biker and scouted the trail on his bike first before going back with a friend, Karl Kaiyala, also an MVBCH new member. They cut out 18 trees including a very large ponderosa east of Slate Creek and Darwood’s camp. There remains over a third of TRT to be cleared to the west end – all in burnt areas.
May 22: South Creek Trail—Big tree down just past bridge over Twisp River

May 22: South Creek Trail—Mary McHugh, Pete and Bill adjusting Mocha's load

May 22: South Creek Trail—Burnt out shell of huge tree. Chain saw has a 25 inch blade
East of Scaffold looking W

May 22: South Creek Trail—Pete has just cut the last log of the day
East of Scaffold looking W

The Latest Update on Trails

We'll have to get a lot of trail work done in a short time in order to make the best use of the extra crews available to us. As well as WTA, there will be trail crews from AmeriCorps and Ecology Youth Corps coming in this year to help work on the trails after the 2018 fires.  We need to clear trails to the wilderness boundary, so that the crews are not held up getting into the wilderness on trails near the horse camp. (If these trails are not cleared, visitors to TRHC will have nowhere to ride.)

TRT needs TLC

May 5: TRT East of Scaffold looking W

Trail work up Twisp River started hard on the heels of the Spring Ride. On May 1st, Bill and Jan Ford started to clear Twisp River Trail (TRT) from its east end at the Buttermilk Snow Park. It took them four outings (44 V-Hours) to cut out the trail to the War Creek Bridge and a further 4 hours for Bill on his own to reach the 4-mile mark at Twisp River road. They returned each evening looking as if they had been in a coal mine and their clothes were black!
The trail was badly burnt nearly all the way with only a few places where it had a mosaic burn. Tread was badly affected by falling rocks and by tunnels and holes where roots had burnt out underground.
May 5: TRT East of Scaffold looking E

Rendezvous/Lewis Butte Clean-up Work Party

May 18th was a bright and sunny day when Mike Murray, Ashley Ahearn, Denny Weston, Rick Jones and DK Williams worked to clean up what appears to be miles of scattered, broken and tangled fencing wires along the new Riser Lake/Lewis Butte trail. DK took all the wire to Cascade Concrete for disposal/recycling a few days later.