Dam #5 is located just a short distance from the historical Weber house where we reside. The Dam includes the dam structure, a lockhouse, and many masonry walls. Ailanthus trees (Tree of Heaven) and English Ivy seemed to have taken over the area, but we will fix that!
We will be working on this project on and off for the next few weeks.
To start our second hitch, we spent the first 3 days finishing up the 70 foot turnpike on Buck Creek trail that we began building on the previous hitch. Now it's complete and looking fantastic. Check out the photos below to see the finished product. The amount of rocks, crushed rocks, and dirt involved in this project was massive and necessitated a significant restoration effort when everything was completed. In addition, we added a layer of permeable felt between rock layers to allow water to drain while keeping the top layer of dirt in place. The turnpike will serve the trail well for decades to come and it's definitely a point of pride on our crew!
After finishing the turnpike, we soldiered on to the trail ahead, finding many areas that could use improvement. Principal among these needs was repairing the trail tread, and this was what we spent most of our time doing. In addition, we spent a good chuck of time brushing out the corridor and did a few hours worth of crosscut saw work. On our last day, a pair of hikers passed by and couldn't believe the difference from the overgrown and unmaintained upper section of the trail to the prim and open lower section that we were working on; "You're making this too easy for us!" they joked. We're just trying to make it pleasant and sustainable. Mission Accomplished.
May 22-June 3
Member orientation in Carnation Washington.
Amidst near constant rain and even a minor earthquake, members spent this period learning the ins and outs of the Student Conservation Association and gaining the necessary trail skills to begin the season strong.
13 crews came together at this location, developing a strong sense of environmental community before departing to their respective project sites, ranging the West Coast from Santa Fe National Forest, New Mexico to Olympic National Forest, Washington.
The Wallowa Whitman crew, after a brief stay over in the majestic Columbia River Gorge near Rufus, Oregon, arrived in Wallowa Lake on June 4 to gather sorts and make preparations before heading out for the first service project.
|Corridor Clearing||½ Mile|
|Tread Repair||600 Feet|
|Rock Water Bars||1|
|Rock Retaining Wall||½ Completed|
We began our work week enjoying the Memorial Day holiday. Once we began our work, however, we moved straight to the River Loop trail of Hidden Valley (arguably our most labor intensive trail of the hitch). Our restoration assignments included tread restoration, brushing the trail’s corridor and re-vegetation of the affected trail. As we acclimated to the heat and the new rigors of our work, we were fortunate enough to enlist the help of the Cold Springs Correctional Facility’s work crew. They helped us brush out the vegetation, lay new tread and were all-around good guys.
Our efforts on this particular trail continued for three days. Over which time, we moved from restoration zone to restoration zone and finished the trail off with a final brushing of the whole tread, from start to finish, giving the trail a pleasant, even surface. Upon completion of the River Loop trail we moved our sights to the Hidden Halley West Trail which required, mainly, brushing of the overgrown vegetation. To complete this brushing, we were given two gasoline powered brushers which certainly made our job much simpler. Within one morning, we were able to brush ¾ of a mile and began laying a new tread along the river.
Following our temporary completion of the Hidden Valley West Trail, we moved on to the Bogan Run Trail. We hiked up the mountain on the Eastern side and began to brush the overhanging branches. W e then progressed to our assessment of the first type III switch back. A Type III switch back requires a rock retaining wall and we began quarrying (gathering) for suitable rocks to comply. After a full day looking for rocks and cutting into the hill for the wall’s placement, we hiked back down the mountain and prepared for the rest of the work.
Our second, third and fourth days on Bogan Run revolved around the placement of a rock water bar, brushing the mountain laurels (which had given us quite a beating) and working on the rock retaining wall. The wall proved most difficult due to our lack of available, hefty rocks. Further quarrying was required and we are ready to continue and finish the wall at the beginning of our next hitch.