Program Dates: May 23, 2011 - August 17, 2011 Michael Swanberg - Project Leader 201 East Second Street P.O. Box 905 Joseph, OR 97846 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 208.608.6322
July 18 - July 26, 2011
Back again from successful hitch number FOUR, the Wallowa-Whitman Trail Crew will now take you on a journey through the Eagle Cap Wilderness’ high country!
We started our hitch by welcoming two new members to our crew: Vern and John. They bravely accepted last minute invitations with little idea of what was in store and caught on quick. It is great to be back at full strength.
For our first project, we headed up the East Fork Wallowa River Trail to clear logs up to Aneroid Lake. What an eventful two days: we ran into many hikers on this popular trail, experienced a hailstorm at the picaresque lake and sadly injured Charlotte, our beloved cross-cut saw. Luckily, our Forest Service partner John has experience fixing bent crosscuts and was able to hammer her back into functional condition. After working the rest of the hitch, I can safely say that she is operating quite fine.
Once we were done with the East Fork, we packed up our gear and headed to Lostine Canyon to work on a few trails that spur off of the main river road. First up was Maxwell Lake Trail, which is a nice steady switchbacking incline until the last quarter mile or so, when the switchbacks disappear and the trail shoots straight up. We cut out our largest tree yet on Maxwell Lake and it took us a good part of a day, a couple of levers and a good deal of head-scratching. When we reached the summit we were treated to a beautiful glacial lake with excellent views of the canyon and Twin Peaks.
Next we headed to Bowman Lake Trail. We didn’t end up finding much work to do on the 5 ½ miles of trail that we hiked, but we did get more excellent views and got to see a large section of trail that had turnpikes built in the 1970’s still working in peak condition.
Our last trail for the hitch was the West Fork of the Lostine River. We had been hearing reports of large deadfalls and even an avalanche, so with much anticipation we trekked into the popular trail to find plenty to keep us busy for our last two working days. We cleared tons of trees in the first section of deadfall, which was a relief after hiking the Bowman Trail for a day without finding much to do. On our last day we attached an avalanche that had blanketed the trail with trees. With the help of some forest service trail workers we knocked out the avalanche in one afternoon and called it a hitch.