West Coast Four Wheel Drive Club's

Gold Mountain Trail Maintanence - July 2003

 

 Trail Head Meeting - 'Wear sun screen, drink lots of water, watch out for snakes . . .'
In Attendance:      
Rob & Linda Adams Bob & Christopher Bills with friend Marilyn John & Peggy Brezicki Jamie Flores
Wayne Flower with Gordon Andrews Steve Gardiner Rusty Horton Fred Hurst with Kathy
Vince & Vince Jones Peter Koch Steve, Barbara, Gina and Jill Locantore Danny Martinez & and
Ray & Marilyn Pfiefer Kenn, Julie and Kid Ramos Don & Deanna Stephens Chris & Arlene Storm
Jon Turner Mike & Doug Verner ??? & Justin ??? Mark & Connor Versteeg
Ken & Diane Mack from Sun City Gus & Frederico Forest Ranger Greg Hoffman Forest Service Volunteer Tim
Forest Service Volunteer Jim Don 'Critter' Davidson Nolan Martinez with Omar  
       
Thanks to all that made it out to the Annual Gold Mountain Trail Cleanup, with special thanks to our National Forest Service Ranger Greg Hoffman and our Team Leaders Rob "I can Build a Fence" Adams, Mike "I Can Move Rocks" Verner, Jon "I Can Move Bigger Rocks" Turner and Steve "I Can do Everything That Those Guys Don't Do" Locantore. Another thanks to John "Someone Has to Do It" Hively, who preran the Trail with Greg Hoffman a few months earlier so that we would have some kind of idea what we needed to do.
 

Thanks to the notes and organization that John Hively had given us, we split into 4 work groups. One group would immediately go to the rock quarry to make the More Difficult section of the trail, more difficult. The second group would move forward adding fencing to protect habitat for sensitive plants and ecosystems found on our trail. The third group would cover the entire trail, trimming trees and bushes, disguising illegal access routes and picking up trash. The fourth group would work on several areas that have been eroding from rain and weather.

Everybody divided up into the groups and one by one the groups moved out in an orderly fashion with Don 'Critter' Davidson going first to take the fencing materials up the trail and drop them off, then he would return with the trailer. The trailer was our only way to move rock, for erosion control, from the bottom of the hill to where we needed it.

  Bunch of Rock

Seems that our trailer was 'temporarily' MIA, giving us a slow start at the bottom. It also seems that our Fence Crew couldn't find their fencing material or the place to put the fence. Slowly but surely things started to come together and the projects started to get going.

We started with a bunch of rock. Although we were threatened with 20 cubic yards, we estimated this to be closer to 12 yards. Still a couple of pounds of rock. Some of these rocks

 

 

 Kubota with Greg Hoffman on Board

 Critter Towing the NFS Trailer

were a couple of feet long by a couple of feet wide by a foot or so high. Most were a more manageable size than that, rocks for all occasions. We used about 75% of our rock and left the rest for a future project. We also built berms along the road to try to direct the water runoff away from the eroded section of the trail. Greg Hoffman used the Kubota to level the road a bit also, don't worry this was not a most difficult section anyway! By the end of the day, I think Greg was really getting the hang of the Kubota Tractor, that thing is a real good trail tool; small enough to move around on a narrow dirt road. Maybe we need to get it up to the Rock Quarry.

The second section of erosion proved to be more challenging. We were forced to build selves in the dirt to hold some of the bigger rocks, then build up the rocks from there. Some of these holes are very big. The rocks, with the addition of the berms, should hold up against Mother Nature for several years. We will have to continuously monitor these areas.

 

 Erosion - Before

 Same Area - After
       
  Erosion - Before  Same Area - After

Our fencing crew was: a) looking for the location to put in the two sections of fence and b) looking for the fencing material that was being delivered to the location that needed the fence. It seems that our delivery person (who shall remain nameless - 'Critter'), was MIA with the trailer full of posts, wire and tools. At the bottom of the hill we were waiting for the trailer to get back. Eventually Critter unloaded the material and started heading back to the trailhead. He ran into the fencing crew then found out he unloaded the material at the wrong spot. He turned around retrieved the material and moved it to the 'correct' spot.

The Fencing Crew now had a full load of material to work with. They erected about 150-200 feet of fence. This fence will protect the Pebble Plains from vehicle intrusions. The Pebble Plains on Gold Mountain are unique and found no place else on earth and are home to several Threatened and Endangered Species. A few signs were also added, we hope to add some interpretive signs to inform the trail users why these areas are protected and off limits instead of just the implied - 'Stay Out'.

 
 Pebble Plain to the Left New Fence to the Right  Signs as Necessary
I will let the work at the Rock Quarry speak for itself:
     

A Few Members of a Local Club Trying out the Improvements. Hard to Believe That This Used to be a Graded Road
I currently have no pictures of the work done by the cleanup crew in charge of everything else but as I made my way up the trail I saw many boulders that had been moved, many branches that had been trimmed, many areas that had been blocked with natural material and NO litter. No picture but we know they were there.

After all of the work, most slowly worked their way back to camp. Wayne had volunteered to do the toughest thing of all, actually two tasks: a) figure out how many pizzas to feed everybody and b) how to pay for them with no money. Seems Wayne is up to his 2s tables in division 40 people divided by 2 = 20 pizzas!! That's 1/2 pizza per person. That should be enough. I think Wayne has Rob (or Rob's credit card) to thank for paying for the pizzas.

The club needs to figure how to do math for the drinks. I think it went something like: 40 club members x 6 drinks each = 240 drinks. I think we had 120 drinks left over.

With fire restrictions high in Big Bear, we decided to play it safe and NOT have a campfire. We did have an artificial campfire for effect though. We didn't really need the warmth but it is always better to huddle around something, to make the useless conversations seem worth while. Can anybody remember any topics of conversation?

 
      The "Camp Fire"

We ended up with around 40 people on the trail for Saturday. Not bad concidering that we had several members attending important meetings. Chris and Arlene Storm were in attendance at the CA4WDC South District Meeting and John Hively was in attendance at a meeting pertaining to the WEMO routes that all had to be checked out. They say that they would have rather been moving rocks with us (and I believe them) but all of theses tasks are important.

A smaller crew went back to the trail on Sunday. More fencing was done and a few more signs were added. We blocked more potential access routes to protect the Pebble Plains. I believe that they even brought down a few trees that were on the uphill side of the trail. Another good weekend of volunteer work for he National Forest Service. Looking forward to a few more tune up trips this fall.

A suggestion for next year is to pre mark the trail with Numbered Flags and have corresponding numbers on our work assignment sheets. This would eliminate the problem of the Crews not knowing exactly where there work projects are supposed to be.

Hard to believe that we are still refining the project but the work has changed over the years and we are adjusting to the changes.

Steve Gardiner