Monday, November 16, 2015

Groomers Group Trail stuff update 11/16/2015

So far, things are looking pretty good.  After the big rounds of trail work days with John and Dave using Dave's tractor, I've tried to stay on top of keeping things clear after those other storms, especially that really windy one last week.  

I got Kevin Reid to come out and he was a huge help.  Dave and Kevin helped with clearing out those last sketchy trees still standing on Dave's and TJ's.  Kevin came back out the next weekend to help me clear out about 15 more trees that had come down after the first snowstorm.  The "new coat tree" collapsed, and that thing was messy.  One more big tree fell a ways above J, and it crossed the trail twice because it was such a big tree.

I broke a rib riding my mtn bike last week, so I was moving slowly by myself this week.  I went up on VetsDay to hang the fencing at the rock, so I saw that a few things came down in that big wind, but not as bad as I had expected -- the biggest thing was just past the gate actually.  I cleared out a few smaller things up to the "rock" area and only had time to hang the upper row of fencing. 

On Saturday, I went back up to hang the rest of the fencing and to see what else was left to cut out. I saw that the bypass from O-M had two clusters that came down, but with only one medium/big tree, while the rest were fairly minor.  The meadow also had several trees sticking into it because those trees above it are all burned and dead.  Point L had a cluster down too.  

Overall, it was manageable for one person and so I hope we'll have an easier time of it when we go out on the groomer -- always bring a saw just in case.

So, as of yesterday, it was all clear.  We'll see how it goes with this storm.

Kermit noticeably runs better after John's tune-up.  That is such a useful machine.

We still need to work on the Viking too (oil, plugs, engine coolant).  I did clean up the shed and the new drainage system is working well on Kermit's side, except for the back part.  I still need to seal some of it up.  It isn't sloped enough in the back, but it shouldn't make any bad ponds.  I think I'll just tack the tarp down on the floor so that it'll be easy to push the water into the drains.

If it snows enough, we should consider getting out with a roller to start packing things down.  There were still many long stretches that were completely snow-covered from the previous weeks' storms.  I think we'll be in business soon.

Also, we've ordered a whole new, completely modern grooming rig from Tidd-Tech.  They are having some supplier issues, so our delivery date is being pushed back quite a bit.  I hope we see it in December.  It'll take some effort to get some new things installed (hitch, wiring, etc.), but it should really improve things!

Fall tree clearing begins!  However, we'd been clearing trees throughout much of the summer this year...

Some of the less-traveled trails had a lot of scrubby trees down.  Several dozen, in fact.  More frequented trails get cleared periodically by SWNSC volunteers.

A common sight out in the burned areas of the trail system

The burned areas are now burgeoning with new undergrowth, including a very healthy raspberry crop!

Fall started a little late, but then really popped

We had to get some areas, like that very badly burned zone on Dave's Dogleg, cleared out for safety reasons

Down that hill near the big turn on Dave's

We probably cut out over a hundred hazard trees in some areas

It began to look like a logging operation

Lots of locust still popping up on the trails.  Thanks to all who helped cut it out

Kevin Reid was a huge help in keeping things clear later in the fall

How things looked in early November after the first flakes fell

Using our small "cat" groomer, "Kermit" to get around and help pull big logs out of the way.

The "new" coat tree fell victim too.  RIP new coat tree.  Time to find a new one!

This bigger tree was very tall and actually crossed the trail in two different locations

We had to make some modifications to our equipment barn to keep water from ponding and destroying the floor.  Note the sloped parking stall and the holes in the middle (the black spots) for drainage.  It already seems to be working.

Veteran's Day:  had to go hang some fencing, so Kermit got a short workout to go up and clear some trees that fell during the high wind event

Thankfully, our pre-emptive strike on the bad hazard trees limited the number of trees that came down to about 15, rather than 150, which we saw around Christmas last year!

The fencing has been installed at "The Rock"  (this area faces south)

The area around Point J was getting to be very dangerous.  We had to mitigate the situation, so these big trees had to come down.  

This area really looks like a logging operation!

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