Thursday, December 28, 2006

Grand Ridge - where is the trail?

Below are two pictures I took of a tree blocking the trail at Grand Ridge. This was on the climb from the RR to the road. Everything you see was cleared except the tree itself. By clearing the branches off the tree, and clearing the trail, it is just a short hop to get off the bike and climb under the tree.

I cleared all of the branches in the way on the climb, but there are still around 5 trees scattered along the climb which could use a cutting. I think most can be done with a bow saw, but would take a lot of work and possibly require taking wedges out rather than a linear cut. I consider this a low priority, because other trails are screaming for tender loving care. Dave tells me that King County will be coming out in a week or so with a chainsaw, so we can in good conscience leave the bigger trees for them, and be happy that we did a lot of the busy work for them by clearing the branches.

If one wanted to work on this trail, I would recommend focussing on the derailleur grabbers (sticks under 2 feet long) and the excessive amount of mud puddles. I understand the WTA will be spending a month of trailwork in March here, so I would recommend to let them handle the mud puddles, and we should get the derailleur grabbers taken out, as a hiker group is not as concerned about derailleurs as we are.

Once done with the climb, the upper section of the trail past Grand Ridge Road needs A LOT OF RAKING to get rid of the derailleur grabbers. Dave and I cleared around two miles of trail past the road. We got the worst of the derailleur grabbers, but it is so bad out there you could rake the entire trail as if from the beginning. I would be delighted if someone would start raking right from the entrance at Grand Ridge Road.

For reference: my bike is on the trail...

I lost my cellphone, presumably on the trail. If by extremely slim chance anybody finds it, let me know. I went back and rode the trail looking for my cell phone, but was unable to find it. I think it is gone for good.

It turned out that just past the bridge where we stopped is a tree with lots of branches obscuring the trail. Having ridden the trail, my recommendation for others is to take a rake to the early section, or a saw past the bridge. Even though we did a great job at raking and getting the worst of the derailleur grabbers, it really needs to get the organic layer off for purposes of puddling - it seemed more evident riding it than walking it out.

This part is worrisome. Dave laid branches to warn of a hole in the trail around a corner, and an hour later somebody removed it! After the trailwork, I went home and returned to the trail in under an hour, and thats all it took for somebody to remove it. So, even though I knew of the hole, I was cruising at warp speed cause that is during a fast section of trail, and almost ran into it. I would emphasize that the hole is a hazard, not a technical feature, due to it being a deep soft hole where the front wheel will sink into and not return. I found a rotten leaner and pushed it over, and that gave me a couple of 5 inch logs to place in the trail to replace the branches. Hopefully the logs will be painfully obvious that they are there to warn people and should not be removed. It should be a priority to come back with a shovel and bucket and fill in that hole. It really is a short matter of time before the logs are removed again and someone goes flying into it.

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