3N93 Pre-run Redux
On Friday, October 10th, Nick and Barb (USMC0369) and myself (RAT) did a prerun inspection of 3N93 in preparation for the October 18th run, which is building up to be the biggest yet. We met up at the Ranger station, spoke with Greg Hoffman for a bit, during which Greg called in and confirmed that he will have a full size bulldozer at the West end of 3N93 for us Saturday. This is great news as this will make short work of the last two shelf areas needing extensive work. We will have to haul a bunch of old tires and possibly railroad ties to protect the tracks of the bulldozer as well as the rocks. It will be huge job but if we have a big turn out it should be doable.
We loaded up 8 different size gabion baskets and dropped them at locations along the trail that need to be worked up some more. There is more erosion in some of the areas we have already worked, but overall the trail and the repairs already done seem to be holding up well. I took notes along the way; the GPS quit on me at the trail head, so all I have is mileage, zeroed at the trailhead and 3N14.
The East water crossing, the barriers we put up at the illegal motorcycle trail are in tact and no tracks were found. The recent rains must have sent a flood down that valley; at the fence right before the water crossing there is all kinds of flotsam smashed up against the fence and you can see the flow patterns in the sand. I bet it was way cool to see that much water rushing through there
We spent some time at two locations in particular, looking at options for blocking access and filling in down hill sides of the shelf roads at the West end.
.8 miles- We briefly discussed blocking the little turn out at the top of the first rise coming up out of the East water crossing. That’s not a big issue right now but it on the list of things to do.
1.3 miles- At Mogul Hill, there a number of options, depending on which side of the hill we block access to. Either way though, there will be some difficult work. It also depends on what Greg Hoffman will allow us to do. We discussed building rail barriers like the ones used on 2N17X. This would require digging post holes into the rock; the rock is fairly soft so that may work. Another way is to drag very large boulders into the trail, and along with some of the trees felled in the area, build some barriers with those materials. Knowing how easily people move the rocks out of the way on John Bull, the boulder idea will need to be addressed as to where and how we get boulders large enough to not be moved easily. There are a few trees right at the top of the hill on the left side that will probably need to be cut. If it is possible, maybe we can have these trees cut at about 4-5 feet above the ground. They will make nice, natural barriers.
1.4 miles- Dropped off gabions. Small washout needs repair.
1.5 Miles- Dropped off gabions. Prior repair work here, but slight erosion needs to be addressed. Possible installation of a culvert and down pipe to divert water.
3.2 miles- may need another culvert here as well
5.1 Miles- Dropped off gabions for shelf road
5.2 Miles- More gabions for shelf road
5.5 Miles- Last drop of gabions for Western most shelf road
At the shelf roads at the West end, with a full sized bulldozer, cutting roads into the side of the mountain will be fairly easy, but it’s the down hill side, which is eroding at a fairly fast rate now that needs a lot of work. Again, we discussed options, but the only one that seems viable because of aesthetics and sustainability is gabion baskets. It will take a lot of them to shore up this area, which brings up the question of where we get enough rock to do that. It may be hard to do work on these two spots without dramatically changing them. If we use gabions, we could plant on top of them, which will help anchor them and blend them into the hill side.
We checked on the fence at the West end. It looks like someone has cut a small gate into the fence to slip motorcycles through, although there were no tracks anywhere. Since Doug is opening up that fence this coming weekend we should fix that when we are done
We returned to the East end to head off the trail. On our way out, we pulled down a burned snag that was leaning dangerously close to the trail on the uphill side. It was about 15-20 feet tall, and leaning into another tree that is not looking very sturdy either. The Santa Ana’s were starting to kick up so I threw a strap around the bottom and dragged it down. It’s safer than it was, but should be moved to the down hill side soon.
The East water crossing is still a smelly bog, but further in the water is flowing pretty much everywhere. Only found a little bit of trash this time. I did find an old metal can, possibly an old condensed milk can or something, probably from back in the mining days. Took a picture and left it where it was.
We got off the trail around 5PM, had dinner and headed for the showers.