Herman Creek Bridge Trail 12/25 (trailwork)

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Herman Creek Bridge Trail 12/25 (trailwork)

Post by mcds » December 26th, 2012, 12:10 am

Headed up this afternoon to Herman Creek for a trail work session near the Herman Creek Bridge. With xmas eve dinner still digesting, with the stockings unstuffed, with the wrapping papers neatly rerolled on the tubes for use yet again next year, bows and ribbons too, with the darlings asleep exhausted from all the excitement, laughter and a few tears and cuddled away in front of the fireplace under a couple blankets, and with peace in place at last, I did sneak out.

I84 was nearly empty mid-day. Sleet started just before Multnomah Falls, became snow by Eagle Creek, then back to rain at Herman Creek ... even at the trailhead, which is about 300' above mean sea level. NWS had it backwards, predicting accumulations of 1-3" at Eagle, 4-9" at Herman. Parked and engine off, I stepped out. On went a rain jacket. I photographed a lone blue shoe. If you found only one shoe under the tree this year, this one might be yours :)

Then it was off down the trail to see in person the deeds nature had done to the trail, as documented by turtle (thanks!)[1] [2]. The nice thing, or one of the nice things, about being alone in the wilderness, about the solitude out there, is the space to let your mind do its own thing - wander, reflect, observe, think. Ok, so the Gorge is not wilderness. Regardless, that meant today thinking about bestest gift ever. So in between clearing all the water bars, grooming a tread over the rootball havoc, and section a few logs, I thought about her.

On the way uptrail, I shoveled out a few water bars (I'd dig out all of them on the way back down), then passed my favorite tree of this trail, then came upon the fork, and then descended to the penultimate switchback. There, awaiting, was the mess. I had planned to walk right by the root ball. I didn't. Once done, I continued down towards the bridge and soon came upon a massive tangle of branches and several downed trees.

The first task always is to secure the scene. I began trimming away all the bits that might otherwise ensnare my legs or poke my eyes, making sure I could backup quickly with out tripping. As typical, this took much longer than the final big cuts, as can be seen with the progress photos, where the filenames are time stamps. For example mire-1315.jpg was taken at 1:15.

For brushing out I used a 18" Fiskar [3], and a 21" Corona [4]for sectioning the two 8" and one 10" trees. All three trees had a significant amount of top-bind. The 10 had a bit of side-bind as well, but nothing worth mentioning. I sectioned it and one of the 8's and dragged their bolts aside. The other 8 freed with a single buck. It was then easy enough to work that 8 downslope and out of the way.


2) Favorite tree, trail scene

3) Remarkably, over time a series of trees have fallen and wedged between the two large trunks shown on the right. This was the third.

4) Rootball. For a 'before' pic, see turtle's post.

5) Blowdowns. They spanned about 25 feet along the trail.
6) Front side brushed out, ready to section the first 8"
7) Sectioned, ready for more brushing
8) Second 8" cut, then wrestled off downslope
9) Backside brushed, ready to section the 10"
10, 11, 12, 13) Ça fait

14) One of the clogged waterbars
Last edited by mcds on January 16th, 2013, 12:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Herman Creek Bridge Trail 12/25 (trailwork)

Post by [email protected] » December 26th, 2012, 4:00 am

Massive amount of work - so grateful to folks like you.
Very nice way to give back and, I guess, work off some of the Christmas-time extra food.

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Re: Herman Creek Bridge Trail 12/25 (trailwork)

Post by retired jerry » December 26th, 2012, 6:35 am


I love those picture sequences

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Re: Herman Creek Bridge Trail 12/25 (trailwork)

Post by BrianEdwards » December 26th, 2012, 7:01 am

Nice work. That's a lot of sawing. The before and after pics are always fun to sift through. Keep up the good work
Clackamas River Waterfall Project - 95 Documented, 18 to go.

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Re: Herman Creek Bridge Trail 12/25 (trailwork)

Post by Peder » December 26th, 2012, 5:27 pm

Thank you very much for that trail maintenance. It's always fun to read your posts and see your pictures.
Some people are really fit at eighty; thankfully I still have many years to get into shape…

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Re: Herman Creek Bridge Trail 12/25 (trailwork)

Post by Splintercat » December 26th, 2012, 6:37 pm

Nice work! I'm really surprised you weren't in snow, too -- must be a Gorge inversion going on with the east winds... hard to predict. Thanks for your hard work up there!

Tom :)

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Re: Herman Creek Bridge Trail 12/25 (trailwork)

Post by Born2BBrad » December 27th, 2012, 4:22 pm

Ditto on everyone else's comments thanking you for the hard work that you do.

It is much appreciated.

Make now always the most precious time. Now will never come again.
- Jean Luc Picard

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