Sunday, June 3, 2012

Snow-Park Cleanup

Sure signs of spring: flowers are blooming, birds are singing, impossibly tiny jewel-like frogs are jumping,

and the snow is off the trails at Cabin Creek.  That means it's time for the annual snow-park cleanup and chicken barbecue!  A day of heavy rain, then light rain, then sunshine, then heavy rain again drew out only a small group, primarily old-timers, but we got everything picked up and bagged (grossest things this year: part of a horse skeleton and the most seriously disgusting broken-down old couch I have ever ever seen -- what kind of a person throws this kind of stuff in the forest?).  The Chainsaw Gang even had time to get a head start on trail work along the road.

Max fixing the thingamajig

El Presidente

Anna Louise, swamped

Trail decoration

Jeffy, ready for anything the schizophrenic day threw at us

Keith and the tool of destruction

Robin, contemplating the beauty of nature and the smell of chain saws

Me, happy to be on snow in June

I had a chance to walk down the road with Rune and ask him some training questions, which was fun -- thanks, Rune!  We talked about intervals (good), strength training (good), and recovery time, although, as Robin pointed out, recovery is not our problem.  We're good at that.

We all eagerly looked forward to lunchtime and the Gjolmeslis' legendary barbecued chicken, along with scrumptious salads and desserts from everyone else.  It was good to dry out and warm up and eat and talk; I  was happy to catch up with people and think about whom I might hike and run and bike and roll and paddle with this summer!

Kare, master chef

Ozzie, ready to help flip 100 pieces of chicken at one time ...

... supervised by Leo, Randi, and Bert

Nature's beer cooler

I also had time to chat with Ranger Tim; I wanted to find out the status of the Upper Yakima forest plan we had commented on last year.  Back then, we thought there would be a revised plan this spring and another public comment period this summer, but it looks like the schedule is lagging a little bit.  Tim assures us that we will know when the next comment period comes, so we can be sure to add our thoughts again.  One cool thing: I noticed a lot of fine, small wood chips on lots of the trails.  Last year's Upper Yak plan had called for woody debris six inches deep to cover the trails, which, of course, would wreak havoc with any plans to groom or ski on the trails.  We and other commenters pushed back hard on that idea, and it looks like the compromise is this fine small layer of wood chips, which works perfectly; it meets the goals of providing drainage and ground cover, but doesn't impact the ability to groom or ski.  Thanks, USFS!

And thanks, Tim, for bringing the big horse trailer to pick up all the trash.  After we couldn't talk him into one more piece of chicken or one more brownie, we headed back out to the road to pick up the garbage we had accumulated (except the horse skeleton; we're leaving that for nature to take care of).  Here is proof of one hard morning of work:

We did a good job out there, and had fun, and we missed all the rest of y'all.

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