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Trail maintenance

North 34 degrees 14.34.4 by West 117 degrees 46.5 at 1151 feet

Rain! Awesome! Today is just the kind of weather that I enjoy best, low clouds, cold rain, it's a perfect day for parking on a mountain with a tent holding the rain and fog mostly at bay, propped up on a damp sleeping bag and backpack reading Edward Abbey while the rain pounds against the tarp.

Second best thing: Working on hiking trails!

Volunteers gathered at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains above Azusa, California, collecting at the USFS Information Gateway across from mile post 17 along Highway 39. At 8:00 a.m. prompt we climbed aboard the various vehicles and headed North toward the Rincon Fire Station, collected tools and equipment, climbed back in to our vehicles amd headed off to the East Fork Road and the Heaton Flats Trailhead.

Volunteer trail work begins with a safety review, stepping through the hazards that could be expected when working with tools, plants, wildlife, and hikers in the San Gabriel Mountains, then tools are selected and work begins.

Trail maintenance

Picking up the the radio, I called all nine of us trail volunteers in to service with our radio Overlords, Angeles Dispatch located on the desert floor far to the North of the San Gabriel Mountain range, our Angeles Dispatch which watches over everything happening in the Angeles National Forest and keeps us safe from sin.

The water drainage that the San Gabriel Mountains Trailbuilders had developed on previous volunteer days, all of which appeared to have worked perfectly during the course of the heavy rains earlier in the year. Looks good!

The work crews spread out a bit, hiking past the previous work that had been accomplished and taking up the effort along parts of the trail still needing maintenance. Most of the work that was done today was removing rock slides from the sides of hills that encroached upon the trail, trimming back brush and uprooting plants growing in the trail.

About a half mile of trail got worked on today, widening the trail, filling in gullies caused by rain water, establishing drainage, removing rock and mud slides, and building stair steps along one switchback.

And what fun it was, too! After we broke for lunch and resumed working on the trail, we started getting some rain which helped cool things of but was not enough to turn things muddy and slippery enough to be dangerous using trail-working tools.

Next time we turn out hopefully the entire trail from the trailhead all the way to the first saddle (given in the GPS coordinates at the top of this page) will have been worked on, setting the stage for the second half of the effort to widen and maintain the Heaton Flats trail.

* The Trailbuilders most rugged, handsom volunteer
* GoogleEarth look at the work area today
* The first waterfall and plunge pool. This is good enough for me to drink
* Before: A section of trail before the rock slide gets removed
* Before: Trail work done in the back ground, foreground still needs work
* After: The same section after work is completed
* Before: Another section before work begins
* I tie a saw to my U. S. Army rusksack
* After: The section of trail after work is completed
* A section of trail after work has completed -- and my old dead cow skin hat
* A look toward Mount San Antonio from the first saddle
* A look toward the San Gabriel River from the first saddle
* Some sections of trail have hard rock that needs to be chipped out
* Stair steps added to switchback
* Stair steps added to switchback

Site map is at: Crystal Lake site map
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This web site is not operated or maintained by the US Forest Service, and the USFS does not have any responsibility for the contents of any page provided on the http://CrystalLake.Name/ web site. Also this web site is not connected in any way with any of the volunteer organizations that are mentioned in various web pages, including the San Gabriel Mountains Trailbuilders (SGMTBs) or the Angeles Volunteers Association (AVA.) This web site is privately owned and operated. Please note that information on this web page may be inaccurate.

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