The start

There was a good turn out of volunteers today to work for the completion of the lower bridge on the nature trail at the Rincon Environmental Education Center. The plan was to haul more rocks to fill in the Northern side of the West approach, finish cutting and installing the hand rails, have lunch and then finally seal all of the wood once again after the bridge was finished being built.

The Fisheries Volunteers organization provided lunch for all of the Trailbuilders volunteers and the many other volunteer groups that were there working on turning the older sheds at the Education Center in to Old Tyme mining camp buildings. (I have photographs of that offered below.)

Lunch was great! We rarely get to have a hot lunch for these volunteer efforts and it was a very welcome change. Karen (USFS) brought up a large cake (photograph below) however I think that the Trailbuilders had stuffed ourselves with so much lunch that we didn't have much room for anything else.

Note to self: We ran out of cold water and cold drinks so it might be good to maybe even double up what we carry up on the next hot work day.

The start

We pretty much split in to three teams, one team locating and hauling large rocks and dumping them in the general area of the bridge footing, another team to fit those rocks in to the footing and to locate smaller rocks and gravel to fill in the gaps, and the other team cutting, drilling, and fitting in the remaining wood for the railing.

Power tools were used to cut, drill, and screw the wood in to the frame, and then later for sanding some of the rough areas of the wood and for sanding out the wood putty used to fill in the counter-sunk screws.

For that to work we hauled in a gasoline-powered electric power generator which sat mostly quietly on the bridge and behaved itself. Because we run power tools, we had also carted up the fire extinguisher and two large buckers of water just in case. Safety is always the number 1 priority for these efforts and we always plan ahead -- and keep a Forest Service radio powered up at all times to keep informed about what's going on around the forst.

Freddie (USFS) came by to assist where things needed to be done, and Karen (USFS) ran her two children across the bridge -- which is the first time any "civilians" have ever used the completed bridge. And the volunteer woman -- I didn't catch her name -- who takes school kids through the nature trail during the year was also there to get a look at the general condition of the trail and the new bridge.

The bridge looks great! There are a couple of remaining things to be done once some additional wood is brought in to complete the last section of railing. But the bridge can be used.

And what fun it was, too! The day was hot and the bridge is in exposed sunlight but there was enough cold drinks and tank water at the Center to cool off in. It's always good exercise to haul rocks.

* Here's a look at the West approach to the bridge which needs the most work
* A dumplicate of the previous photograph for some reason
* Bernie (Trailbuilder volunteer) stacks wood at the start of the project
* We haul the equipment we will be duing down to the bridge
* Here is a look at the bridge at the start of the project
* Note the rocks moved to the footing so far. Much more will be added soon
* This is the other end of the approach which also needs railing work
* A look at the bridge from the far end before work begins
* Ben (Trailbuilder voluteer) holds board in place while Bron measures
* Two younger volunteers (Angeles Volunteer Association) haul sand in buckets
* Wood gets cut, drilled, counter suck, screwed, then painted with sealant
* Pretty much a duplicate of the previous photograph
* Bernie uses a wood chisel to carve out the inset on the railing posts
* Gravel and sand gets hauled in using buckets
* The West approach has the rock footing built up even more
* Lots of activity taking place at the Environmental Education Center
* A view of the Center's main building from a distance
* Amusing solution to fixing one railing post firmly to the dogbones
* The railing on the East approach is nearly completed
* Bron is just seconds away from breaking the drill bit. LOL!
* Railing board at feet level gets inset into the railing post
* The rock footing is done to cover the dogbone and make the bridge look nice
* The railing is nearly perrectly level -- we use a bubble level to make sure
* Measure, mark, measure again, measure one more time, and then we cut
* Ben carves out the post inset while I provide some needed shade
* We break for lunch. This is what the effort looks like so far
* Lunch is rotting and burned dead animal, beans, chips, cookies, pie, cake!
* A look inside the Environmental Education Center
* The storage sheds are being turned in to a mining town
* Lois (USFS) hauls in rocks from the San Gabriel River for the mining town
* A wider view of the new mining town being built at the Environmental Center
* Sarah (USFS) works on filling in the counter-sunk screws and sanding it off
* Much filling and sanding is done by the AVA volunteers as well
* A wider look at where we are as it starts to get late in the day
* Cake! It offers a "thank you" to the volunteers
* After lunch is finally over we start getting in to the final effort
* Sealant is painted along all of the exposed wood
* We start hauling away the tools and equipment while painting continues
* We are finished for the day -- here's what the bridge looks like now
* A last look at the Environmental Education Center as people start leaving
* The entry in to the Rincon Fire Station. Authorized personnel only
* John Seals (USFS) died August of 2008. The forest has lost a good friend

Site map is at: Crystal Lake site map

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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