Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Kirk and Cheryl St. Peter met Dave Rand, Elaine and Eric Hendrickson, Don Hudson and Bill Duffy (with his trail dog Trip) at Bowlin Camps in the late afternoon, had a wonderful dinner in Bowlin’s dining room and even had blueberry cake with candles in honor of Kirk’s 61st birthday! We had No Aces cabin for the guys (which is very comfortable and now has a refrigerator), Kirk and Cheryl had their old “Coachmen” camper, and Elaine and Eric had their “Adventure Van” for the night.
Thursday, June 14, 2018
It rained during the night and was raining when we started out after one of Kirk’s “artery clogging” breakfasts (as Bill likes to say) and after a tailgate safety meeting. Everyone had also completed all other required National Park Service (NPS) paperwork and packed a bag lunch before heading out. Thanks to Elaine for the great homemade cookies to pack!
Susan and Mark Adams had come for breakfast and with their bikes headed south with Eric (who had a chainsaw in his bike “bob”), Elaine, and Don, who had some posts and tools in his bob to replace some knocked over signs heading to Lunksoos lean-to. Due to the continuous rain, ceaseless bugs, and tough conditions (lots of brush in places on the trail and many blowdowns), they did not make it to the lean-to that day, but left the “bobs” on the trail and planned to head back the next day to finish the tough work clearing the trail to Lunksoos lean-to. They had cut about 20 trees with Eric’s chainsaw and cleared another 30 or so with handsaws and loppers.
Kirk, Cheryl, Bill and Dave hiked north past Grand Pitch lean-to on foot with Kirk carrying his chainsaw and the others lopping. The northbound crew cleared about 5 blowdowns and some brush and found Grand Pitch lean-to in good condition, but missing a logbook, which should be replaced asap. They came back via the K Comp Road to loop back to the IAT again for a 9.2 mile day.
We again enjoyed a wonderful meal in Bowlin’s dining room, then Mark & Susan headed back home, while the rest of us spent a restful night in the cabin or our campers and it finally stopped raining! Thanks go to Mark & Susan for their tireless help on a very cold, wet and buggy day!
Friday, June 15, 2018
After breakfast, making bag lunches again and another tailgate safety meeting, Kirk, Cheryl, Dave and Bill left Bowlin and headed south to Sandbank Stream Campsite in KWWNM to work on the southern section of trail. Don, Eric and Elaine biked south from Bowlin towards Lunksoos lean-to to try to finish clearing that section of trail.
We met Richard Heath at Sandbank and took Kirk’s truck to the Wassataquoik ford. While Kirk, Bill and Richard crossed the ford and cleared the trail (cutting about 6 downed trees) to the intersection with the Ed Werler Trail (leaving Kirk’s chainsaw there), Cheryl and Dave checked the Wassataquoik lean-to and mineralized the area around the fire pit. The logbook was also missing from this lean-to! Cheryl and Dave then drove the loop road to the Barnard Mountain trailhead parking and worked at the Katahdin Brook lean-to (mineralized around the fire pit, lopped brush around the site and up the trail to the privy and photographed log book entries). There were carpenter ants in the roof support logs at the junction with the north wall of the lean-to, which we should deal with during the fall work session.
Eric and Elaine arrived at Sandbank 8:45 pm and had a very late supper of Kirk’s burgers, potato salad, baked beans, and cold green bean salad; we had strawberry shortcake for dessert. Don headed home from Bowlin Camps after working all day because his anniversary was the next day! Eric, Elaine and Don had made it to Lunksoos lean-to and had cleared significant brush and some blowdowns in certain sections, plus put up a few more signposts during a very long trail work day. This section could use more brushing for sure during our next work session from Bowlin (next spring?).
Saturday, June 16, 2018
After breakfast, making bag lunches and a tailgate safety meeting, Kirk, Bill, Richard, Dave and Earl took Bill’s truck to the Wassataquoik trailhead parking and crossed the ford. Richard used Dave’s big chainsaw to clear a large blowdown just past the beaver dam (aka “Kirk’s Cutoff”) while Dave scythed the grown in areas between the ford and the beaver dam. Kirk and Bill quickly hiked to where they had left the chainsaw at the Ed Werler trail and cleared blowdowns (approximately 10 total) all the way to the Lunksoos lean-to. Bill also cleared the trail of brush in a few places that were severely grown in. After the lean-to, they continued on the IAT, then made a loop by taking what we’ve termed “Dave’s cutoff” down to cross the Wassataquoik where the Orin Falls trail intersects the IAT and continuing back to the trailhead parking (12.3 miles by Bill’s gps track, 11.6 by ours). They made it back to Sandbank at about 6 pm, very tired but also satisfied with the work they completed!
Eric, Elaine and Cheryl also went to the ford, brought a notebook to leave at the Wassataquoik lean-to, then crossed the Wassataquoik and lopped until they met Earl and the others. Eric and Elaine headed back with Richard (who all had to leave that day) while Cheryl, Dave and Earl continued up to Earl’s erratic, lopping and adding a few tags. Since both Earl and Dave were also leaving that day, all three turned around there and headed back to Sandbank.
Kirk, Cheryl, and Bill had lasagna, garlic bread and salad, with brownies for dessert (while Trip only had dry dog food!), then spent a quiet night at Sandbank and headed home early the next morning. Thanks to everyone for their very hard work during this early summer trail work session in KWW!
The IAT from Wassataquoik ford all the way north of Grand Pitch is now cleared of blowdowns and some areas have been well cleared of brush. However, the trail north of the Fire Warden’s cabin to Lunksoos lean-to requires some significant additional brush clearing, which we will tackle during a fall work session (tentatively planned for October 5 – 7, 2018). Additional IAT tags are also need on the a few sections of trail, particularly between Earl’s Erratic and Ed Werler Trail junction.The logbook needs to be replaced in Grand Pitch lean-to. Carpenter ants in the Katahdin Brook lean-to should be dealt with during the fall work session. There is (still) a rusted and broken eye bolt on the NW corner of the Deasey Fire Cab that needs to be replaced. A small shovel that Bill purchased was left at Lunksoos lean-to for ease of mineralizing around the fire pit. Bill is compiling a list of IAT Mileage signs and directional posts and will submit a list of signs that need to be replaced due to damage and a list of proposed new signs to make trail navigation easier. Work in the northern trail sections that require it (Mars Hill and the border trail) will be scheduled soon for the County contingency.