Spring 2018 Trail Work Trip Report

(L-R): Dave, Trip, Kirk, Eric, Elaine, Bill and Don the first night at Bowlin Camps, enjoying a campfire before the rain started.
 
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.
 
Don and Eric with their bikes and “bobs” on the trail in the rain!
 
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!
 
Eric & Elaine starting from Bowlin on the 2nd day, happy to have no rain.
 
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?).
 
Before and after!
 
The rewarding view of Katahdin’s Great Basin after finally making it to Lunksoos lean-to and the second hard day of trail work! (Taken by Elaine)
 
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!
 
(L to R) Dave, Kirk, Bill, Trip (hiding in back), and Richard – the crew at the Wassataquoik ford just arriving for a day’s work from Sandbank Stream Campsite.
 
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!
 
(L to R) Dave, Cheryl and Earl at Earl’s Erratic on the last day of trail work.
 
Notes:
 
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.

Fall 2017 Trail Work Trip Report

September 14, 2017
 
Kirk and Cheryl St. Peter met Bill Duffy and Josh Bowe at Sandbank Stream Campsite in Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument (KWW), reviewed and initialed the appropriate Job Hazard Analysis forms (JHAs) as part of a tailgate safety meeting, and completed other required National Park Service (NPS) paperwork, then headed out to the Wassataquoik ford. While Kirk, Bill & Josh crossed the ford and investigated a possible alternate route to get to Lunksoos Lean-to, Cheryl mineralized the area around the Wassataquoik Lean-to fire pit and photographed the log book entries. She 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).
 
Maine IAT Board Member, Josh Bowe on Lunksoos Summit for the first time!
 
No one’s favorite task – mineralizing around the fire ring!
(L-R) Kirk St. Peter, Josh Bowe, Cliff Young, Bill Duffy, and Don Hudson at the junction of the old Keep Trail and the IAT
 
After returning to Sandbank, it was determined that the alternate route explored today was not feasible and that we would all cross the ford tomorrow and clear the trail at least up to the old Fire Warden’s Cabin, leaving a chainsaw at the cabin for work on Saturday. Don Hudson and Cliff Young arrived to help with the work tomorrow.
 
September 15, 2017
 
After reviewing the appropriate JHAs during a tailgate safety meeting and signing/initialing NPS forms, all six workers (Kirk, Cheryl, Bill, Don, Josh, and Cliff) drove to the Wassataquoik trailhead parking, crossed the ford and cleared trail north to the Fire Warden’s Cabin, with Kirk and Josh leapfrogging each other and using chainsaws to clear the multiple blowdowns. Everyone else used loppers and/or handsaws to clear brush; a few tags were added. We stopped at the cabin for lunch and left the smaller chainsaw there for work tomorrow. A few older trees that could be stepped over were left due to the time.
 
After returning to Sandbank, we determined that Bill and Cliff would investigate an alternate route to Lunksoos Lean-to tomorrow by crossing the Wassataquoik where the IAT diverges from the trail to Orin Falls and then heading straight up past the east side of a pond to old logging roads, flagging the route if it appeared useable. Kirk and Josh would go the other way, following the IAT, while clearing blowdowns from the Fire Warden’s Cabin north. Cheryl and Richard Heath, who arrived that evening, would wait for Tom and Naomi Lynch (arriving in the morning) and do some additional work on the trail with loppers at least to the Fire Warden’s Cabin.
 
September 16, 2017
 
Kirk and Josh followed the IAT to the Fire Warden’s Cabin, where they picked up the chainsaw and cleared approximately a dozen blowdowns from there all the way north to Lunksoos Lean-to. Between the summit of Lunksoos and the lean-to, they met Bill and Cliff going the other way (they had stopped at the lean-to and mineralized around the fire pit). Kirk and Josh continued, following the alternate loop route that Bill and Cliff had flagged with orange flagging back to the Wassataquoik (potential trail name “Dave’s Cutoff” recommended by Earl Raymond due to his and Dave’s exploration of this route and all of Dave’s hard work on the trails). Bill and Cliff continued south on the IAT back to the trailhead. Cheryl, Richard, Tom and Naomi moved some posts with tags at the beaver dam crossing, then brushed the trail towards the Fire Warden’s Cabin. Since Naomi did not feel well, she and Tom turned back at the lookout and Cheryl and Richard continued to the cabin. Cheryl waited for Richard there as he continued to Deasey’s summit with loppers.
 
Cliff clears while Kirk and Josh cut and Bill “supervises”.
 
Notes:
 
The IAT from Wass. ford to Deasey’s Summit is in excellent condition, with a developing treadway and it is mostly clear of brush, with sufficient tags for a novice to follow. There are a few old blowdowns that can be stepped over. There are also two very active ground hornet’s nests: one along the Wass. north of the beaver dam crossing and one near the lookout.We left a post with tags at the first “beaver dam” post, which should be taken up to another turn where we determined that a post would be useful. There is a rusted and broken eye bolt on the NW corner of the Deasey Fire Cab that needs to be replaced. The IAT from Deasey’s Summit to Lunksoos Lean-to is free of blowdowns, but could definitely use significant additional brush clearing. A small shovel could be left at Lunksoos Lean-to for ease of mineralizing the fire pit. There is an approximately 11½ mile route that could be developed as a useable loop trail from the Wassataquoik trailhead following the IAT to Lunksoos Lean-to, continuing on an old logging road and an older trail (that would require additional investigation and clearing) to cross the Wassataquoik at the junction of the IAT and the Orin Falls trail, back to the trailhead.This route also allows for trail workers to continue working over Deasey and Lunksoos to the lean-to with an easier downhill route back.