The month of April has certainly seen a flurry of activities at Boggs. We kicked it off with a visit from the Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew (TCC) – Lani Bruntz and Jordan Carr. The young trailbuilders whose interests outside of mountain biking include downhill skiing, snowboarding and backpacking, are contracted with IMBA for two years to instruct trail building all over the U.S., driving from one location to another in their signature “logo-heavy” Subaru Outback (click on the photo).
They arrived on Thursday afternoon, April 9th, and proceeded to evaluate the re-route section on Jethro’s Trail that was planned for the Saturday on-the-ground trails instruction at Boggs. Both gave a nod to the preliminary alignment but offered suggestions to improve drainage and “trail flow”, an expression that encompasses heightening the feeling of traversing along natural undulations of the terrain (vs. a constructed straight line), safety, and trail sustainability – minimizing the maintenance needs of a trail.
On Friday, the IMBA crew came to Lakeport and presented “Better Living Through Trails“, which explores the positive relationships between communities and their trail systems, supported by recent case studies on the health, economic and social benefits of trails to communities. The rationale in holding the presentation at the County Board of Supervisors’ chambers was to facilitate participation by county and city staff, as well as citizens who may not wish to make the drive to the South County. Wilda Shock, a member of the Lake County Regional Economic Development group, commented that the destination marketing case studies were particularly insightful. For instance, Oakridge, Oregon, an area that experienced a severe downturn in timber sales, decided to focus on developing sustainable trail systems in national forest lands to build an outdoors recreation economy. The area is now transforming into a world-class trails destination for mountain bikers as well as other recreationists.
The following day, trails instruction commenced literally “at school”: Cobb Mountain Elementary School’s multipurpose room served as the venue for the indoor instruction segment of the TCC visit. IMBA has perfected their curriculum based on their Trail Building School, employing detailed illustrations from their Trail Solutions Guide to Building Sweet Singletrack. The lessons covered the phases of trail building, from site selection to flagging, permitting and construction with emphasis on the different building methods, particularly as they related to the afternoon session. We broke for lunch around noon, and then headed to Boggs for field training.
Lani and Jordan started the afternoon session with a safety briefing on handling and carrying trail tools such as Pulaskis, McLeods, and Rogue hoes. We then broke up into three groups to handle different segments of the re-route. (A special shout out to Adian Minty and Roy Stahl for helping remove widow makers and downfall!)
The first (upper) segment covered the transition to the new alignment and the bermed climbing turn, the second segment covered the relatively level area along the hillslope, and the last segment focused on the terminus of Jethro’s as it intersects Road 300. [More photos of the trailwork day are available through this link.
Jethro’s Trail was selected because the former route led trail users down a wide but steep slope that continued to erode and get steeper every year. The re-route work appears successful so far; however, we will continue to monitor Jethro’s and make modifications to keep the trail as low maintenance as possible. These include elevating the bermed climbing turn to reduce the steepness, and extending the terminus further north toward a gentler slope that meets Road 300. Please feel free to contact us
if you’d like to join and volunteer to help!
The restored old terminus of Jethro’s Trail
The new terminus of Jethro’s Trail
Remarkably, the trailwork went relatively quickly with a crew of about twenty volunteers, and by 4pm, we were ready to hit the new Mutt & Jess Bakery/Deli/Brewery
at Cobb to check out their home brews (phenomenal, BTW!
). Their bright magenta beet humus was to-die-for, and could probably make a vegan out of the burliest hairiest carnivore trail builder among us!It was an awesome day, and we were especially happy to have a large contingent of Harbin trail crews join us for the entire session!
Sunday at last! The Lake County Trails Coalition and High School Mountain Bike Teams
(who alas, could not join us on Saturday due to an out-of-town race), led the Sunday social ride with over twenty cyclists and one contented hound. They all rode our Jethro’s re-route … and loved it 🙂 !
The Friends of Boggs Mountain would like to thank IMBA
for this grant, and of course Lani and Jordan – for their wonderful educational, fun and productive visit to Lake County and Boggs Mountain Demonstration State Forest!
In addition, we owe a debt of gratitude to the approximately twenty-five local and out-of-town volunteers and participants such as Carlos Perez of Bike Monkey
in Santa Rosa, and Chris Clutton from the Mendocino Coast Cyclists
in Ft. Bragg who gave their time to learn and apply sustainable trail building techniques here at Boggs.
Above is a snapshot of the crew from this year’s visit vs. the photo below – the last time Subaru/IMBA TCC were here in 2004 (thanks to Tom Smythe for locating photo archives in his amazing filing system!). Back then, the crew worked on the Shaker Trail re-route and armored the seasonal creek crossing at Gails Trail.