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Unread 06-03-2013, 08:30 AM   #16
NW99XJ
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UPDATE June 2013 (cont....)

UPDATE (cont....)

Although there were times we were standing around, the mini did the lions share of the work that day:


THIS ended up being a familiar site throughout the day:


Although we did our best to design the trail to take advantage of the natural slopes and camber of the terrain,
and to avoid as many of the stumps that were there,
some HAD to be removed, this was NO EASY TASK, even with the excavator.


I stayed with Jahmaal and continued to work on the front side,
while the rest of the crew went to the far side and started in on more clearing of blow down.
We broke for lunch about 12:15 after getting a fair amount accomplished:


After a good lunch we got back to work,
More stumps were found, and apparently they kept getting bigger:


Which meant more digging ,and a LOT more work:


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Unread 06-03-2013, 08:32 AM   #17
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We were making good progress, and had cut our way halfway up the hill towards the glenn of trees.
We were averaging about 100ft of cut trail every hour.
We got to the area where the face climb was to be, and ran into some trouble:


The discovery of an Artesian Spring haulted operations, and forced us to reconsider the line, and redesign that section of trail.
A good hour and a half of work was wasted because of a little spring.
(this took the wind out of a lot of our sails)
Upon a few minutes of hiking, and deliberation, a new route was scouted, and laid out.
Jahmaal got to work on closing off the access we cut in to that section
...and started the work on cutting into the new direction:


Although the massive face climb had been put on the back burner for now,
we will still have a good bit of climb and a decent obstacle in this part of the trail.
Up to this point we had probably a good 25% overall of the trail cut in:


After a bit more work, we exhausted the capabilities of the mini,
it just didn't have the power or the appropriate tracks to get up much of an incline without destroying the grade.
So we turned it around, got it up the hill via the road, and started working our way DOWN to the are were just at.


About halfway there Jahmaal discovered a hidden stump:


This thing was a beast, easily the biggest we had encountered that day.
That whole section was covered pretty thick with cut offs, and debris,
....easily a two foot layer of decomp, logs, and branches were on top of the dirt.
...thats why this stump was never seen on our initial routing hikes.
It was prob good hour before we got that damn behemoth out of the ground:


By this time it was about 6pm, we were all exhausted, burnt, hungry and tired.
Jahmaal had continued to dig after the stump was removed ion search of bedrock,
and it wasnt until about 10ft down before anything was found.
....this is going to prove to be a very important fact in how this trail matures and evolves,
as open differentials will dig and weather will erode A LOT of earth before this trail is fully defined.
We got a lot of work done that day, and we still have a ton more work to do.
But two maybe three more days like today, and we can start getting tires on the trail.
There will still be more work to do after the trail is opened, but this is one hell of a start.

I want to say a special thanks to Jahmaal Rebb for coming out despite the horrendous cold he was fighting
and for putting in a ton of work throughout the long day.
Also a big thanks to Matt for helping out a fellow NAXJA chapter do some serious manual labor on a trail he is likely never to run.
Also big thanks to Aaron, Dustin, and Shawn for putting in such a long day of back breaking work.
We're off to great start guys, you should be proud.
I know I am.
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Unread 06-05-2013, 04:28 PM   #18
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Thank you for your service to the OHV community. Your efforts will be certainly appreciated.
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Unread 09-11-2013, 11:21 AM   #19
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Any updates on this?
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Unread 09-11-2013, 11:37 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 141 View Post
Any updates on this?
Here's whats going on.....
We HAD an excavator lined up, but the operator flaked out on us.
We have the means to rent one, but transportation of it, and operation of it, is what seems to be the hardest to not only coordinate but get locked down scheduling wise.
We're at a point where ODF's mini excavator just cant "efficiently" take care of some of the stuff that needs to be done (like the removal of some of the larger stumps we come across.)
ODF HAS a larger excavator, but it's usually dedicated to larger/more important projects, or we cant get an operator when its available for us to use.
Transportation of this has also seemed to be an issue.

If were to get someone from an excavation or construction company that is willing to donate the use of and an operator for an excavator, and has the means to get it up to the trail, then we have the means to compensate (at least somewhat) fuel costs.
Once that is set up, then getting the man power to follow suit wont be an issue, and we can finish up (hopefully) the rough cut-in of the new trail.

Once the rough cut-in is done, we can start addressing erosion controls, and the fine tuning of the trail.... and of course start getting some tires on it for compaction.
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Unread 09-11-2013, 01:32 PM   #21
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I've got a buddy who owns a small heavy equipment business. He has an excavator and can haul it out there and run it, but not sure if we would be willing to do that for free. I'll talk to him and see what it will take.

Worst case scenario, I know I could get him to take his truck out to haul the ODF unit out there and he can run it.
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Unread 09-11-2013, 01:46 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 141 View Post
I've got a buddy who owns a small heavy equipment business. He has an excavator and can haul it out there and run it, but not sure if we would be willing to do that for free. I'll talk to him and see what it will take.

Worst case scenario, I know I could get him to take his truck out to haul the ODF unit out there and he can run it.
Outstaning!!!
Keep me posted via PM and we'll go from there.
SOME degree of compensation CAN be arranged.
I appreciate the assist!
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Unread 09-27-2013, 10:02 AM   #23
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UPDATE:

Email received this week:

Quote:
We will be working on Saddle up starting tomorrow and will work on it for the next two weeks full time with our operators. We are three weeks out in having the large excavator available and want to have everything ready for boulder placement. If you can make it up during the week that is great but if not we can set up a meeting on the weekend to review the progress. My intention is to build it and get it open before the snow flies.

Jahmaal Rebb
Off Highway Vehicle Specialist
Oregon Department of Forestry
Tillamook State Forest
Forest Grove District Office
Myself and the other trail designer will be heading up there Saturday (09/28) to go over the progress and evaluate the current status of the project.
I'll let you guys know what happens.
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Unread 09-27-2013, 11:27 AM   #24
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Awesome!
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Unread 09-27-2013, 05:23 PM   #25
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Great news. Hopefully they can get the machine times allocated to your project.
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Unread 09-30-2013, 06:49 PM   #26
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UPDATE - Sept 2013 - Rough Cut In Review

UPDATE - Sept 2013 - Rough Cut In Review

Ok, here's the outline of how things went up at TSF reviewing the current status and progress of Saddle Up:
I got there about 9:18, and was expecting ODF to show up about 9:30.....
I sat there for about a half hour, and got bored listening to the CB skip chatter, so I Figured I'd play a little CRAWL while I waited.....


The weather could not have been more crappy....
30+ MPH Winds, sideways rain coming down in sheets. (yay)



After about an hour, I figure "OK, they're not coming" ...so I went for a quick jaunt up the hill to take a few pics.
About 50-75 yard in on the trail starting at the bottom, we found a natural spring run-off that crossed the trail during our initial rough cut a couple months back.
It pretty much spanned the entire length of the hillside, so we had no choice but to go across it. There's been some grass and weed growth over the last couple months, but this area (where you see the water collecting) will eventually all get filled in with some rocks, to keep erosion down, to promote drainage, and give the trail some built in sustainability.


Following along the trail begins to rise a bit....


After about 150-175 yards past the filter, you'll come to our first bit of a challenge.
Doesn't look like much right now, but there's a decent amount of elevation change here that will have to be overcome. It's not as intense as our original design with a massive face climb, but this should evolve into a fairly challenging section as weather and travel tends to do to a trail.


After that, the trail levels out a bit.....


Then starts to wind around a bit as we climb a bit more:
(note the little nipple shaped stump in the back ground, right of center at the top of the pic...use this for reference....)


A little more climbing as we approach the top:
(see the familiar shape from the last pic?)


Once past that stump curve around and head towards the famous central grove of trees.... if this grove makes it thru this winter, there's a good chance you'll eventually see a couple picnic tables (chained to trees) off to the side, in the middle of it all.


Curving around and making your way to the grove it dips down and curves around a bit more.


Another rather small climb....




...and we're now at the top of the small crest right before the grove:


One last turn before you enter:


Entering the grove there will be plenty of stump climbing along the way:


And a familiar site: ... "in the grove"
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Unread 09-30-2013, 07:36 PM   #27
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UPDATE - Sept 2013 - Rough Cut In Review (cont...)

Coming out of the grove (which at this point was HOWLING from all the wind) we had initially intended to go left-ish, and start the main hill climb.... the second most challenging aspect of the new trail design....
This proved to be too much for the mini excavator, and the small dozer too.... this also would create a pretty long and steep amount of run off, despite our original efforts to incorporate erosion control.
The decision was made to keep the hill climb aspect of this side, but to make it a bit more technical, all while addressing the more long term issue of winter erosion.
This meant take it right-ish straight out of the grove, then add a couple switch backs, as well as giving us some challenging hill climbing.

Here I've created a very rough Mark-up of what i'm talking about:




As you come out of the grove and up this hill, (dont let the pic fool you, it's still pretty steep)
You'll curve around to the left by the large stump up there (top center)


Once you've crested the first climb, and navigated the turn, you'll be travelling along the hillside:


From this point looking back...... you can see that you've made a pretty quick climb up a decent amount of hill:


The terrain here has a fair amount of rock in it, a LITTLE clay in sopts, more in others, and a good amount of rich, decomp like soil....
there's also a few stumps that will have to get dealt with, but the rough cut here is basically done:


After another turn, you make face a substantial climb....this will prove to be a challenge.
As steep and rocky as the original Saddle Up climb, and just about as long.


The trail levels out after these climbing sections, and meanders its way along the hillside towards the original ridge-line:
The tree line you see in the very distant background is where the back entrance used to come up thru the woods....
This is also where the quad trail "Dog Leg" is....




By the time I got to this point the weather had turned even worse.... and it REALLY started coming down.
By the time I made it back down to the Jeep I was soaked.
Thats right about the time Jahmaal Rebb from ODF showed up.

At that point the damage was done.... this would prove to be a common appearance for the both of us for the rest of the day:


We both dawned our own rain gear and hardhats, and set off to the upper section, right about where that last pic was taken.
Past the tree line I pointed out a couple pics ago is a trail called Dog Leg.
PART of this trail will remain, however the lower section will get wiped out, and exist no more.


This is where the second phase of Saddle Up was to continue.
The goal was to tie Saddle Up in with Firebreak 5... a goal that both ODF, and every OHV enthusiast I've talked to has been very excited about. I've taken a small section of the trail map and drawn in another rough mark-up of what this will look like.


We were originally planning on starting work on this next spring.... Jahmaal had other plans, and decided to give us an early Cristmas present!
As I mentioned in an earlier post, ODF has had some time to dedicate to this project, and the equipment to back it up as well.
Over the last week or so, they have managed to get the rough cut-in on a good 3/4 of the tie in to FB5.
Here in this pic you can see the tree line where the old back entrance to Saddle Up came thru, as well as the last lower section of Dog Leg....
What you see in the pic will get torn up and closed, But i'm essentially standing at the crossing point of the second phase of Saddle up and the crossing/tie-in point with Dog Leg.


This part of our new trail is going to be awesome..... I think initially it will (in SOME parts) resemble certain sections of Cedar Tree, it winds its way along the hillside thru trees, and over rocks, and in some places opening up to spectacular views.
There's going to be some widening of the trail in certain areas to allow more two-way traffic in spots,
but here too, the rough cut-in is basically done:


This back half of the trail still has some great elevation changes...oh yes there WILL BE more hill climbs. I wasnt able to take as many pics as I wanted to in here mostly because of the weather.
But the scenery is awesome as the trail continues for some time winding thru the trees:




This whole area is strewn with some great, massive, natural rock formations that you can see in this next pic.
The surrounding terrain will eventually erode and the true character of this section of trail will start to show itself.


I couldn't be happier with how this trail is developing. Jahmaal has kept our original intentions in mind the whole time, and it's been an absolute pleasure working with him throughout the whole process. There's still alot of work to do, and the trail still needs to go thru a fair amount of compaction before we can open it up. We have to be careful not to open it up too soon either.... if the ground is too saturated before its fully compacted, then we'll end up doing more harm than good by getting rigs on it. Tire spin this early in the game will absolutely destroy a virgin trail like this.
A little moisture is fine, we can deal with that, and will all be apart of how the trail evolves. However we have to take into consideration all the factors involved here. With that said....THERE IS STILL A SLIGHT CHANCE, that we will see this trail open for a short time this fall..... but I'd say plan it it not being available till spring.

I want to run this more than anyone.... but it may come down to us letting the forestry dept. and mother nature do their thing... winter will come and this area will be impassable to most rigs anyways. A good snow pack will really help set the trail in place, and give us a level of compaction we cant get otherwise. The spring melt off will carry away some of the more loose topsoil and reveal more of what the trail really has to offer anyways.
If we bide our time over the winter, come in after the first thaw, and clean things up a bit.... I think we will have one our hands one of the most remarkable new trails this area has seen in some time.

...stay tuned folks, there will be more to come!
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Unread 10-01-2013, 08:29 AM   #28
141
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Wow... That is frickin awesome. So nice to have a new trail to run and it's even better that the Forest Service is paying attention to what you are telling them we need. It's great they have people like jamaal that are willing to get wet and muddy and get the job done. Sure can't say the same for those DNR clowns in the Yacolt Burn.
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Unread 10-28-2013, 08:56 AM   #29
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Saddle Up is now done!
However, Class II rigs will not be allowed on it till spring of 2014.
This is mainly for erosion control. The ground is still pretty soft, and ODF wants to have as much natural compaction to take place before we start wheeling it. They have opened it up for quad and bike use though, as these guys wont do too much damage to it. 4WD vehicles would just tear this new trail up over the winter, and prob make it unpassable at a certain point, or at the very least change its difficulty rating.
This is all in the hopes of prolonging the natural evolution of the trail, and let it's character develop more naturally over time vs. "all at once" ...and having to repair and maintain it more frequently. ODF has integrated a lot of sustainability in the second portion of the trail, ensuring that maintenance is not only going to be easy, but also less frequent. Anyone is welcome to go up there and walk the trail, or ride their ATV's on it at this point, just make sure if you ARE walking, you are mindful and respectful of the people who are using it.
I am going to try to make it up there again here soon for another video walk-thru of the trail, and to take more pics.
I of course will post this up as soon as I do.
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Unread 10-28-2013, 10:53 AM   #30
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Woot!
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[Edit] "Now jeepin in Oregon" [/Edit]
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