Monday, July 14, 2014

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”    
― John Muir, Our National Parks

Something I do pretty much every day I'm out is break down or "naturalize" illegal campfire rings. In the Hoover there are certain lakes you can never have fires at, other areas where we have elevational fire restrictions and in ALL areas of our Wilderness they are not allowed closer than 100 feet from trail or water. Currently, we are in fire restrictions in the backcountry so no one is allowed to have a fire in the backcountry in our district right now, we only allow stoves with on/off switches. If you want a campfire in our district you have to go to a developed car camping camp ground. It's pretty common for much of the Sierra Nevada to be in that type of restriction during the summer months. If we find campfire rings in the backcountry that WOULD be legal IF we were not in fire restrictions, we generally leave them so they can be used the next winter/spring when fire restriction in the backcountry is lifted. So I don't knock down every ring I find.  I spread the ashes, toss the rocks away and cover it up with some dirt! Simple enough but sometimes can take awhile especially if there's lot's of ashes and/or rocks. This one pictured was at least 10 buckets full of ashes before I got level with the ground.

Here's a weird co-ranger Cara was in this drainage the other week and found graffiti on a tree (who DOES that?!). I was assigned the drainage she had that past week so I took a little hatchet and chopped off all these folks' names.

I write out incident reports for the illegal fires rings and other stuff (abandoned property I found last month, evidence of people cutting switchbacks, used toilet paper laying around etc etc). These get entered in some database so they can see where troublesome areas are and what needs to be considered (ie: the fact that it is legal to bury your used toilet paper when it really should not be).

When you bury your toilet paper, animals come and dig it up, yuck.


Monday I spent some hours lopping out a section of trail we call "the tropics" it's a never ending battle. I started work at 7 to try and beat the heat but it was still super hot

 unnamed pond north of Robinson Lakes

Little Slide Canyon and "The Hulk" a 1,000' beast with climbing routes

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

4th of July

So this past week we spent the week out of the field and in town for the 4th of July which is a very big deal in Bridgeport. This tiny town, population 575 explodes when pretty much everyone from town and hundreds from out of town come in to see the parade, fireworks, greased pole climbing contest, watermelon eating contest, mud volleyball, rodeo and more. It was good timing in regards to the mosquito hatch.....the bugs were pretty horrendous the past week in the backcountry.

 For the float we dressed up as different users of the Wilderness (backpacker, trail crew, bird watcher, ranger, fisherman)

 Here's the float!

Our big hit was the crosscut saw, people loved it!

Next to the courthouse in town there were street vendors with booths set up and we had a booth that we manned for the weekend. The entire weekend (booth and float) were Wilderness50 themed for us. The 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act is a big deal and it was neat to be in a town where we had a chance to publicly celebrate it! Here's a little video of things from this week. I need to learn to hold my phone upright, sideways made for some warped video but it's still fun.

Back into the field this week!