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Trail Maintenance

May 19-21, 2006

Santa Cruz Island trip to work on Del Norte Trail

NPS - Channel Islands

Four of us boarded an Island Packers boat and headed for the island.
After a brief stop at Scorpion harbor, the boat took us on to Prisoners Harbor.
It seemed more like Scotland than Southern California with all the fog.

Our first task was to weed-whip around trees, benches and bushes at the Del Norte walk-in campsite,
and trim tree branches to allow for about 6 foot clearance (where practical).

After a short rest there to admire our work, we spent a few hours on our main task, the Del Norte Trail.

The fog finally broke just before nightfall!
We finally got to see the spectacular view from the Del Norte cabin, where we stayed.
A rainbow and colorful sky were special treats. The clearing lasted for much of the next day.

On Saturday we cleared a quarter-mile of the Del Norte trail.
This trail is the preferred route for connecting the Del Norte Campground to Prisoners Harbor.
It was densely overgrown with fennel, and around the culvert there were hidden holes (which Liz kept falling into...).
View from the top of our handiwork on the first day.

There is nothing quite as satisfying as winding down after a rewarding day of trail work!

Sunday's weather turned damp again, and as we headed out to the trail, Ranger Tim Jones came to tell us
that rain was expected and it would be best to cut our trip short by a day.
Agreeing but not wanting to leave the other half of trail so unfindable, we continued on and worked through the morning.
When Al and Ranger Randy Nelson had scouted the trail a few weeks back,
they actually couldn't find the section of trail we were to work on this day.
This is a sample of what we were up against... Yes, there is a trail in there somewhere!

When we left it was still pretty rough, but you could at least tell where the trail was now.
(In the haste I forgot to get "after" pictures of this section!)

Our crew consisted of (L to R): Liz Baumann, Pete Warden, Al Bandel, and Maureen Buchanan.
In the second photo Liz is replaced by Ranger NPS Tim Jones.

Many thanks!

The boat ride back was uneventful save for a whale sighting.

Photos courtesy of Liz Baumann.