Los Padres National Forest
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I signed up for a little more trail work, this time along the trail I bailed along when it got just a bit cold and snowed on me. At the time, I hopped over, around, and even under quite a few trees in just a few miles. Since then, there have been a lot of work to clear them all out. They said 300 trees have been cleared. Surely it was not quite so much? Then again, maybe it was. Another 20 remain and that is what we are out for today along with plenty of brushing and a little tread work. (It isn't that I have any influence. I'm just lucky to have hit the trail shortly before the work was done.) We drove the 20 miles behind the locked gate up to Bluff Camp for the night yesterday afternoon, so had a few miles drive still to get to the trailhead at Alamar Saddle. Safety talk and tool grabbing is quick with a group that mostly has been around and done this sort of thing. So we head down with a plan to make the trail nice from Upper Bear to Lower Bear. The tread above Upper Bear will have to wait.
|Checking the register and getting pictures with the sign displaying plenty of bear sign as we start down the hill for the day's work.|
The trail down to Upper Bear is narrow, but not that bad. It feels steeper than I recall. I was at the end of a longer day with a heavy pack then. Surely it should feel easier now that I am hitting it fresh in the morning. Maybe the urge to get down out of the wind and exposure in the freezing temperatures then was working in my favor.
|Following the trail down. The tread is narrow, but clear enough while walking it.|
There are a couple bushes in need of a trim on the way down to Upper Bear, and I go for a few just short of it, but it really is very close to the delineation between work needed and not. Beyond it, we get into areas where the big trees burned in the Zaca Fire and died and now let in the light for the little scrub. Oh, yes, and they fall.
|Scorching from the Zaca Fire on a survivor. It sure was reaching high up through here.|
|This tree may not even challenge a horse, but it still has to go. Besides, nothing says "trail is here" in the indistinct grass like a cut log.|