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Ten Mile Trail Project

Gospel Hump Wilderness, Trail # 415 trail clearing project this year was a real challenge. We thought there were a lot of trees down last year, but it was nothing compared to this year.

Jerry & Linda Lane and Bob Hough wore themselves out the first day. Rod Parks joined them that night and tried to motivate them for the rest of the trail. I don’t know if I motivated them, but we cut out 140 trees that day after about 80-90 trees the day before.

The third day was halfway relaxing as we only cut out around 60-70 trees. Over ninety percent of the trees were all in wilderness and done with crosscut saws.

Thanks to Jerry and Rod’s sharp saws. Jerry will have a full report at the meeting.

Weitas Creek Weed Spraying

Clearwater-NezPerce NF, North Fork RD, The morning of June 16th we drove back down the North Fork of the Clearwater River to Weitas Creek and loaded up some personal gear and headed across the newly repaired bridge and up the trail to Weitas Guard Station to spend the night.

We anticipated an easy day, but it took us five hours, cutting often with the chain saw, to make it the seven miles to the guard station. The off and on rain did not make the ride any more enjoyable. Our hay and grain and spray materials were hauled to the guard station by pickup. It was really nice to have the cabins to stay in and dry out our wet clothes.

The project was spraying noxious weeds up Weitas Creek. On the 17th, we mantied up eight bales of hay, two horseback sprayers, and two backpack sprayers and headed another eight miles up Weitas Cr. to Windy Cr. There were several more trees to cut out, but nothing like the day before. We left with our loaded pack stock at 9:30 am and got back at 6:30 pm. A late dinner and another night in the nice cabins.

On the 18th, we packed to Windy Cr with camp gear and had plans to spray in the afternoon, but rain arrived as we were setting up camp, so no spraying that day. Kearstin Edwards, FS employee, showed up to pack one of the horseback sprayers back down to West Virginia Flats where she planned to use it the next day. Her horse did a little bucking demonstration with the spray tanks, but settled down after a while. Billie saddled up and went with her down the trail to the meadow in case she had any more problems.

The morning of the 19th, it was still too wet to spray so we went for a ride up trail # 174 as Jim wanted to put a camera on the ridge. We cut some trees and made it about 2 miles and then turned around as too many trees and had to get back to spray. Jim & Billie sprayed the area around Windy Cr. with backpack sprayers for spotted knapweed, sulfur cinquefoil, and canada thistle, and hounds tongue. Rod used a horseback sprayer on the trail from Windy Cr. to Johnagan Cr. Steve hauled water to Rod in the horseback sprayer.

Jim left on the 20th. The rest of us headed to Liz CR Cabin as none of us had been there before, 2.5 miles away. We ran out of gas in the saw before we made it, so back to spraying in the afternoon. On the 21st, we packed up and headed back to our vehicles at the North Fork and drove back to camp at Kelly Cr to pack out the FS trail the next day.

Kelly Creek Packing
June 14-23

Packing FS Trail Crew The 14th, Jim, Andrew, Rod, Billie, and Steve arrived at the meadow past Kelly Creek Trailhead with rain most of the way in. Jim & Andrew had been there a couple days earlier doing some work for IDFG and ended up riding to camp in the rain. The morning of the 15th, the forest service trail crew and two Great Burn Study Group workers arrived and we started figuring out our loads. Tim Lewis had given us a couple four foot culverts to pack in as well as supplies for the trail crew to pack to Bear Creek on Kelly Creek Trail. We had eight pack animals, so had no problem getting everything there. Only rained a little this day. Next we headed to Weitas Crew to do some work until it was time to pack out the Bear Creek Trail Crew back to the trailhead.

On the 21st, we packed up on Weitas Creek and headed back to our vehicles at the North Fork and drove back to camp at Kelly Cr. Tim Lewis, FS,  had four more culverts for us to pack in to Bear CR on the 22nd, and then we packed out the trail crew back to Kelly Cr trailhead. The loads were a little more challenging as we were short two pack animals.

Kid's Kamp
June 14-18

This was the year of the rain. I do not know which is better, rain or 100 degree temperature like we had a few years back. We ended up with 23 kids and their stock, eight boys, a new record.

The riders got to experience rain, hail, and wind on more than one day. A trail challenge course was set up on the trail with some real challenges for some of the stock. There was training covering Being Prepared for Emergencies by NezPerce County Search and Rescue, David Rustebakke Vet Clinic on the Anatomy and History of the Horse, Roger Becker teaching them how to make ropes, Jim Babino from Clarkston Fire Department on First Aid, and Mary Sickles on Leave No Trace to protect our land.

They cooked dinner in Dutch Ovens one night. Fun and Games were after the rides when weather permitted. An important part of camp is being responsible for taking care of your stock. We had one horse got loose at the corrals on the trail and did not get found for four days. The horse had some injuries when found and all hope it will recover.

Fun Ride
June 4

We could have not had a better day for the ride. We sold 147 hands with 35 of them being youth riders. We paid three places for adults and three for youths.

1st place was Linda Lane in the adults and Shelby McDougal in youths. The net from the ride was $514. A total of $275 was paid for all the winners. We had income of $160 from the Cookshack with leftover supplies going to Kid’s Kamp, so no waste. There were no incidents and as usual riders enjoyed the games of chance at each check station.

Thanks so much for Idaho Fish & Game letting us use the Kruze Meadows for the base for our ride.

Great Burn Study Group Pack Support
June 24

On June 24th we packed two employees from the Great Burn Study Group into Hanson Meadows on Kelly Creek Trail, a 20 mile round trip. We were treated to a young moose bull in the river on the way in and then another one after we got to the meadow. We unloaded their gear and then helped them set up the wall tent. It rained almost all the way in and the boys were soaked, so the wood stove may be used this year. It has been packed in and out for four years and never used. Members of the Palouse BCH are scheduled to pack them out in early August.

Wilderness Gateway Campground Cleanup
May 14-15
Work Days

Most of us arrived Friday evening and had some great Chicken Noodles provided by Billie Havens. Before dinner we did some cleaning in the camping areas as there had been a real wind storm and all the pavement was a mess with limbs and pine needles. Saturday, we continued cleaning up the camp areas, sprayed all the gravel areas with chemical to kill the weeds, and sanded and scraped the picnic tables. Lorelei McNamee and Karen Parks started staining the tables and kept the rest of us busy staying ahead of them with the belt sanders and wire brushes. The tables looked real good.

After lunch the four of us that had stock had plans to ride up to Huckleberry flats, but the trees across the trail kept us from making it there. We cleared about 10 trees across the trail and then decide it was time to return so we would not miss out on the potluck dinner.

We had plans for a big ride on Sunday before we went home, but the rain dampened our plans. Don, Billie and Rod went to Loop “B” to help the FS crew with clearing brush until after about an hour and a half we were all soaked to the bone and the chipper was broke down so we quit for the day without a ride. It rained all the way home, so we were glad we did not try to ride.

Green Gulch Trail Marking
April 25

April 25, five of us went on ATV’s to the top of the hill on Green Gulch and removed about a quarter mile of fence and used the t-posts to mark the old cowboy trail from the top of Green Gulch to the top of the road above Rodgersburg. We packed out the wire that was removed. With the trail now marked, you will be able to make a nice loop ride of about six hours by shuffling your vehicles about three miles along Joseph Creek. We will schedule a fun ride this fall and show everyone the route. Thanks for all the great help!

Primeland Spring Outdoor Sale & Event
April 16

TRBCH set up our chapter display and provided handouts to let the public learn about what we do.  Dutch Oven samples were given away and were a real hit. A round pen was set up by Primeland and with a can of food for the Food Bank, members took kids on a ride around the round pen. I think we had more riders this year than we ever have had. The royalty and members walked many miles in the round pen with some big smiles from the kids! Thanks to everyone that brought their stock and walked their legs off.

Cummins Creek Fun Ride

April 2

The Cummins Creek trail ride has become an annual riding event for some TRBCH members.  This year, members wishing to caravan to the trailhead were to meet at the rest stop near the top of Alpowa Grade at 8:30 AM.  Half of our crew arrived just barely on time, so we waited there an extra 15 minutes just in case there were any stragglers.

We traveled the short cut route, turning left past Pomeroy onto Tatman Mtn. Road, and then down Blind Grade to reach the Tucannon River just below the store and RV park.  When we reached the trailhead upriver just a few miles, we found that a good share of our riding group for this year had gone ahead and were there, ready and waiting to ride.

Lorelei McNamee led the way up the trail. The first few miles through the Fish and Game wildlife area were all wide open.   After we crossed onto the national forest, there were several logs across the trail.  Don Klement provided the chain saw for the trip.  The saw was carried on top of a pack saddle with a special carrier designed by Don.  This design was similar to others we have seen, but with subtle differences that seemed to make it extra safe and secure.

Lunch break was called about six miles up the trail, and after a long lunch, we decided to turn back.  The trail is open for the first six miles.  Anyone planning to travel farther up the trail this spring should expect to have to clear some logs from the trail.  The wildlife area is closed Jan 1st thru March 31st.  We saw one large group of sheep watching us from their beds as we passed. The elk and deer had apparently already moved up higher.

I took my bride on the longer route home, traveling down the Tucannon River to Highway 12.  It’s a special place we are all grateful for. 

Jerry Lane  

Hellsgate State Park Project
March 11

Rod Parks and Carl Paulson packed two rubber water bars to the Devil’s Slide Trail and installed two new water bars to reduce washing on the trail. They also reset an existing one that had washed out. Then they moved to Winchester Trail by the O’Conner Center and installed a rubber water bar and repaired a wooden water bar.

We had a little excitement on the Devil’s Slide when some mountain bikes came zipping down the trail and spooked the stock that was hobbled on the hill. Lucky for Rod, we were below the stock and were able to catch them before they ran all the way back to the trailhead. The corps has a small amount of money and are looking at coming up with natural barriers to stop trail users from using closed trails.

TRBCH Annual Chili Ride

February 21

On 2/21/16 the BCH group went on the annual Chili ride. We only had two original members Lorelei Mcnamee our fearless leader and Rod Parks the adventurous one. There was also Ethan Klement, Don Klement, Larry Taylor, Linda Lane, Billy Haven, and we also met Sam Coe along the way.

We all started out o Bob Kuther’s shop, we rode through just about every draw and ridge in the area. Everyone had a blast and even the quietest one of the group (Jerry Lane) said a few smart comments. But our lovely Linda Lane asked, “Are we there yet?” and, “When is lunch?” So Don offered some year old jerky he found in his saddle bags.

Not long after that we all made it back to the trailers and headed up to Bob’s shop where Karen Parks made us some chili. We all talked and had a good time with Bill Carrol. Thank you so much Sam for joining us and letting us ride on your property, Bob for letting us meet at your shop and ride on your property, and Karen for making us an amazing lunch!


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