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Charlie Creek Member Ride
March 18

This ride is on Washington Dept. of Fish & Wildlife Property, so a pass from the state is needed. The skies were threatening, but it ended up being a good day. We rode as far as the creek crossing and decided not to cross, as it was running pretty high. With everything turning green and the ice being off the trail, it was a very pleasant ride. This ride is on an old road closed to motorized use and a great trail to get a young horse out on for some experience.

Annual Chili Ride
March 26

We had 13 riders and 4 ride supporters who came for the potluck. As could be expected with Rod leading, the ride ended up being about four hours instead of the scheduled three. It was fairly windy on the ridges and a little cool, but when in the canyons was real pleasant. This is a great ride for conditioning your stock, as there were lots of up and down ridges. Thanks to the private landowners  for allowing us to ride on their land.

Karen Parks and Bill Correll made chicken noodle soup and Karen Kimble brought some beef stew. The hot dishes were really appreciated to warm the bodies. Bill cut the biggest homemade noodles any of us have ever seen, but they sure were good!

Cummins Creek Ride
April 2

This ride is on Washington Dept. of Fish & Wildlife Property, so a pass from the state is needed. The upper end of the trail is on Umatilla NF. The drizzling rain seems to be the norm this spring. If there is not a little rain, then we seem to have wind to make the ride less enjoyable than we hope. We definitely had wind this day and even a little sleet at times.

The good news is that it has been long enough since the fire along the creek that there are not many trees down across the trail anymore. The new problem with the trail is that brush is taking over the trail.

The ride was very enjoyable, saw some elk and deer. We ate lunch at an old campsite and explored a mine. Lucky that we did not have a flashlight, as Ardel wanted to explore the Blue Granite Mine shaft. If we were at the right mine, the tunnel to the main diggings is 260 feet long.

Billy Creek Ranch Work Project
May 26-29

Idaho Fish & Game Property located on the Snake River above Lewiston, ID - Sixteen members rode into Billy Creek for Memorial Day Weekend. We stayed at the ranch house and accomplished several projects.

Saturday we repaired the three rail fence in the yard, and the lodgepole rails in the horse corrals. We also removed some sections of wooden fencing that were no longer needed. After the work, a few of us rode up Billy Creek and saw several deer and elk.

Sunday, the riders planned to make the loop ride to Disneyland. The Snake River was across the trail. A detour over the ridge was more than half the group wanted to do after a near wreck with a couple horses, so they turned back. The rest of the more adventurous ones continued on and had a great loop ride. Sunday was the dreaded day of packing up and having to leave this beautiful area and rejoining the real world.

June 3

We had wonderful weather for our ride and the riders liked the trail. We try to change the route a little every year. The ride starts at Kruze Meadows on Idaho Fish & Game Land in the Craig Mountains south of Lewiston, ID  We had 60 riders and sold 123 hands. There was a smaller turnout than expected because of a conflict with local graduations. Hats off to Karen Parks who served a big, filling meal for only $5. There were lots of door prizes in addition to the winning hands and smiles all around at the end of the day.

Dough Cr. Adopt-A-Cabin Project
June 4

This was our annual trip on Craig Mountain for Idaho Fish & Game. There was a fire in 2014 and the trail is a real mess with lots of weeds and down trees we had to clear just to get to the cabin. We spent more time clearing the trail that we did cleaning up around the cabin. We cut thistle by hand, and mowed the grass around the cabin, outhouse, and hitchrails to help protect the cabin from fire.

Kid’s Kamp
June 13-17

Twenty three youths attended kamp this year. We saw Elk everyday that we rode and even saw a herd from the Smoothing Iron Ranch one day if you got up early enough. We hold the kamp on Washington Dept. of Fish & Wildlife Property at the Smoothing Iron Ranch above Asotin Cr. drainages. 

LNT topics: Dispose of Waste Properly, Leave What You Find, Minimize Camp Fire Impact., Our guest presenter,  Doug  Lincoln and his son covered  Survival, fire building, shelter, first aid, orienteering. Doug Olive covered crosscut saw safety and training on operating the saws. When it got to  timed completion of pairs sawing the log, they really got into it.

Rod Parks taught them how to tie Manties and then timed competition was held with them having to sort through a pile of gear and get two manties as close as possible to the same weight. They were judged on balanced loads, proper tying of the mantie ropes and neatness of the packs. We taught them how to tie a bowline, and a couple different ways to tie quick release knots for tying up their stock.

This year we had a great turnout from members helping throughout the week as well as setting up beforehand and teardown. Thanks to all of you, especially the kitchen crew, as they put in more hours than any of the rest of us.

Weitas Creek Weed Spraying
June 26-30

Clearwater-NezPerce NF, Weitas Cr. drains into the North Fork of the Clearwater River. Billie Havens reported 3 people packed in from the Weitas Guard Station and stayed at an outfitters camp. – Billie, 1 Forest Service employee, and 1 botany student.  She reported they sprayed lots of weeds and pulled almost as many by hand. They saw a bear one day and had a good time. Billie drove her pickup and trailer to the guard station. She told us she will never do that again.

Elmer Creek Pack Support
July 26 & August 2

Elmer Cr is located in the Clearwater-NezPerce NF, North Fork RD. On the 26th, Rod Parks & Steve Cooper packed 8 loads four miles to where the FS Trail Crew set up camp for the work. We only had four pack animals so made two trips that day.

On the next day, we packed two culverts up the trail to the crew and then rode up Isabella Creek to Mallard Peak Lookout. We cut out all the trees but two clearing the trail. Ran out of saw gas is why we left two. We loaded up and packed our camp up Weitas Cr and took some day rides until it was time to move back to Isabella Creek Trailhead and pack the trail crew back out. Again, two trips, but we only needed 7 head of pack stock.

The weather was very hot, over 100 degrees some of the days. The crew was really beat building tread and installing culverts, but they felt they accomplished more than they had expected. We met the contracted trail crew for the FS at Isabella Landing and found out that we had made them some money cutting out the trail for them. At least they had two trees to cut.

Ten Mile Trail Clearing
August 5-9

Ten Mile Creek Trail is located off the South Fork of the Clearwater River and accesses the Gospel Hump Wilderness. We made it to Buffalo Hump (Trail Number 415) and also did some clearing on the North Pole Trail. This is the fourth year that the chapter has cleared this trail. There are always lots of down trees, so a great place to master the crosscut saw.

Jerry and Linda Lane thank Billie Havens and Doug Olive for an awesome trip. They did some scouting around at Ten Mile Meadow and found a great place to camp that was not boggy, unlike where we have camped for the last three years.

Black Mountain Pack Support
August 9

Rod Parks & Billie Havens packed the FS trail crew to Black Lake, for the North Fork RD, NezPerce-Clearwater NF with six head of pack stock. This trail starts at the Canyon Work Center on the North Fork River climbs to the beautiful little lake. The trail was in good condition, but was a real challenge for the stock as it was really hot and the trail was a steady climb for eight miles.  Billie borrowed mules from Barry Barnes and the older mule, Cole, was totally worn out by the time we got back to camp.

The lake appeared to be very popular as there is quite an impact to the ground from the use. The Black Mountain Lookout was only another half mile up the trail, but we both just wanted to get back to camp and rest. Boy were we glad to be back at camp along the river for a dip in the North Fork to cool off our worn out bodies. Poor Cole spent more time laying down for the next twelve hours than he did standing up and eating.

We sure appreciate the work that the FS crew does on the trails in the North Fork RD. We were both glad that we did not have to go back and pack the crew out. The FS stock was used pack the crew out after their project was completed.

Great Burn Study Group Pack Support
August 13

Brad Alboucq joined Billie Havens and Rod Parks on the 10th and we did several day rides until we had to go into Hanson Meadows on Kelly CR and pack out the Great Burn Study Group Aug. 13th. We had an especially nice loop ride from Junction CR Pack Bridge to Junction Mountain Lookout. If anyone wants to see the lookout standing, they should make the trip soon as it is an 80’ tower and is in pretty bad shape. We also rode to Scurvy Mountain Lookout to settle a disagreement on which side of the lookout the door was on. With a compass, it was settled that the door is on the south side of the lookout.

After almost two months without any measurable rain, we were blessed with riding to Hanson Meadows with almost constant drizzle. The temperature dropped about 20 degrees with the rain to around 75 degrees -  sure was a break from the heat on the Black Lake packing. However, packing up in the rain is never a joy.

Twin Rivers BCH members have been packing for the Great Burn Study group for the last four years, with the Palouse Chapter helping for the last three years. Each chapter takes on either packing therm in or out each year. Thanks to everyone that helped!

Oregon Butte Chapter Ride
August 25-27

Oregon Butte is located in the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness in the Umatilla NF, Pomeroy RD, in the State of Washington. We camped at the Teepee Trailhead, a fee use area that has stock water, vault toilet, hitchrails, and feed bunks. The view from the trailhead is fantastic on a clear day, but we were blessed with smoke so the view was disappointing for those that were there for the first time.

We had good news from Pomeroy Ranger Dist. that the loop ride we had planned of Mount Misery, Panjab, and Turkey Creek Trails were cut out. We were not able to confirm that however, as Rod Parks underestimated the time to drive to Teepee Trailhead by about an hour, so we got a late start on Saturday. We took a side trip to Oregon Butte Lookout as Jerry and Linda Lane could not ride Sunday and we wanted everyone to see the lookout. The lookout is manned during the fire season. She told us that on a clear day, you can see Wallowa Mountains, Seven Devils, Mt. Rainer, and Mt. Adams. Well, you guessed it, with the smoke this year, we saw none of them.

With the side trip to the lookout and visiting, we cut the ride short as we did not want to miss the potluck Saturday night, so returned back to Teepee Trailhead after riding as far as Indian Corrals. On Sunday Billie, Rod, & Jack Bell rode down Butte CR Trail until Billie threatened us with mutiny if we did not turn around. The lower part of the trail had not been cut out and there were lots of down trees and brush. Karen Parks, Pamela Winalski, and Susanne Grove made the trip to Teepee Trailhead but did not ride, but they sure did a great job contributing to the potlucks we had every meal.

Pamela and Susanne did a short hike up the trail and were our BCH Ambassadors with anyone from the public that arrived at the trailhead. Some members of the Rattlesnake Ridge Riders from the tri-cities area were met on the trail and we provided them some beverages back at the trailhead. Their chapter does a lot of volunteering with the Umatilla NF keeping trails open like all BCH chapter. It was great to see other stock out on the trails.



Cougar Creek Fencing Project
September 16-17

Washington Dept. of Fish & Wildlife has given us permission to fence an area for camping on Cougar Creek. Bob Hough, Tom Barnes, Bill Correll, and Carl Paulson finished the fencing last weekend. A road and seven back in camp sites were roughed in. The plan is to get rock on these areas by the end of October.  Long range plans is a vault toilet and a non-motorized access gate in the back of the area to access miles of area to ride. Rod Parks, Bob Hough and Carl Paulson went up the week before and installed the corner posts and drove about two-thirds of the fence posts.

Panjab Chapter Ride
Sept 29 - Oct1

Panjab Trailhead is located in the Umatilla NF in Washington, about 60 miles from Clarkston. Friday members rode up Meadow Creek trail for a short ride. On Saturday, eight BCH members rode up Panjab Creek Trail to Indian Corrals, Mount Misery Trail to Oregon Butte, on to Teepee Trailhead and back down Turkey Cr. Trail.

For the loop, it took us about seven hours. After riding six hours we came to a tree that we could not get around or over. Lucky that Rod threw on the crosscut saw that Tony Hepburn gave him. By the time we got the tree cut twice, moved out of the way and loaded back up, it took about a half hour. Billie Havens is darn good on a crosscut saw! Then in about 600 yards we came to another tree that we could not get over. We were lucky and were able to get around this one with a little brushing. If we had not had the saw, we could have easily looked at a twelve hour ride to back track to the trailhead.

We did make it back for happy hour and a fantastic potluck. We had enough food for three dinners. A few members planned to go on a short ride Sunday before heading home. Five of the riders were BCH members from the Spokane Area. They were a merry group of women at camp and on the trail except for when they got into ground hornets. It was nice to have some new people to socialize with and make new friends as we all enjoy our stock.

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