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Annual Gate Closing Ride, as reported by Lorelei McNamee
November 24

Twin River Backcountry Horseman annual gate closing ride at Foredyce Trailhead on November 24th 2018 was a success.

Don and I arrived a little after 9:00 and along with some expert help by Bob Hough was able to get the wire re-stretched on the fence by the horse gate.  It has been broken and loose for years.   Thank you, Don and Bob, this has been bugging me. 

We had 10 riders in the “on-time” group.  Don, myself, Bob, Linda and Jerry Lane, Colleen Ozard, Billy Havens, Michelle Barnes, Pamela Winalski  and Adel Petz.    While we were standing in the shade and frost at the trail head waiting for the others and looking at the beautiful sunshine on the North side of the road, Billy had a great idea of riding in the sun instead of the frozen canyon up Foredyce.  Bob immediately said that he knew a route that would be just right for our adventure.  I was a little concerned with his enthusiasm.   Flashbacks of “short cuts” with Rod Parks were flashing in my brain.   We mounted up and headed down the road towards Sourdough.  

We then meet our President, Paul and his lovely side kick, Toni.   No one actually “asked” why they were late, but Don did mention to Paul that the time changed a few weeks ago.   Another mile down the road we ran into Mike and Kathy Brooks, they had gone to the wrong place, but were back on track.   They went on up to the trail head and met up with Paul and Toni and had an adventure of their own.

Oh darn, I forgot to mention the most important person of the day.  Pat Bogar had arrived before we left and had the chili and was going to get a fired built.   Both were a welcome sight when we returned.

We continued down the main road to the hay barn below Sourdough.    Rode up the north side of the hill.   Once we rounded the bench on top we could see the Craig Mountains, Big Butte, and the Valley.  It was beautiful.  

We continued climbing and got into a bit of snow, rode by the emergency tower and then the “fun” part.    Bob had been telling us that we could take down whichever “gradual” decline that we chose.   But first we had to get down through the rock bluff.   Adel took the easy way on the road.   But the rest of us went down through the rocks, it was great.   The only “gradual” decline that we found was when we were back down on the main road.   It took us 1 ½ hours to get to the top and 45 minutes to get to the bottom.
We kept looking behind us for Paul, Toni, and Kathy and never saw them.   But Paul went up the draw that we came down, planning on running into us, but we missed each other by a little bit.

It was a great group of riders. The chili, fire and stories were great at the end of the ride as well.

Elmer Creek Pack Out, as reported by Lorelei McNamee
September 1

Don, Rod Sangster, and I left Clarkston Friday afternoon headed for the Isabella Creek Trailhead North of Headquarters, the navigator/co-pilot (me) did a great job of getting us to the North Fork of the Clearwater River. But failed to let the driver know that we needed to take a "left" once we crossed the bridge. We continued driving and chatting until we reached the Bungalow. Yes that is SEVERAL miles off course. Anyways, we turned around, spent the night at the Forest Service parking lot and got up to the trail head at 8 a.m. just in time for a 30 minute stretching routine with the trail crew.

Don loaded 340 pounds of "stuff" into 6 pannier bags, while I saddled horses, and Rod exchanged jokes with the trail crew. After they headed out for their camp, we had a quick breakfast and was on the trail with 3 pack horses at 9:15. It was a beautiful ride up to their camp about 3 miles.

After we unloaded we rode on up the trail about half mile and got to see the beautiful Heritage Cedar Grove. There were trees over 50 feet around and they figure they are over 500 years old. Very impressive!

Elmer Creek Pack In
August 20 - 23

Trail Boss is Bob Hough. Bob Hough would like to thank Billie Havens and Connie Marshall for their work
and great cooking. The three of them left the smoke behind in Lewiston on August 20th and arrived at
Isabella Creek Campground set up camp and had a great chicken dinner. Up early the next morning,
they met a group of young workers from Montana Conservation Corps. The items to be packed in were
loaded and they set out. After watering the horses, they continued up to Elmer Creek and arrived at the
camp site of the work crew. The three then returned to camp. Billie and Connie took a second trip in
with one loaded pack animal (Bob had to stay in camp to protect it from the bears that never showed).
The following morning they took a ride up to Mallard Point just for fun and a great view. On August 23rd
after breakfast they returned for a smoky day back in Lewiston.

Ten Mile Project
Aug 10-15

Ten Mile Trail is a low elevation access trail to the Gospel-Hump Wilderness compared to accessing from Moore’s Station. The trail is 12 miles long and 10 ½ miles are in the wilderness, so only hand saws. Were we ever happy to see that the FS had bladed the last ten miles of the road to the Ten Mile Trailhead?  You could make it around the corners with trailers without having to climb the banks to keep from going over the bank and hitting trees along the edge of the road.

We had beautiful weather for the entire time. Since Jerry did not get many members offering to help, he and Linda went up earlier for a weekend and logged out about three miles of trail. He anticipated that we would make it to Ten Mile Meadows on the first day, but as usual, there were too many trees down. Luckily, we were able to get around the last few of the down trees and pack some gear to the meadow. Last year, they found a new place to camp at the meadow that is on high ground for people and stock. No more sloshing through the meadow to round up your stock.

Day three, Doug Olive, FS, joined us as we packed camp to the meadow and then cleared out the trees that we had gone around the day before as well as made it up the trail about a mile farther. Well, finally with the expert help from Doug and less trees down, we made it all the way to the end of the trail for a long day.

Linda worked hard all day and then cooked all our meals while we enjoyed beverages. Boy are we spoiled! Since we accomplished the work a day early, we all decided to return to the trailhead and head home knowing that we had done a great job!

Anderson Butte Trail Clearing, as reported by Linda Lane
August 3 & 4

Matt Bake, Joe Robinson (North Central Chapter), Jerry Lane, and Linda Lane cleared Trail No. 805 from
Anderson Butte towards Meadow Creek Cabin on 4th. We arrived at the end of the road on the evening
of August 3, had a fabulous steak dinner cooked by Chef Matt, and then hit the sack so that we could get
an early start on Saturday. Linda picked huckleberries near our campsite on Friday night so that we
could have huckleberry pancakes for breakfast to start the day off.

The first part of the trail up to the Anderson Butte Lookout was already cleared as it had been used by 4-
wheelers a couple of weeks prior. The approximately four miles of the trail from the lookout down
towards the cabin were fantastic with just a few trees across the trail. Jerry, Joe, and Matt made quick
work of the clearing. However, when we were about two miles from the cabin, we encountered a
downed tree that had wiped out the trail. We decided that it was not safe for our animals to go around this obstacle, therefore, we returned to our campsite for the night.

Following our trip, Doug Olive from the Forest Service reported that he sent a crew in to repair the trail. The trail is now open all the way to the Meadow Creek cabin. On Sunday morning, Jerry and Linda Lane rode the Kirk’s Fork trail to Anderson Butte lookout. Both this trail and the Anderson Butte trail are fantastic trails with good tread and beautiful scenery. Please see pictures on our Face book page for this and other projects.

Great Burn Study Group Pack Support
June 26-28

We arrived at Kelly Creek Trailhead, set up camp and waited for the Great Burn crew to show up. We started getting worried when seven pm arrived and no crew. They had brake problems on their car and had it repaired, so they were pretty late, but made it.

We had six pack animals loaded with their gear and headed up to Hanson Meadows the next morning. After we unloaded the gear we ate lunch and waited for the boys to show up so we could help them set up the wall tent. We finally started setting it up without them. Still no boys, so we loaded up and headed back to the trailhead. The tracks on the trail showed they went past the trail to the meadow so we stretched bailing twine across the trail and hope they found their camp before dark. They were told the meadow was 2 miles above Bear Creek so I hope they turned around after a while.

We are all hoping that next year, things go a little smoother, but even if not, what a great place to be with our stock and great company. Kelly Creek drains into the North Fork of the Clearwater River, one of the prettiest drive along the river that you will ever find.

Weitas Creek Weed Spraying
June 18-25

Twin Rivers BCH have been packing into Weitas Creek, a tributary of the North Fork of the Clearwater River for the last four summers assisting the forest service North Fork RD. Spotted Knapweed and Hawkweed have been our main goal for the spraying with horseback and backpack sprayers.

The pack into the Weitas Guard Station for the first night was a little wet, as it rained right up until we headed out. The good news was the trail was cut out. The bad news, the road was not cut out, so the forest service support did not make it to the guard station the first night with all our supplies. We will never go without have our sleeping bags and some food in the future. Luckily we got into the guard station, started a fire to dry out and found a can of chili to heat up for dinner.

The next day members cleared  three miles of down trees to the pack bridge so the trail would be clear for the planned move to Windy Creek the next day. When we got back, we celebrated, as our gear arrived.

Our next unplanned event was when the fill over the culvert at Lean Creek gave out and a horse fell thru. His horses got skinned up getting around the bad culvert. Our next problem was two days of rain, so we could not do any spraying those days.

We pulled hounds tongue one day waiting for the grass to dry and then burned the weed seed over the fires as we dried out. We finally had good enough weather that we got the spraying done at Windy Creek and West Virginia Flats, two beautiful meadows with the removal of noxious weeds.

We had planned to take some day rides and fishing after the work was done, but with the minor problems we had, we had no time for that. We sure had a good time even with all the incidents. We had no problems on the sixteen mile pack out and headed up to Kelly Creek for the next pack project.

Emily Poor put together a nice You Tube video of the trip. https://youtu.be/B19fOWywW0Y

Kid’s Kamp
June 12-16

Kid's Kamp is an annual event for youths between the ages of 8-18 with their stock for five days of education, riding and fun and games.We had 28 signed up by the deadline, but ended up with only 23. Members were happy for the smaller group, as we don’t like to have more than 25.

This year we had gun safety and care for firearms, training for hobbling stock and setting up a highline, as well as our usual LNT topics. The older youths also helped roll up some high tensile wire that we got tangled up in a couple years back as a project for Washington Dept. of Fish & Wildlife for letting us use the Smoothing Iron Ranch to hold the Kamp.

We had fantastic weather the entire week. As usual, we got to see the herd of elk on our rides. Billie Havens added some entertainment to the fire building training by having competition on boiling an egg after they got their fire burning. Thanks to Lisa Swanson and Linda Lane for entertaining them with lots of fun and games. Lost shoes were the only problem with the rides for a few of the horses. The new water line we installed two years ago sprang a leak.

Thanks to WDFW for getting us a portable water tank and Jim Bunch for hauling the water up the hill every day in his pickup.

Dough Cr. A-A-Cabin Project
June 3

I was a little worried if we could get all the work done, as half the crew cancelled on the day before. It started looking even worse, as there were so many trees across the trail. I was not sure we would have any time for work at the cabin. Went through an entire tank of gas in the chainsaw and still were not there yet.

Well, there was a fantastic crew of Bob Hough, Steve Cooper, Connie Marshall, and Rod Parks. We were able to install metal flashing around the cabin and deck for fire protection and still had time to mow the grass around all the hitchrails, outhouse, and cabin. We also sprayed ground sterline around all the structures as addition fire protection. Next year we need to put another coat on the deck. Thanks to the work crew!

Gate Opening Ride - Cummings Creek
April 15

Cummings Creek is located on Washington Dept. of Fish & Wildlife property adjoining the Umatilla N F, an hour drive from Lewiston ID. The trail is on an old road that is closed to motorized use. A Discover Pass is required to use the area. There is some great fishing on the ponds along the Tucannon River nearby.

The weather was a little threatening so we only had six riders. There were the usual down trees to log out, but only a few, so we had time to do some heavy brushing on the way back. For the first timers, they got to check out the mine during lunch. We had dark skies, but it held off for the entire ride. It ended up being a great day for a nice spring ride.

Chili Ride
February 25

We held this annual ride on Feb. 25 at Rod & Karen Parks place this year. The weather forecast was not good with 36 degrees, 40% chance of rain, and 20 MPH winds. Well, the temperature was about the only thing that was right as we had a wonderful day riding the breaks of Alpowa Creek. Eight hardy riders showed up, even with the gloomy forecast. Riders all agreed it ended up being a great day to ride. We enjoyed the deer and new born cows as we rode to the top of the hill and had a view of the Snake River.

The best part is always the potluck when we join the non riders back at the house and feast on all the goodies. We celebrated, as this is two years in a row with no one getting bucked off and having to buy Pizza for the crew.

Redbird Canyon Tree of Heaven
February 22

Three IDFG employees and six chapter members finished clearing 2.5 acres of Tree of Heaven trees at Redbird Beach. IDFG has been working on eradicating them for the last five years. They plan to burn the piles and reseed the area after they have sprayed the suckers coming up. All of us were boated across the Snake River to the work site. We spent about five hours falling and bucking trees. Backs were aching by the time we got done. Thanks to everyone that participated.

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