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King Of Tooth Tarter
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I decided to schedule my own trail work day as my guilt at missing the Jim Donelly Trail work last weekend weighed heavily on my mind. I recently bought a fiskar's 10" saw to replace the one I usually bring along on my rides. It had been a while since I have had a saw in my pack as I haven't had a chance to buy one in quite some time.

My sights were set on the Turkey Pond Trail. I had been there a few months ago and a tree, large had fallen rendering the trail impassible unless you went around. And the go around wasn't easy as the chamise were plentiful and block quick passage giving way to scratches and pain. A few weeks ago I went out to ride Dutch's Trail and didn't even bother to go down the Turkey Pond trail. I didn't need the pain. So I needed to rectify the situation as soon as I purchased a saw. And as soon as the weather was good. The fire from 2007 is indeed the gift that keeps giving. I have been clearing downed trees from this trail ever since that fire. I sort of "adopted" this trail. I've tried to be a good parent, but it is challenging went your son keeps making messes. Sigh.

That meant this weekend was the time to make good use of my new saw. Route included a ride up Anza/Jackson trail to Kelly Lake Trail to Willow Ridge Road, then to White Tank Spring/Rose Dam Trail to Pacheco Camp, then Coit Road to County Line Road to Turkey Pond trail, my destination. Trails were wet and slippery, deep ruts in some places, mainly after a switch back on Jackson Trail that I had to session to clean. I usually do well on these trails. Anyway, I rode onward to Kelly Lake Trail, enjoying the great downhill. Near the bottom, I cleared some tree branches the relentlessly accumulate there.

As I came to Willow Ridge Road and Cross Canyon Trail, I noticed something curious:


A rain gauge! And with 1/2" of rain in it. Kind of cool. Nice to see that put in there.

Moving along, I rode to the landing strip and down White Tank Spring Trail then Rose Dam Trail. So much rain that it filled this small pond near Pacheco Creek:


And Pacheco Creek was quite full also:


On the way to Pacheco Camp I cut down a branch blocking the trail. Then, at Pacheco Camp I shed my jacket and ate a cliff bar.

Onward to my destination. I haven't ridden in a while and it was showing as climbing Coit Road proved taxing. At the Mississippi Creek crossing I took a shot of the Mississippi Creek sign that is in need of replacing, being burned badly in the 2007 fire:


Down Turkey Pond Trail I got a bonus! Yet another tree down near the beginning of the trail. Here's a shot before and after of the removal:




Just a start as I realized my day had just begun even though it was already 1:30pm. I came to my destination. The mother of all tree clearage situations. Here is a series of pictures of the removal. The from before to after as I took time to take breaks and shoot pictures showing my progress. I was able to saw a near 10" round branch at the very end. The saw didn't even show on the other side and I had to cut from top and bottom, then on either side.












Here's a couple of pictures of the logs I sawed through. I have to admit, as long as you don't break the saw the fiskars is really a damn good saw for Coe limb removal. A little tougher if you are sawing through oak but pine is really soft and you can do some fine work.




It was getting late. 4:30pm and I needed to get back. I'm glad I brought my light. I'll be riding back in the dark. I couldn't help but stop off at Mississippi Creek along Coit Road up from the creek crossing. Sounded like a lot of water over rocks, possible a waterfall. A small one but maybe it might be delved in the realm of "waterfall" territory? You judge:


I also stopped off to take a photo of what turned out to be lichen on a rock. Quite beautiful


Getting dark. I rode to Pacheco Camp and put my light on my helmet. There was a large group of campers there. Looked like they were quite happy, eating a meal at one of the wooden tables. I picked a table off to the side and prepared for darkness not wanting to interfere with their merriment.

I lugged it up and out of Pacheco Camp and up Coit Road, a 1.7 mile slow climb that I am very familiar with. Up to the top and a break as I ate another cliff bar. Then I continued on.

It was indeed getting dark. Dark enough to depress the switch that employs my helmet light. On the road I kept seeing a light in the trail that would float upward before I got a chance to come close:


Finally I got close enough to see what it was. At first I couldn't get my camera out fast enough but I soon was able to get this shot and resolve my queries of said upward floating lights:


What peculiar foul is this? Is it a small owl? Anybody care to weigh in on this? It did fly off but I did get a chance to really check the little fella out. Stunning plumage.

Along the way, I managed to avoid running over all the many newts. Too many to count on Wagon Road and Grizzly Gulch trail. And, along Grizzly Gulch trail I came face to face with a large toad! I stopped and he casually hopped away. A lot of night life these days in Coe. I saw a few dear also in the dark.

A painful day but very eventful and satisfying. Such a beautiful park.

Roy.
 

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Wow! Epic tree battle - that thing was HUGE! Tons of main trunks/branches. No way I would have gone after it solo - nice job!

That's a nighthawk or nightjar (not exactly sure, I'm not a birder), used to see them all the time in early night in the Whites and elsewhere on the eastside of the Sierra. They sit in the road until the last second, then explode upwards.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Nighthawk

PS Here's a couple more shots of the big tree from January:



 

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TahoeBC said:
Quite the eager beaver there Roy, thanks.

See a lot of those owls in Pacifica on night rides acting just like locoyokel explained.
Nice work on the tree Roy.

I took one of those birds to the mouth one time on a high speed downhill, got home and there was a bit of blood on my chin and jersey(mine, not the birds!). Anytime on a night ride now I slow down and call out when I see what appears to be a glowing marble ahead. They seem to like wide exposed fire roads.
 

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ratpick said:
Nice work.. it would take a team of 10 a whole day to clear Turkey Pond Trail, and even then it would be but a week or two before another of the burned out trees falls over the trail.

2 Cliff bars? Woah!
Charlie Sheen could do it in a couple hours
 
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