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Fall 1999

Trail Center Notes

     Trail Center volunteers concentrated on the Castle Rock Trail reroute project in Castle Rock State Park this summer. We are nearing completion of this 0.7 mile project and expect to fully open the new trail in January. Community Impact Day 1999 on Oct. 2 gave us the boost needed to get close to our goal (see below)

June 26

     We began work on the bottom portion of the reroute near Saratoga Gap Trail with a small crew well-suited to the technical challenge of yet another rock wall-this one had to provide a stable surface across a slanting rock face. We had to gather rocks from near and far to build the wall. Dave "Dave-O-Matic" Kison pounded on an offending rock most of the day while everyone else hauled prodigious amounts of rock and dirt. If only we had known how many large rocks we would uncover just up the trail on the next build...

July 24

     Work continued on the big rock wall and beyond. We excavated at least a ton of sandstone.

Aug. 21

     Eagle Scout candidate Jeff Whitsett brought out his Troop 005 members to build the first of three bridges across a small drainage near the bottom of the new trail for his Eagle Scout project. Jeff designed the bridges and the Scouts constructed the bridge with recycled lumber from an old water tank.

     Meanwhile, the we began work on the western loop of the new trail with help from employees of Palo Alto firm Instill, building two hundred feet before the end of the day. Tim Oren led a crew to complete the lower section and restore the old trail. They finished by moving the trail sign once again-we had moved it when we rerouted part of the Saratoga Gap Trail in 1995, thereby confusing many hikers. Not surprisingly, we saw quite a few people scratching their heads.

Sept. 11

     Jeff Whitsett and his Scouts installed the second and third bridges while the TC volunteers built several technical pieces of the trail in preparation for Community Impact Day. The final bridge was built in the middle of the trail and looks quite mysterious-when we close the old trail above it, we will use the old trail as a ditch and direct the water under the new bridge. Until then, it will be another head-scratcher.

      Also of note: frequent volunteer Justin Knowles entered the Crew Leader Training Program and received his official Trainee bandana. Thank you, Justin!

Oct. 2

     We celebrated the 6th annual Community Impact Day with two big groups from Siemens and Cisco, organized by Erich Wood of Community Impact. For our part of the day, which featured 52 different projects around the Bay and over 4000 volunteers, we pounded out over 300 feet of new trail-nearly all constructed by folks who had never touched a McLeod before. Without their help, we would have little chance of meeting our planned January opening.

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