Beth and I had already been on that trail and cut 10 trees on the recon trip we did a few weeks prior. On March 03/28/15 & 03/29/15 Wilderness Corps Leadership and six Wilderness Corps volunteers camped out at the Santa Barbara Canyon trail head in the Dick Smith Wilderness.
Beth and Tom came with their Mules and rode clear to the end of the Trail on Saturday, cutting trees as they advanced up the trail. They found dead tree that was totally covered in vines. They made a good choice and left it alone as it was a four hour job in and of itself. Meanwhile the rest of the crew was working on the lower section of trail cutting trees. We knocked off early because we hadn’t set-up camp yet and Katie was insistingly asking me when we were going to cook dinner only because she had never heard of a the Pigs in a Cornfield recipe that we were cooking.
We found a nice little meadow that was just North of the trail head to set-up base camp in. The grass was green and the gophers were happy. Since we were there early in the season there were no fire restrictions, which is why we could have a fire and cook in a Dutch Oven. Honestly, in the near future Fire Restrictions will be implemented, I feel very lucky to have been able to have a fire.
Dinner took about 2 hours to cook which allowed Robert a chance to drive clear down to the gate and call Los Padres Dispatch and put us out of Service. There is little or no radio coverage in that area. Beth and Tom showed up not to soon after Robert got back. That gave us some time to prep the food and get the fires going. Cooking in a Dutch Oven is a great way to feed a trail crew. If you fill a 12 inch Dutch oven with food that is enough for a hungry crew of six.
James built a nice small fire, as you can see from the picture. I think after the chocolate and cherry cake people had food coma and headed off to bed. When I had checked the weather prior to leaving Cambria, CA it said it was going to be in the mid 40’s that night. Ha, I woke up the next morning with a sheet of ice on my tarp! That just shows you how much we know about the weather.
On Sunday we headed out and proceeded to cut a lot Trees off the Santa Barbara Canyon Trail between all of us. Again Beth and Tom took off up the trail with there pack stock and left us hiking in. We picked up where we had left off the day before right around 10 am. We cut straight through until about 2 pm and at that point we met Tom and Beth. We had one tree left and needed their 4 foot Tuatahi to finish the job.
All and all it was a great trip. And the good thing is that the LPFA Volunteer are going to get the last tree on the trail. Our next trip will again be the Dick Smith Wilderness and it will be another logging trip but this time we will have our water dropped off a week a head of time and we will then hike in to where our water is and spike out.