Saturday, August 1, 2015

Deschutes National Forest Volunteer ~

I really enjoy the outdoors...especially the wilderness!  Love to hike and be in the woods!

Returning back to Bend Oregon 6 weeks ago - ..our friends Mark & Holly, who have hiked the whole Pacific Crest Trail from the border of Mexico all the way up to the Canadian border a few years back - (yes that's 2650 miles of hiking on this Trail)... told me they are doing volunteer work in the forest this summer!

 I was interested and wanted to know mor!

 They told me about "logging" on the trails to clear it for the hikers during the summer months.  Many trees fall during the winter due to snow, winds and lightening.                                                                                                                                

I thought that might be pretty cool....and asked if I could join them? 

On a volunteer basis, you can sign up with the Forest Service and go with a group of like-minded people! We meet at the Ranger Station at 7 am and pile into a Forest Service truck and off we go up the mountain trails deep into the forest!

 There is usually about 8 of us - and we take with us  hard-hats, axes, saw's, and backpacks with LOTS of water..and Lunch....and up the trails we go...wonderful!

Park the truck and hike up the trails sometimes 4 miles up to 9-12 miles...with saws, axes...and cutting the logs that have fallen on the trails!
 This was a whole cluster of downed trees...several of us worked together to clear this path!

We actually "study" the situation first...because some logs need only one cut and you can push the log to the side...sometimes by lifting and other times by sitting on the ground and together pushing the log/tree to the side...!  Yes you do get pretty dirty & dusty doing this-ha!  The log above was too big to push - so we did 2 cuts on that one...and rolled it aside! 

We only have hand saws with a double saw for 2 people or a single saw for the smaller logs...but the job gets done!  Each team does about 35 logs...last week we cleared 144 logs with 8 people!  A good days work & a good sense of accomplishment as we hike back to the truck...TIRED!

 Hemlock trees & huckleberries - so pretty!  Oh the sights you see going up in elevation!  Love it!

This tree is one of the bigger ones we you can see I do it with a team mate! Mark on one side of the tree and I am on the other side...sawing steady and straight...and then....Yahooo!  We cut through!  Fun!  I am building muscle where there was something "else!" and that is a good thing! 

This area is part of a really big fire we had here in Three Sisters Wilderness 3 years ago...the
B&B wildfire...which burned acres and acres of land! 

 It's official...they gave me a hard-hat!  I am a volunteer for the Forest Service...

...........Ellen Likes!

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