Monday, March 5, 2012

Clearing the trail, Chainsaw Consultant II

tree down
It's a dismount and crawl tree, no easy walk-around

This old Cottonwood snag has been down on the Cottonwood Trail since some time in the middle of last year. Every time I rode up to it last year until snow shut down the trail for riding I muttered to myself, "need to haul the saw up here and cut this &%$^#er out one of these days."

It was in a place in the trail where it blew your momentum for a nice little drop into the wash and rise up out. But carving out a couple hours to do it on a day when there was plenty of fun riding to do just didn't have much appeal.

tree down

I ran into some friends on the trail Saturday (we have a little of the Arkansas Hills Trail System opening up). They had run up the gulch and were telling me about how the tree was still down, and hoping that somebody would take it out soon.

I decided that this weekend would be a good time to get it done, so that in a month or so when we can start riding it again that sucker would be clear. I hadn't run my saw for a while, so when I got home I took it out, looked to see if I had any bar/chain oil or 2-cycle oil, then ran down to the gas station to get some fresh gas to mix up some 40:1.

My saw is a little 14" Poulan that I got at a hardware store 15 or 16 years ago. It's a cheap-o department store saw, but it's been a great bargain for me. It has started on the 2nd or 3rd yank on the rope always. It hadn't been run for at least a year or so, but I gas'd it up and gave it a yank.

Brum-brum-brum! Ready for action. I took a look at the chain and it looked sharp enough to take on a couple cuts, so that part was ready.

tree cleared

Yesterday morning dawned clear and a little warmer than usual, mid 20's. So I went out and hooked up the Bob trailer and by 8:15 I was granny gear pedaling up out of town onto the face of S-Mountain.

tree cleared

It took me nearly two hours to climb up to the scene of the crime. 20 minutes or so of ripping on that sucker to get it clear. Would have been good if the blade had been a little sharper, need to do that next time before we go do this stuff again. But it was satisfying. Always is.

Down chunky trail with a loaded Bob is always pretty fun.


Got home, GF called about going snowshoeing. Loaded the shoes into the car and drove up 50. Climbed about 1500 ft in 1.75 miles to Waterdog Lake. Bluebird day.

A closer look reveals somebody's tracks up on the ridge far above.


Did I sleep well last night? Not sure, I don't really remember anything about it.

1 comment:

ScottM said...

Great work, Tom. Love that trail.

Good to see the blog back in action. Cheers.