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Weekend Crew 0107 – Kenosha Pass

Trail Crew WE1, June 8-10, 2007
By Kyle Brooksher, Crew Co-Leader

In coordination with Greenwood Community Church, The Colorado Trail Foundation ran a Father-Son Crew on Kenosha Pass from June 8th to the 10th. This weekend crew was aimed at profiting both the church and the Foundation by providing for the different yet complimentary needs of each organization.

The church already had a year-long program called Wild Challenge which gave eighth graders and their fathers a chance to spend time together doing different day-long activities while opening avenues of conversation to help stimulate positive father-son relationships. But this program lacked some sort of get-away where the fathers and sons could spend an extended period of time together away from the distractions of daily life.

The Colorado Trail Foundation, on the other hand, always has a need for more volunteers, and as the years go on, the need for younger volunteers becomes greater. So the Father-Son weekend was an opportunity for fathers and sons to escape together to the mountains for two nights in order to further nurture and grow their relationships in the way that can only be done by doing some good, hard, hands-on labor and being able to look back at what has been accomplished.

While the fathers and sons were benefiting from these things, the Foundation was letting new people experience trail work so that the possibility of new life-long volunteers would be opened. Beyond this, half of the volunteers on this crew were high school aged boys who, if well-enough attracted to the experience would be able to bring a youthfulness to weeklong trail crews in the next coming years, and loyal volunteering for years to come.

Overall, the crew completed almost two-thirds of the fifteen-hundred foot reroute through very rocky terrain which was to be completed by both this crew and the next, all-women, weekend crew.Volunteer father and son Trail Crew Members

Crew Members Included: Kyle Brooksher, Crew Leader, Joe Adams, John Adams, Tom Brooksher, Dave Dalton, Josh Dalton, Brian Hawkins, Christian Hawkins, Greg Jackson, Bryah Jackson, Walt Rakowich, Matthew Rakowich, Kent Scott, Eric Scott, Dan Russell


Weekend Crew 0207 – Kenosha Pass – What a Woman Weekend

Trail Crew WE2, June 15-17, 2007
By Cindy Johnson, Crew Leader

June 15 – 17 was the first ever women only Colorado Trail Crew and it was deemed a great success by all.

Volunteer Trail CrewThere were 10 of us ladies on the crew. They were: Stacey Blado, Pam Clark, Nancy Coburn, Tina Drummond, Susan Miner, Leila Murphy, Sheryl Whitaker, Cherry Von Stroh and Heather White, as well as myself. All but two had never been on a CT crew before and one other had only done some CT maintenance.

Our goal that week was to complete a 1/4 mile reroute a couple miles east of Kenosha Pass to bypass a very rocky, washed out portion of the trail. The work had been started the weekend before by the first ever father/son crew. We camped in an established campground at the top of Kenosha Pass. We were able to complete the reroute and open the trail to hikers by noon on Sunday.

All the ladies who joined us did so because it was a women only crew and said they would do it again, so we hope to repeat the themed weekend again next year. It was tough going through a very rocky stretch which involved clearing lots of rock, some deadfall and one stretch in the open that had very tough grass. But the ladies stepped up and got it done.

The Kenosha campground host was very welcoming and on Saturday evening made comments about the fact that the women looked a lot more chipper after a full day of work than the father/son group the weekend before. One could say we didn’t work as hard but I am not that one.

The toughest part of the entire weekend being women only and not having quite the strength of the men, was lifting the big heavy pots and pans box back into the trailer. But we managed. We also used the 5 gallon water jugs for our water and to make it easier for us to handle, we filled them only 3/4 full. We adapted to our strengths and weaknesses.

All in all, everyone had a great time. It was a great social weekend as well: new card games were played, new friends were made, new recipes were tasted, new muscles were found, new blisters appeared, new skills were learned, new tales were told, new limits were stretched.

Thanks to the CTF for allowing us to try this. Thanks to my experienced crew members Sue and Cherry who helped out tremendously and made my life much easier, and thanks to all the women who attended and made this a first of many to come.

Looking forward to the second What A Woman Weekend next year,
Respectfully submitted,
Your crew leader,
Cindy Johnson

Crew Members Included: Cindy Johnson, Crew Leader, Stacey Blado, Pam Clark, Nancy Coburn, Tina Drummond, Susan Miner, Keila Murphy,
Cherry Von Stroh, Shary Whitaker, Heather White

Weekend Crew 0307 – Clear Creek

Crew Members Included: Art Rankin, Crew Leader, Bob Dorenfeld, Mike Dorio, Kathleen Joyce, Roy Leonard, Johnny Norman, Roy Senyard,
Phil Smith, Sharon Areen Smith, Pat Spitzer

Weekend Crew 0407 – Clear Creek

2007 Crew WE4 – Clear Creek
by Bill Manning, Crew Leader

The drive was pleasant through the Colorado mountains. We were looking forward to our trail work effort on The Colorado Trail. We had a full carload of crew food, equipment and supplies, just Judy Bolis and me, Bill Manning, the crew leader. We arrived at the Clear Creek camp on Friday afternoon as scheduled and our weekend crew began very easily. The entire camp was already set up having been the same location as other crews had used. Because the Clear Creek project would be ongoing for much of the Trail season, the camp would remain set up nearly all summer. It was deluxe, larger than normal, with more community tent space. There was a roomy kitchen and plenty of covered area to eat and socialize. The operations manager, George Miller, and previous crews had thought of everything and it was ship shape – very nice.

Immediately upon arriving we met up with crewmates Pat Spitzer and Michael Mesdag. They had participated in the week-long crew that had just finished and they offered to show us around the camp and surroundings. Having them there was great. Their knowledge proved really helpful and soon we were unloading the food and stocking the supplies tent, putting up our tent and getting organized. George Miller showed up soon with his normal happy greeting and further lined us out. He showed us the shower facilities and explained where all the trail work tools could be found.

Other crew volunteers began arriving. Rhonda Weiler came from Colorado Springs to assist for her 5th crew season. Philip Dixon and buddy Nate Keane arrived for their very first Colorado Trail crew. They were psyched. We would become a diverse group. Everyone caught on quickly to the straight-forward task chart and recorded which duties they would handle: breakfast cook in the early morning, cleanup after dinner, etc. It would take all of us working as a team to accomplish the weekend crew.

We pulled together the dinner, met and socialized, planned for the morning and retired to our tents. Camping in the crisp mountain air was refreshing and the creek lulled us to sleep.

Breakfast came early and the cooks struggled a bit lighting the stove burners and getting coffee going. But it was chilly and it paid off to keep moving. The food was tasty – it always seems good in camp. Soon we were gathered with hard hats and tools, sunscreen and daypacks, ready for the trail work. Bill gave a brief run down of what to expect for the day and a short safety talk. We were off.

Our work assignment for Saturday was south of the creek less than a 1/4-mile walk. As we hiked we looked at the newly built trail that had taken shape in the last few days and learned a bit about our mission for the day. We circled around and demonstrated how to construct Trail tread, dig with pulaskis and rake with mcleods. We talked water diversions for a minute. Bill encouraged everyone to begin. The group started extending the new Trail reroute beyond where the last crew had stopped. Everyone worked at his own pace and quickly got in a groove. Round the switchback, across the hill, creating a trail bench about 3 feet wide. Think like water, decide where you need a drainage structure and create a water diversion carefully so as to make it last. Working together we were steadily becoming a team and were amazed at how quickly the new trail lengthened.

Janet Kahan and Amy Kuras were fun additions. They had traveled all the way from Ann Arbor, Michigan and their volunteer vacation. Jim Gigone had completed The Colorado Trail in 2006, found it worthwhile and committed to helping keep it in good condition. Terri Watson had been a contributor for years and, in addition to doing trail work, was taking photos of the group. Leah Perkins and Jeff Auger were newcomers to the CT and Foundation. They jumped right in.

We hit rocks, lots of rocks. One by one we pried them loose and smoothed the surface. When we encountered the big ones, we teamed up with rock bars and our brains to move each one of them. It was challenging and, when we succeeded moving the big rocks, gratifying – we let out a cheer. Saturday we extended the trail reroute by some 700 feet.

Before calling it a day, we walked up through the woods on the flag line that would connect this new route to The Colorado Trail. We hiked on and on and it was evident that more volunteer crews would be needed. We found walking “off trail” enlightening. Absent a trail, walking through the woods is much tougher. When off-trail you’re frequently stepping over fallen trees, straining your ankles on side hills and needing to reassess your route. Our little excursion was bringing additional light to the value of our trail work. The trail really makes outdoor excursions more enjoyable.

Back to camp, we had time to clean up a bit and socialize. The dinner team got busy. Hors d’oeuvres and refreshments were served and there was interesting conversation between the volunteers who share a love for the outdoors. Dinner and cleanup was efficient with plenty of willing helpers. More conversation ensued and we shared tomorrow’s work plan before retiring to our tents.

Our mission for Sunday trail work was entirely different and would take us onto a south facing hillside with little shade. It would be hot. We got an extra early start with breakfast before 7:00 and were walking toward the work site by around 8:30. Up the sagebrush hillside, we hiked the newly rerouted trail established during the previous two weeks. The trail traversed gently up the steep hill and it took only a glance to understand how much hard work went into constructing it. There were zillions of rocks along the bottom edge indicating that the volunteers had to utilize all their rock removing skills. They had crafted a solid and pleasant route up the hill – very nice.

We reached our work destination and began carving singletrack where there had been only jeep road. I explained to the crew that this work, replacing road segments of the CT with singletrack, has long been a goal of the Foundation. We pried rocks and fashioned trail tread. The setting above the Clear Creek valley was spectacular and we worked steadily as the hillside began to heat up.

Shade trees beckoned us to break for lunch and we had a good sit. Everyone guzzled water to stay hydrated. We talked amidst the great outdoors and enjoyed the shade.

Afternoon trail work brought us into some trees and minor challenges. A steep but short hillside gave us some trouble, but we handled it and established a trail bench. There were some bushes to trim and roots to cut, but mostly rocks to pry loose. We had a couple of opportunities to use the new, prototype pocket chainsaws the CTF would soon procure for Adopt-A-Trail volunteers. The tiny saws made surprisingly quick work of trimming some big branches. We almost finished our goal for the day but, with the hot sun and dwindling drinking water, we called it a day just shy of our goal. Everyone seemed happy with all we had accomplished over the weekend – some mighty good new tread for The Colorado Trail.

Camp cleanup took just minutes. That location would be used again and again during the summer, so we didn’t have to disassemble it. Everyone was packed up and saying goodbye before long. Some team members exchanged contact information to supplement the lists that each of us already had.

Volunteers really enjoyed making new friends along with finding trail work fun and worthwhile. More than once we heard, “I’ll be back next summer.”

Crew Members Included: Bill Manning, Crew Leader, Jeff Auger, Judy Bolis, Philip Dixon, Jim Gigone, Janet Kahan, Nate Keane, Amy Kuras,
Michael Mesdag, Leah Perkins, Pat Spitzer, Terri Watson, David Weaver, Rhonda Weiler

Weekend Crew 0507 – Mt. Massive

Crew Members Included: Paul Smith, Crew Leader, Bernard Asiu, Amber Aumiller, Rachael Bray, David Cody, Susan Cody, Kerwin Hawkins, Bill Kaewert, Sarah Kaewert, Dan McMonigle, Debbie McMonigle, Whitney Medved, Elena Moreno, John Slattery, Brett Sorge

Weekend Crew 0607 – Mt. Massive

Crew Members Included: Paul Smith, Crew Leader, Fred Balmos, Cheryl Berzanskis, Jim Lyall, Mike McDonnell, Suedell McWhorter, Melanie Miller, Stephanie Sheldon, Susan Stephens, Joe Wright

Weeklong Crew 0107 – Clear Creek

July 16, 2007

To Clear Creek Crew 0107,

Seems odd to refer to our little group as 0107. Sounds like a British spy story.

We trust that everyone got home safely. Kathy Howard sent a note that she went first down to her new home in Santa Fe and later drove back to Arizona. We saw Bob Seklemian on Sunday when we picked up the crew stuff he and Mark carried back to Denver for us. Mark had already left for DIA and his flight back to Virginia.

volunteer trail crew hard at workThe crews at Clear Creek are continuing as I write this. This is the second week of George Miller’s crew of Land Mark kids. Glen Kepler’s crew works next week and Stan Ward’s crew will follow to wrap up the Trail construction and pack up the camp.

The new bridge is in! During the first week in July, Stan Ward’s “Bridge Brigade” built the gabion-constructed abutments as well as a temporary bridge to facilitate the work. Then on July 6 the huge crane came back to creek side to lift the four-and-a-half ton bridge into place. Bev Gherardini, Penny Simpson, Sam Davis, Dewey Hill, Roy Senyard (still working on crews), Marylin and I were there from our crew for the big event. Everyone held their breath as we watched to see if the two ends of the bridge would fit down perfectly over four bolts on each side—80 feet apart—and it did. A couple photos are enclosed.

Our crew really set the pace for constructing trail at Clear Creek and I’m not sure that any other crew matched it. By George’s estimate, we built close to a mile of new trail and, as you well remember, it was under challenging conditions. You all should be proud of the good work you did.

When we went to watch the bridge installation on the sixth, Marylin and I hiked the new Trail from the road up to just beyond where we ended the work on Friday afternoon, June 16. It was easy hiking up and afforded a great view of the reservoir and Arkansas River valley on the way down. We hope you all can come back some time to hike up the new Trail and walk the bridge over Clear Creek and see just how great it is.

Many thanks for all your good work. And thank you, too, for being good campers. All of you helped make it a good week for The Colorado Trail and a good week for us.

We hope your summer is going well.

Crew Members Included: Jon Greeneisen, Crew Leader, Dick Blue, Bill Carpenter, Don Clasen, Steve Clasen, Sam Davis, Marilyn Eisele, Rick Eisele, Bev Gheradini, Marylin Greemeisen, Dewey Hill, Kathy Howard, Bob Hunter, Larry Mack, Nikii Murtaugh, Paul Njaa, Sandy Njaa, Bob Seklemian, Mark Seklemian, Roy Senyard, Penny Simpson, Pat Spitzer, Ken Swierenga, Don Van Wyke, Dale Zoetewey

Weeklong Crew 0207 – Mt. Elbert

Crew 0207 Mount Elbert (Herrington Creek)
By Bill Bloomquist, Crew Leader

Volunteer trail crew workerWe met in Leadville at the Forest Service office. One enrollee could not attend because of an injury but we had two crew members who signed up late so we had a total of eight. Jeff Leiszy from the Forest Service Leadville office accompanied us to camp near the Lake View Campground. Our intended camp spot had been turned into a timber sale area so we moved a short distance to a camp which had already been set up by American Hiking Society and the FS. The move required us to manually relocate a portable toilet which fortunately was a fresh one. We straightened up camp to our satisfaction and moved into a nice flat area in a stand of lodgepole pine and aspen.

Jeff and Scott Richardson and the leader drove and hiked to the work site on Saturday afternoon and scoped the job. The intended work was to clean up a short stretch near Herrington Creek which was of indefinite alignment and full of roots. A retaining wall needed to be rebuilt, a turnpike repaired and some corridor widening required removal of trees. By the end of the week all the work had been accomplished.

Reaching the work site required us to drive up a switchbacked jeep road 20 or 30 minutes to the end of the road at Lily Lakes. We then hiked 45 or 50 min on a connecting trail and the CT to Herrington Creek.

Rebuilding the retaining wall took several day’s effort by Bill Bloomquist and Scott Richardson who felled trees and cut them to length. Cherry von Stroh showed us how to peel the freshly cut trees. Meanwhile Bill Carpenter and Dick Blue and Cherry found a place a hundred yards up the trail where they could dig up fill dirt. And simultaneously Nikii Murtaugh, and the mother/daughter team of Bobbi and Wendy Ernst dug out hundreds of roots large and small. We also had a succession of helpers for a few hours at a time from the Forest Service. The FS people brought a very heavy “grip hoist” to pull out the big stumps left from their tree felling.

volunteers maintaing the Trail treadThe small crew was a good match to the smallish work area. The variety of jobs to be done allowed everyone to switch jobs from time to time. At the end of the week we had hauled hundreds of wheel barrow loads of dirt, removed a million roots, cut down twenty trees, rebuilt the retaining wall, and rebuilt the turnpike over the creek. And we made all the slash and stumps and the borrow pit vanish thanks to hard physical work by Bill C and Dick B in particular. Our little section now has a good hard tread, proper drainage and takes only a few seconds to hike over. Our work should be invisible and long-lasting.

As we worked we greeted a number of through hikers and backpackers and several mountain bike riders. They were all complementary toward the CT’s on-going efforts. Bill B and Cherry also redirected a lost and exhausted climber who was using the CT to get farther from his friends and vehicle.

The small crew allowed us to dispense with most of the assignment of camp chores: everyone pitched in to do whatever was needed. Hero of the realm award goes to Bill V for cooking breakfast and bringing us steaks. He is a serious cook who brings along his own chef’s knife. Scott, too, heroically brought us ice cream from town so we would not have to turn the crank with our tired arms.

Crew Members Included: Bill Bloomquist, Crew Leader, Dick Blue, Bill Carpenter, Bobbi Ernst, Wendy Ernst, Nikii Murtaugh, Scott Richardson,
Cherry Von Stroh

Weeklong Crew 0307 – Clear Creek

Crew 0307
By Michael Mesdag, Crew Volunteer

During the week of June 17, John Lipe led a group of 17 volunteers who were the 3rd group to work on the Clear Creek Reservoir reroute. This project was a 2.4 mile reroute and addition of an 80` steel bridge to get the CT off of private Clear Creek Ranch property. This week was also the “flex” week, which means people could come for as many or few days as they wanted, at any point during the week. When the crew arrived, the previous three crews had gotten 2/3rd of the way down the north side of the valley.

On Sunday, the crew voted to go up and work instead of taking off on the traditional work-free day. We all went up and joined Art Rankin’s weekend crew for a half day. On Monday, we went back to the north side and worked extremely hard, making tons of progress. So much, in fact, that on Tuesday half of the group was able to go with John to the south side and begin work there, while the other half stayed with Roy Senyard and finished up the north side. The crew on the north side also made great progress. Wednesday was our off day. Kathleen Joyce, Bruce Wagner, Craig Lazaras, Chris Jacobsen, Fred Almy, and Dallas Peterson decided to climb the nearby 14er Mt. Belford. Two of them also went on to climb the adjoining Mt. Oxford. They were all beat when they got back to camp. Another group, Steve Stadler, Pat Spitzer, and Susan Jones went for a short day hike near the ghost town of Winfield. We also had two backpackers, Kevin and Elle, join us for dinner. On Thursday everyone went to the south side and worked extremely hard. Roy was a master with the chainsaw and got the trees cleared in no time. On Friday we only worked in the morning and everyone who wasn’t staying on for the weekend crew left.

All the meals were absolutely fantastic. Eileen Lipe was a fabulous cook and the breakfast, lunch, and dinner crews all did a great job. No one was left hungry. We had great fun in the afternoon playing dominoes or Scrabble or just listening and telling stories. Several nights we had a campfire and two of those nights Greyowl (Joe Barrett) treated us to some excellent harmonica playing. On Thursday night we had a gift exchange. Everyone gave someone a gift of no monetary value that was either funny or meaningful. We all had a great time and look forward to working with John again.

On a personal note, I, Michael Mesdag (age 15), really loved this. I have been working on the trail ever since I was born, as my mom (Julie Mesdag) is an adopter, and been loving it the whole time. This was the first crew I’ve done on my own, and it was great. I’ll be coming back for a long time.

Crew Members Included: John Lipe, Crew Leader, Fred Almy, Joe Barrett, Eileen Broer, James Glancy, Susan Jones, Craig Lazares, Michael Mesdag, Dallas Peterson, Roy Senyard, Pat Spitzer, Steve Stadler, Brooks Taylor, Amy Vander Koii, Andy Vander Koii, Bruce Wagner, Rhonda Wheiler

Weeklong Crew 0407 – Clear Creek

Trail Crew 0407, June 30-July 7, 2007
By Stan Ward, Crew Leader

The call came from George Miller: “We need to build a bridge over Clear Creek.”

In early 2007 I asked 15 Front Range CTFers if they were interested in building that bridge and invited them to a meeting on a Saturday morning in early February. Of the 15 invited, 13 attended! And the other two could not get out of prior commitments. That’s commitment to the CTF!

It was a very productive and consequential meeting. We divided the project into three main responsibilities: gabions, temporary bridge and steel bridge.

Volunteer Trail CrewBob Hunter took on the gabions: he learned all he could about the assembly and installation of 12′ long wire baskets and followed up on delivery and construction, even to overseeing their filling with 40 tons of gravel (well, 4″ -6″ rocks) almost 100% of which had to be placed by hand.

Bob Miner took on the temporary bridge. He had done his homework and had negotiated a donation of some special joists which greatly simplified its design and construction. He then followed through with detailed negotiations for the purchase of the needed materials and contributed significantly to its fabrication and installation and to the involved construction of the access steps.

Volunteer Trail Crew replacing bridgeJohn Lipe took on the steel bridge installation and arranged to meet with with Larry Ballantyne on key problems such as how to properly install anchor bolts in wire baskets filled with large rocks.
In May we met at the site to verify field conditions, make final decisions and set out the construction schedule. That it would require them to spend 10 days onsite –probably without a day off– was accepted without question.

The bridge from Minnesota, the gabions from Tennessee, and the lumber and gravel from Buena Vista were delivered on time. Most of the crew began arriving on Thursday. But John Lipe had a family emergency and was not able to be in camp. So, Larry Ballantyne stepped in with no prior notice to take charge of the bridge installation.

That Larry Ballantyne succeeded admirably is now a fact. The hard work, intelligence, skills, and dedication he provided was key. “It fit!”

Thanks to the leadership and resourcefulness of these four guys, we now have a graceful, elegant 80′ steel bridge spanning Clear Creek that is a compliment and testament to the professionalism of the CTF and its volunteers.

That these four accomplished so much is in no small part because of the truly hard work and dedication of the rest of the 0407 Bridge Brigade crew, who are identified in our crew report elsewhere in this issue.

My continued thanks and huzzahs to all!

By Charlotte Aycrigg and Dan Russell

Largest Project Ever Built by Volunteer Crews

In 2006, Stan Ward’s (Curly) phone rang. It was George Miller. “Curly, you have a bridge to build.” The Colorado Trail had to be moved from private land to public land or else. The reroute ultimately required the installation of a new 80-foot permanent steel bridge across Clear Creek and 7 miles of new trail.

Curly mobilized his forces: three generations of family members, long-time friends and volunteers, and new friends and volunteers. Volunteers included doctors, backhoe operators, judges, nurses, businessmen, teachers, engineers, and a rebel, among others. The project involved extensive preparation, many meetings, coordination with numerous government agencies, heavy equipment, skilled labor, money, time, jokes, tears, and determination. The crew fabricated the bridge approaches on-site, placed forty tons of rock, worked through mud, ticks, sweat, and beer. It was a spectacular effort by all!

Several advance crews laid the groundwork for Crew 0407. On Friday July 6, 2007, many spectators arrived to see the crane place the bridge on its setting. Would it fit? After a tense moment, two swift swings of a hammer brought the bridge to rest perfectly in place. The crowd roared! The bridge was built!

Crew Members Included: Stan Ward, Crew Leader, Fred Almy, Charlotte Aycrigg, Jim Ballantyne, Larry Ballantyne, Eileen Broer, Kyle Brooksher, Tom Brooksher, Carol Clapp, Lois Cochran, Tracy Cochran, Steve Espinoza, Marty Farmer, Pat Fujii, Tak Fujii, Rebecca Gaston, Bob Hunter, Cindy Johnson, Erick Johnson, Beth Killebrew, John Lipe, John MacPherson, Bob Miner, Ken Nakauchi, Carolyn Parsons, Ken Parsons, Daniel Russell, Roy Senyard, Paul Sorenson, Adam Svetecz, Ernest Svetecz, Frank Svetecz

Weeklong Crew 0507 – Clear Creek

Crew Members Included: George Miller, Crew Leader, Elise Alexander, Ian Michael Barr, Devon Elizabeth Behrer, James Beltch, Christine Cohen, Laura Curan, Mike Davis, Matthew DiLandro, David Harry Engell, MalaDee Patterson, Derek Pearson, Susan Peters, Ian Preston, Den Sanders, Jeff Schommer, Roy Senyard, Charlton Strum, Hazel Unger

Weeklong Crew 0607 – Cascade Creek

Crew Members Included: Chuck Lawson, Crew Leader, Bretton Anderson, Peggy Anderson, Bill Bloomquist, Dick Blue, Bill Carpenter, Carol Clapp, John Cooley, Kay Cooley, Mary Coombs, Kimberly Cumber, Krista Edwards, Bob Fetterman, Dana Fetterman, JoAnne Florian, David Hutchinson, Rachael Hutchinson, Pat LaMay, Ted LaMay, Linda Lawson, Richard Manier Jr, Ken Marshall, Dan McMonigle, Debbie McMonigle, Del Militare, Charles Miller, Lexi Miller, Laverne Nelson

Weeklong Crew 0707 – Clear Creek

Crew Members Included: Bill Bloomquist, Crew Leader, Elise Alexander, Ian Michael Barr, Devon Elizabeth Behrer, Jerry Bush, Bill Carpenter,
Christine Cohen, Matthew DiLandro, David Harry Engell, Derek Pearson, Ian Preston, Storme Rose, Den Sanders, Jeff Schommer, Hazel Unger

Weeklong Crew 0807 – Cataract Ridge

Crew Members Included: Merle McDonald, Crew Leader, Stacey Ackerman-Alexeeff, Bill Berglan, Dick Blue, Tom Bowser, Betty Brown, Amanda Cruser, Steve Cruser, Marilyn Eisele, Richard Hackman, Cathy Hoch, Darren Homrighausen, Linda Johnson, Kathleen Allen, Allen Kallenbach, Roy Leonard, Uta McDonald, Jeff Orwick, Jan Quintrall, Suzanne Reed, Colton Wilson

Weeklong Crew 0907 – Clear Creek

Clear Creek Trail Crew 0907
July 21 – July 28, 2007
Tale of the Trail
By Glenn Kepler

Volunteer Trail Crew 0907The sixth crew of seven to work the major Clear Creek reroute camped as the other, in an elaborate base camp. We were seventeen strong……at times. We actually fluctuated in numbers and strength. Ray Abercrombie joined us mid-way through the week, and Randy Meyer’s boys Kalen and Ryan could not stay all week. We also had some cancellations and were sad that Roy Senyard, Jaime Jones, LeRue Rodgers, Anna McCray and Lorreta Martin were unable to join in on the work and fun. We all wish those who had to cancel out well, and know there will be other opportunities fro them to serve.

Jim Sprague, who drove in from Ohio, seemed to be the first into camp, or at least he was the first observed by crew leader Glenn W. Kepler, Sr. and his brother Roy W. Kepler as they pulled in. Bruce Peterson, and Harriette and James Einolf were next on location. The rest of us filtered in with Randy and the boys pulling in just as dinner was served. The dinner menu had been adjusted due to Randy having much of the food provisions in his RV. Thank goodness the pantry had plenty of ham and potatoes left over from previous crews. There was plenty to go around for all.

Most all chose to set up tents on the edge of Clear Creek. The creek was swift running and named properly. The babbling water made for a gentle background as we retired each evening after a hard days work on the trail. The sound of the swift Clear Creek was not the only sounds of nature we experienced. The first three late afternoons were serenaded by the thumping of hail on the roofs of the group, kitchen, pantry, and shower tents. Yes the camp was elaborate, right down to the porta-johns. The hail and rain seemed to get progressively stronger each of the three evenings.

We had plenty of guests during the week: an interesting group of three through hikers; five Boy Scouts and their leader (most were Eagle Scouts); Jerry and Karl Brown (of CTF map making and GPS fame); a crew member from one of the previous Clear Creek crews A nice women from the State of Florida, I was sorry I didn’t catch her name); and George Miller, a pillar of the Colorado Trail Foundation. It is important to note that George’s wife of 47 years had passed away on Sunday, July 22nd. Lila will be greatly missed by George and all at the foundation. Glen and Roy, the Kepler brothers, were able to make it to Lila’s funeral service in Colorado Springs Saturday after they left camp. Reverend David Hunting officiated at the service and a wonderful eulogy was given by George and Lila’s daughter.

There were other events of note during the week. Tatiana Betancour sprained her ankle during the first few hours of the first day out on the trail. Our leader Glenn tried out his newly acquired and certified wilderness first aid skills he learned from Jerry Brown (the same Jerry who visited us later in the week). Randy had actually carried up the trail, some ice in a cooler, so we applied that to the injured ankle. We sent down the trail for student nurse and crew member Melissa Yahr. She looked over the injury and Glenn’s handy work. Four crew members ended up carrying Tatiana down a rugged stretch of a utility access dirt road to Glenn’s Grand Cherokee for a ride back to camp. Brooks Taylor, (Tatiana’s uncle) took her into Leadville to be checked out. Until then no one was sure if the injury was a fracture or just a bad sprain. Thank you Brooks, James, Randy, and Glenn for bringing Tatiana safely off the north slope of the reroute. Tatiana stayed in camp the remainder of the week with her Aunt Janice Taylor and cousin Alexis (a veteran youth of several CTF volunteer crews). They took good care of each other in camp and rustled up some fine dinners for the rest of us.

The only other injury known by the writer was Jame’s index finger bruised between two rocks. Thankfully neither injury was too severe.

The college students on this crew were of the utmost help. Gregg Janecky, Melissa Yahr, and her sister Katie Yahr teamed up with Roy Kepler the first day out to successfully construct a French drain on the lower portion of the north slope. I say successfully due to the run off that tested construction both days after. The French drain held up.

The youngest of our crew Ryan, age 9, and Kalen, age 12, the Meyer brothers, were a joy to the rest of the team. To watch these two brother’s pitch in the hard work was remarkable. Good job guys.

On the other end of the spectrum did a remarkable amount of rock work with his trusty pick Maddox. Jim was lovingly dubbed “Old man of the mountain”.

Sara Nye, Harriette Einolf, and Janice Taylor demonstrated to the rest of the crew, what women can do. Where do these women get their strength and endurance? And they can do it all and fix meals fit for a King. Thank you for all your work on and off the trail.

All are thanked for a job well done. Not much was left for the next crew to do, at least not to our thinking. But we are sure the seventh crew was not idle and look forward to reading their tail of the trail.

Crew Members Included: Glenn Kepler, Crew Leader, Ray Abercrombie, Tatiana Betancour, Harriette Einolf, James Einolf, Gregg Jenecky, Roy Kepler, Kalen Meyer, Randal Meyer, Ryan Meyer, Sara Winter Nye, Bruce Peterson, Alexis, Jim Sprague, Brooke Taylor, Janice Taylor, Katie Yahr, Melissa Yahr,

Weeklong Crew 1007 – Wall’s Gulch

We got off to a trendsetting start when we set up camp on Thursday. Ann said “it looks like rain” and everyone else said “no way, its going to be a great day”. Of course, it rained that day and every day thereafter for the entire week. The good news – the timing of the rain was such that it did not interfere with our work except for one afternoon. However, it DID OFTEN interfere with dinner preparation, eating, cleanup and all our other camp duties. More good news – the rain did not dampen the spirit of the crew one iota.

The Crew members arrived on Saturday and, after reconnoitering at the Junction Creek Campground, we headed to mile marker 18 on Junction Creek road. Everyone settled in and the camp came to life.

Sunday morning, after a leisurely breakfast, we headed for the Trail for some “hands on” safety and trailbuilding coaching. To honor the tradition of Ted LaMay, we spent the next several hours’ constructing “practice” water bars and rolling dips and deberming the Trail.

The Wall’s Gulch Bridge rebuild turned out to be a bit of a misnomer. The Trails 2000 group that preceded us by four days completed all but the covering of two gabions (per Webster – a hollow wickerwork or iron cylinder filled with earth and used in building fieldworks or in mining), which we did on our first work day. I think all of us that walked down to the bridge were happy we didn’t have to do it again. The almost 8 mile roundtrip (vertical – 1,600 ft down and 1,600 ft. UP) was a killer and would have made for a very exhausting week.

While part of our Crew was working on the bridge, the rest of the Team started working from the junction of the Trail and Champion Venture road, heading toward Durango. From Tuesday on everyone worked on the tread. Ted and Ernie had to get busy laying out additional work to keep ahead of our fast moving team. For the week we completed 57 new waterbars, reworked 4 existing waterbars, built/improved 19 rolling dips/drains, debermed 607 ft. of trail, removed rock from 110 ft., reworked 3 switchbacks and removed one giant stump. We covered almost 3 miles. What a tremendous effort by a great team!

The combination of backbreaking work, the end of day hike UPHILL (the “meadow” seemed like it was a mile long and 2,000 ft in elevation) and the rain, literally put a damper on our social life. However, the good sleeping ended Friday night when THE BEAR ARRIVED in camp at 1:00 AM! Dee, who had a well-earned reputation for talking in her sleep, was the first to hear the sneaky bruin. She loudly announced arrival of Yogie but, to her dismay, there was no response. Everyone thought she was, once again, talking in her sleep. Dee finally, quite agitated, said in her loudest voice, “doesn’t anyone care that there is a bear in camp?” That finally got some attention.

After several visits by our bear we finally managed to scare him away by parking our car next to the remaining recyclable bags and crew members showing off thank you bandandas blowing the horn when the bear returned. That worked – the bear took off like a bullet and did not come back.

Saturday was a mixture of joy and sadness as we all looked forward to hot showers and comfortable beds. We were saddened to think the wonderful time we had meeting new and old friends and sharing time with such great people was coming to an end.

Ann and I wish to, once again, express our thanks to all the hard working dedicated folks that helped make the week such great fun and The Colorado Trail an even better experience for it’s users. Without such committed Crew members much of the Trail would become unusable in a matter of years. It is inspiring to see, first hand, that there are people in our world committed to doing good things for others.

Crew Members Included: Ernie Norris, Crew Leader, Bill Cartwright, Howard Crisp, Paul Dini, Larry Eads, JM Jones, JJ Kleckner, Ted LaMay,  Ray Landfair, Lorraine Lund, Larry Mack, Jim McIntosh, Jim Mohle, Lavern Nelson, Ann Norris, Bill Rhymer, Robert Southwick, Bruce Thill, Dee White, Becky Wynn

Weeklong Crew 1107 – Clear Creek

Crew Members Included: Stan Ward, Crew Leader, Ray Abercrombie, Charles Ament, Carol Bierwagen, Peg Datillo, Tom Datillo, Steve Espinoza, Laura Farmer, Clare Foote, Dick Hackman, Cindy Johnson, Erick Johnson, Sarah Johnson, Lauren Kovaleski, John Lipe, Whitney Medved, Bob Miner, Gary Osburn, Rolly Rogers, Jim Sprague, Brian Stevens, Nancy Stevens, Robert Stevens, Zachary Stevens, Sally Stone, Roger Weber

Weeklong Crew 1207 – Mt. Elbert

Crew Members Included: Phil Smith, Crew Leader, Drew Akerlund, Ben Arnold, Clinton Britt, Steve Brockmeyer, Glynnis Cox, Raymond Cox, Morgan Fechter, Kelly Gorham, Nick Guzzardo, April Idar, Amber Jeffers, Mary Kozojed, Alexandra Livingood, Jonathan Oldham, Ben Parker, Kevin Parker, Jake Scoggins, Mae Smith, Betty Sylvester, John Sylvester, Matthew Trujillo, Casey Voss

Weeklong Crew 1307 – Cataract Ridge

Crew Members Included: Jerry Brown, Crew Leader, Dick Blue, Bill Korbin, John Marksbury, Dan Moore, Steven Muth IV, Clinton Nichols, Dave Peters, Jodie Petersen, Robert Southwick, Maddalena Tumminaro, Daniel Weber