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Old 08-11-2011, 07:12 PM  
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Selah, Washington
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Report: Ahtanum ORV Trails Clean-up & camp-out - July 2011

Ahtanum Camp-out & ORV Trails Clean-up
By Clay Graham

On Tuesday July 26th, 2011 we set up camp at the Ahtanum Sno-park for the "Ahtanum Camp-out" hosted by Eastern Washington Adventures. This is an open event to pre-run the trails before the "Ahtanum ORV Trails Clean-up" hosted by the Yakima/Kittitas Forest Watch Association.

On Wednesday July 27th, 2011 we headed out of camp around 10 AM with four XJs (Tiny, Test Dummy, Don & Ceg) and one TJ (Foxracer). We took North Fork Ahtanum up toward Divide Ridge. We stopped off at Snow Cabin Campground to help the DNR pull the old sign post since a new Snow Cabin Campground sign was going up to reopen the campground that week. Test Dummy used his winch to pull the post and then we were on our way. We turned up the Blue Lake Trail and then onto 4W615 to Blue Lake. We stopped for a short break to let the kids and dogs run. It was a very nice day to be up there.

After a short break we headed up 4W615 toward Blue Slide Lookout. A long the way we found a patch of snow to drive across. Foxracer having the best built rig was the only one to get stuck. We helped him out and continued to Blue Slide Lookout to take in the view.

We headed on down the ridge on FS1020 crossing a long snow drift. We had to play a little before moving on. Again Foxracer got stuck. The guy was just having to much fun.

Next we turned down 4W613. That is where the work began. There were many trees that had fallen into the trail that we had to move. People had starting to making new bi-passes even though the snow just had melted enough to use the trail. We had to wheel over a few patches of snow to get down Foundation Ridge. A long the way we stopped for lunch at the Lower Meadow and stopped for breaks at the view points overlooking Rimrock. Dropping down toward Louie Way Gap, I ripped off my XJ's tail light in an off camber section on a tree. Two other XJs drivers had to winch the rear of their Jeeps up the hill not to get smashed up on that same tree.

Once off 4W613 at Louie Way Gap, we ran C1000 out toward Nasty Creek Corrals. At Nasty Creek Corrals we gave Don some air and he headed home with his son. We headed back to camp in the Ahtanum Sno-park. Tiny headed home later that night.

On Thursday July 28th, 2011 we talk with the DNR and then headed out after 11 AM with two XJs (Test Dummy & Ceg) and one TJ (Foxracer). We headed up the Mid Fork Ahtanum and onto Whites Loop Road. Next we turned up Whites Ridge 4x4 Trail. We had a few trees to moved a long the way. We checked out the view points and picked up the trash we found. At the end of the trail we back tracked down to McLaine Canyon Road and ran it to the Mid Fork Ahtanum. We took the Mid Fork Ahtanum Road up to Eagle Nest. We hiked up to the view point and took a quick look. Next we drove up the Darland Mountain with a drive through of Cover Flats Campground on the way. Up on Darland Mountain we found a new sign that was broke. We guess someone drove on it when the snow was still deep. After a break on Darland Mountain we headed down the North Fork Ahtanum, across Whites Ridge on McLaine Canon Road, down Whites Ridge 4x4 Trail and then the Mid Fork Ahtanum Road to camp at the Ahtanum Sno-park. Guido was there waiting for us. Test Dummy and Foxracer had to head home since the both had to work the next day through the weekend.

On Friday July 29th, 2011 we headed out of camp around 10 AM with a XJ (Ceg), a TJ (Guido) and a quad (shared by the 4 kids). We ran the roads and trails of Sedge Ridge clearing the down trees that we could move. Some could not be moved because of there size.

When we got back to camp, we found TJ40 and his son was waiting for us.

My wife "99" came up after work that evening. Not long after 99 got there, our son "Doc" crashed his bicycle and 99 had to take him to the hospital for stitches. Late that night they came back to camp. Doc said he did not want to go home. Doc did not want to let me down by missing the clean-up.

On Saturday July 30th, 2011 we had people signing for the "Ahtanum ORV Trails Clean-up" hosted by the Yakima/Kittitas Forest Watch Association around 9 AM. Different groups spread out across the Ahtanum State Forest to pick up trash. Over all the forest was pretty clean. There was 23 volunteers on this work day. Some of the volunteers were members of one of these clubs: Yakima/Kittitas Forest Watch Association, Cascade Quad Squad or Jeeping Nomads.

On Sunday July 31st, 2011 we packed up camp and said our good byes. It was nice to be home but a lot hotter than where we were camped during the week.

Thank you! I want to say thank you to the volunteers that helped during this week. All these volunteer hours go to match funding to help the Ahtanum State Forest. I hope everyone will come back next year for another good time.

Click here for the 140 pictures with details of the event!

ForestWatchVP.org where the public helps keep public land access open to the public!
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