Sunday, November 2, 2008

Crystal Valley Ski Trail Opens Two More Loops

removing a tree stump
volunteers Mary Jo Bakker and Ellen Lightle work at
removing a tree stump from new treadway
by Joan H. Young
a GOTC exclusive

Following the club motto to "Move forward until physically restrained," members and friends of the Oceana Cross Country Ski Association (OCCSA) have been working hard to complete two more of the projected five loops of the Crystal Valley cross-country ski trails this fall.

On a crisp Saturday morning six people met in in the russet and golden woods. They came with a mower complete with brush hog, chain saw, shovels, nippers, and a trunk full of lunch items to be prepared on a camp stove when the work was done.

brushhogging a trail
Sid Whitaker mows down grass and shrubs
to prepare the trail for skiing
Sid Whitaker of Crystal Valley brought his narrow Kubota tractor to brush down the grass and shrubs that were growing up in the beginner loop. The 39" wide machine was perfect to easily pass through the vehicle barriers and quickly perform the needed maintenance.

Members Mary Jo Bakker, Dick Sorenson, Donna Loney, and Ellen Lightle wielded various other tools. Dick worked the chain saw to quickly dispatch any large branches or trees that were blocking pathways. To use a chain saw as a volunteer within the National Forest he has completed a required Sawyer training course and has been certified.

Maggie the mutt and I showed up to provide moral support and take some pictures. The group seemed as happy to see us as if we had actually planned to do some real work!

The club's ambitious project for this year is to open two additional loops of the five planned for the site. They believe that they are on track for this to happen. Two loops have previously been completed. This will raise the amount of trail at Crystal Valley to more than ten miles!

Grooming is also done by OCCSA on a volunteer basis. They try to groom the trails, both at Crystal Valley and at Pentwater Pathway, whenever there are more than four inches of new snow.

Membership in OCCSA is very reasonable, at only $10 a year for individuals, or $30 for a family. Contact Donna Loney or more information

See Oceana Cross Country Ski Association (site under construction, more detailed information soon)
These links are checked on the date of the article. As the article ages, some links may become invalid

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