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Trip Report    

Stewardship - Tolmie State Park

This year’s stormy winter weather has brought down many trees, limbs and debris onto the trails at Tolmie State Park. The Park was closed for a few days due to down power lines over the road entrance.  The Olympia Branch Stewardship and Conservation Committee scheduled a trip for February 8th to clear as many down trees and as much storm debris off the very popular trails as we can safely accomplish in a day.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • At this time, I am planning to divide participants and leaders into two crews.  One crew will be using chain saws, hand saws and strong backs to clear large trees off the trail.  Our two certified Chain Sawyers will appreciate help carrying saws equipment, fuel and tools.   The second crew will be using Crosscut Saws and some ingenuity to clear several 12" to 20" fallen trees.    
    Both crews will be hiking between 1.5 and 2 miles carrying tools and stepping over and around wet ground.  Everyone will be sawing to some extent.  Other tasks include raking debris of the trail, rolling and nudging log parts into the forest and brushing back encroaching vegetation.  In the event we are swift in clearing the trails, there is lots of drainage work opportunities.


    upper 4 Cedars trail.jpgLarge Cedar near creek connector trail.jpg

The February 8th trip was a great success, judges both by our own eyes and by the eyes of the many trail users who we encountered on the trails.

Thank you, crew members for your tireless efforts to clear the trail at Tolmie State Park today.  I am feeling very good about our successes because the entire trail system is now free of hiking obstacles that the heavy weather brought down.    A huge credit for this belongs to Mike Forsyth Chainsaw Leader and Ginger Sarver Crosscut Saw Leader Crew.  In part because we completed our mission, open the trail and remove all the obstacles for hikers.  

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                 Ken and Mike at Tolmie.jpg

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There' also the sense of admiration for each crew member, new and experienced, who contributed enthusiastically; I can't find a frown in any of my pictures; methodically, as if this was your college graduation skills test and harmoniously, friends new and old sharing the day with no hope or thought of a reward other than the self satisfaction of having done their best to open the trails at Tolmie.

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I hope you all had a chance to hear the honest and heart-felt gratitude that hikers shared with us as they passed along their way.  Some seemed surprised to learn that the trail crew was from The Mountaineers, an organization well know for outdoor travel, climbing and teaching.  

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Ginger and Zua, your photography is outstanding, as always.  Both crew members who received recognition during the Safety Briefing are historic in significance as well as worthy recipients of recognition beyond our capacity. 

I can't quit laughing admiring Monty's sense of appreciation for public presentation of his special hard hat, with a "trail name" that seems most appropriate for use in the shower.  


Tom Keenan is the first recipient of our brand new recognition: Trail Scout, but his certificate includes the extra special designation of Extraordinaire, the French version for " the first person on scene with  Everything, Everywhere all at once."   IMG_2506.jpeg

Looking at the photos of Ken and Mike clearing the down Doug Fir trees, I realize this trip's success clearing the entire trail would not have been possible with out Ken, the club's first Certified Chain Saw Operator.  He furnished the power equipment, hearing protection, the steady example of safety and stamina. I think we'd still be at Tolmie if Crosscut saws were our only option.   Mike is the mirror image, being the second clubwide Certified Chainsaw operator. 

It was great having a visit by Ranger Joe Moses.  He has a lot of State Park's ground to cover and was able to find time to join us with awards for service for many crew members.   There are many more great storied that unfolded yesterday.  Thanks everyone for a great day of service to Tolmie trail hikers. 

Everyone now has a fresh Stewardship Badge.  Congratulations.  We hope to see you all again in the near future.