Memorial Day crew lays red carpet to Carter Creek

Memorial Day crew lays red carpet to Carter Creek

Melissa Conner stands proudly atop the rim of Babyfoot Lake

27 MAY 2013 | KERBY, OR — Siskiyou Mountain Club volunteers spent their holiday weekend serving on the front lines of the Trans-Kalmiopsis Route, a 28-mile connection of trails the Club has been working to recover since 2010.

From Babyfoot Lake Trailhead, they worked their way through 4-miles of thick brush and about 25 downed logs.

And Club volunteer Justin Rohde hiked the 9-miles into Carter Creek, cutting the hardest to pass logs along the way with a 5-foot crosscut saw. Then he hiked out in the same day.

Horsepacker Mike Pierce approaches the Chetco River

“I hurt,” he says in a phone interview. “We cleared over a dozen trees and multiple jams from the route.” Supported by pack-stock, Rohde hiked over 18-miles with more than 6000 feet of gross elevation gain.

In the meantime, a group of ten volunteers were brushing out long sections of the trail where the brush had grown waist-high since the 2002 Biscuit Fire burnt the forest’s canopy in entirety. The crew bucked around 13 logs inside the wilderness boundary.

Hikers heading for Babyfoot Lake should be aware that the critical junction less than a mile from the trailhead is very easily missed. “People are now getting lost looking for the Babyfoot Lake Trail because of multiple downed logs at the fork,” says Rohde.

Kalmiopsis leachiana blooming, Bailey Mountain Botanical Area

There is still a 1,500 foot section of thick brush along the Emily Cabin Trail No. 1129.

The crew encountered a group of boaters with inflatable kayaks strapped to their backs heading for Carter Creek, as well as multiple hikers using the route.

“This was an impressive crew,” says Gabe Howe, Siskiyou Mountain Club executive director. “I wish I had them for more days.”

The popular Babyfoot Lake Trail has not been maintained.