Hiking: good conditions, fall colors are increasing daily. During wet weather, avoid two areas - 1)trails near the warming house that have been bulldozed to prepare for logging; 2)the West Side trails between intersections A-B-C-D-E (last fall those trails were bulldozed and used to haul logs from a timber sale - grass seed was recently spread there).
Grasses: mowed trails have short grasses. Elsewhere the grasses are knee high, waist high, and chest high. Be sure to look at the map in the mowing report (below).
Biking: most trails are firm - although the East Side trails are always damp and soft if you venture to the Far East. When biking this summer, please tread gently on the south half of the West Side of the trail system - grass seed was spread in July on the many bare trails involved in last summer's logging operation.
Insects: not very bothersome.
Loggers are currently working on the East Side in the vicinity of the Otter Slide and Far East trails. The 'Red Pine' timber sale (north of the warming house) will be logged later this fall.
Look at the 'Mowing Report' and the map of mowed trails to find the trails the loggers will be using.
April 25: wet flurries
We started mowing the East Side trails in late June. West Side trails haven't been mowed yet - the Forestry Department usually mows the West Side but probably won't have an available mower this year. If time allows, our organization will mow the West Side later this fall.
Meeting called to order
by Dick Pebler, president, at 5:40 p.m. at the warming house at the Blue Hills Trail
Officers: Tom Paulsen, Dick Pebler
Members: Steve Gest, Jonathan Stanley
Non-members: Dan Bartels, Steve Brockman
We switched propane suppliers in June. Sheldon Co-op delivered a replacement tank, FerrellGas removed their old tank. Furnace repair of the pilot light was performed in November before we could successfully light the furnace for this winter season.
The very wet summer created unusual mowing challenges. In early July, Rusk County mowed the Westside and a small portion of the Eastside. In mid July, Dan Bartels mowed a significant portion of the Eastside. When Steve Brockman tried to complete mowing of the Eastside in July, the mower became stuck in a mud hole in the back loop. With Dan Bartels' ATV assistance, Steve and Dan were able to extricate the mower. Dan was able to complete a single swath of mowing of the back loop in early November.
In October, the threshold of the back door of the warming house needed work (performed by Dave Olsen and a friend of his) to allow it to close.
Fundraising produced overall good results this fall despite the ongoing major economic recession. Business donations are slightly down, individual donations are down about $1000, and the number of memberships is stable.
Dan Bartels continues to provide maintenance for the mower, as well as the grooming implements. The grooming implements have been moved from storage to Dan's big trailer - and will be moved to the trailhead in early December.
There is another recall involving both of our snowmobiles. The fuel hoses need replacement to avoid risk of fire. Parts have been ordered, and Dan Bartels will transport the snowmobiles to an authorized dealer in Chippewa Falls for the repair.
Eastside logging of a large (127 acre) timber sale began this summer. The logging involves an area stretching from intersection 14 to intersection 29. About half of the logging has been completed, the remainder will be logged this winter. Paul Teska (County Forester) has worked closely with us to minimize the impact on our skiing this winter - and he has made sure the logger is restoring the involved trails to very skiable conditions. To haul the logs in the fashion least disruptive to our skiing, a new trail will be developed between intersections 29 and 30, and the trucks will exit toward Bihlmayer Road.
This year's grooming team will include primarily Dan Bartels, Steve Brockman, and Steve Gest. Jay Howard will be available as a backup. Frank Lowry, Tom Paulsen, and Jonathan Stanley also remain available. Our goal remains quality grooming of the entire trail system (minus trails unavailable due to logging). To accommodate the logging on the Eastside, different grooming patterns will be needed.
ATVs have significantly enlarged the mud hole on the Westside near letter F (below a beaver dam next to a small lake). Last winter we were able to bridge this wet spot with a single sheet of plywood. Tom will try contacting the new ATV 'president' (Dave Williams) to see if Dave has suggestions for repairing the ATV damage before winter sets in.
Water erosion on the uphill side of the bridge at intersection 25 has been somewhat plugged by Tom placing a log in the depression next to the bridge. A more permanent fix will be needed next year.
An additional work day is tentatively planned for December 4 to deal with debris resulting from the October 27 windstorm.
Motion to adjourn by Tom Paulsen, second by Jonathan Stanley. Adjourned at 6:55 p.m.
Taken by Tom Paulsen, Secretary