Hiking: hiking conditions are good, peak color has passed, enjoyable fall colors remain.
Biking: the West Side trails offer the best biking, that area tends to be the driest (but BE SURE TO READ 'Important Updates' below). The East Side trails are surprisingly dry this summer, and more 'bike-able' than usual. On the East Side, after rainy weather avoid the trails far to the east, they usually are damp and soft.
Bugs: insect activity is low.
A 50-100 meter segment of West Side trail adjacent to a beaver dam is soggy between intersections H-I; you can walk your bike through this spot - but anticipate wet shoes if you do.
Due to recent logging, on the East Side, if the trails are damp avoid Rut Road between intersections 20-21-22. Click here for details
Due to active logging, on the West Side, avoid the loop between intersections D-E-D, and watch for logging traffic from A-B-C-D.
April 24, 2021: snow showers
Summertime mowing began in late June on the East Side trails. East Side mowing was completed on July 25th, and touch-up mowing was done after that. The West Side was mowed in the last half of July. Click here for a map showing East Side mowing details.
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