Today we signed a contract with Feather River Land Trust (FRLT) and started construction on another Learning Landscape Trail; this time at Quincy High School. This is our 7th Learning Landscape Trail with FRLT, and for us here at SBTS, it’s undoubtedly our most exciting. Not that previous Learning Landscape projects weren’t exciting, but this particular trail is .48 miles long and will take visitors on a wooded journey to the “Q”; a historic landmark overlooking the west side of town.
Our mini excavator will be used to construct the tread and a Pionjar (motorized rock hammer) will help to shape a 25’ long section of rock near the trailhead. The trail will be constructed to meet Forest Service design standards for a multiple-use trail: earth base, 30” wide tread with no less than 2% off-slope, and an average running grade that will not exceed 10%.
We'd like to say thanks to all that participated in this first year event. We hope you enjoyed the town of Graeagle, along with it’s network of rugged trails. As you witnessed, we’re passionate about our trails and about hosting quality events, and we’re happy we got to share this first Lost Sierra with you.
Now we all know there's something very special in our backyard and we not only want to introduce it to other responsible humans, we want to enhance and protect it. That’s why 100% of the proceeds raised from this event will be used to support our Trail Maintenance Program, which not only helps to keep our trails in tip-top condition, it allows us to create local employment by hiring a professional trail crew that is responsible for maintaining area trails and leading volunteer trail crews. Throughout the trail season we host hundreds of volunteers from all over the country, to work on meaningful projects in beautiful places, building sustainable and fun trails for all types of user groups.
This event would not be possible without the support of land owners/managers and agency staff. A special thanks to- Graeagle Land & Water, Plumas Forest, Graeagle Fire, California Highway Patrol, Cal-Trans, Plumas County Public Works. Read More »
The Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship is very pleased to announce that Sam Novak of Gig Harbor, Washington is the proud new owner of a black Santa Cruz Tallboy LTc. He was selected at random from one of what turned out to be several thousand entrants, and was sufficiently stunned at his luck that he was having trouble deciding exactly which particular Santa Cruz he wanted, apparently torn between a Tallboy LTc and a Blur TRc. It’s tough winning big sometimes, isn’t it?
Response to this fundraiser was overwhelming! Thanks to all of you who participated, the 5 bucks a foot campaign generated $52,505 that will go directly onto the ground creating 10,501 feet of singletrack in the Sierras above Downieville. First and foremost, this funding will allow us to make some huge strides in the construction of the Butcher Ranch connector trail, which will be a singletrack link between Sunrise trail and the beginning of singletrack on the existing Butcher Ranch trail.
This would not have been possible without the gracious help of our sponsors – Santa Cruz, Fox Racing, Shimano, and Enve – and we also relied heavily on the partnership and persistence of the mountain bike media. Many thanks to our sponsors, and also the kind folks at MTBR.com, BIKE magazine, Dirt Rag, Pinkbike.com, Singletrack UK, and Elayna Caldwell for her tireless support at Interbike. Read More »
SBTS is applying for a Secure Rural Schools grant, through the Sierra County Resource Advisory Committee (RAC), to restore the historic Boca & Loyalton Railroad and convert the 26 mile route into a multiple-use trail, connecting the Sierra Valley with the townsite of Boca, located between Verdi and Truckee on I80. To make our grant proposal powerful, we are requesting letters of support for the project from members of the community, businesses, outdoor industry folks and trail enthusiasts.
Letters should be directed to the Sierra County Resource Advisory Committee and emailed to me (feel free to cut and paste from this blog)
Here are some of the particulars associated with the project. Read More »
Today I witnessed the Closing Ceremonies for our Storrie Student Trail Crew, lead by Cody and Morgan. This was absolutely amazing for me, watching as each crew member was pulled up and awarded certificates in: hand tool use and care, basic trail maintenance, cross-cut and handsaw technique, and grip hoist operation. They were also given a Patagonia shirt with the SBTS Trail Crew emblem imprinted, and they got paid for 160 hours.
What was most impressive and inspiring for me was to watch as Cody told a special story about his experience with each individual crewmember; showing passion, direction and a big heart. He brought nearly everyone to tears, including himself. The crew, parents, Forest Service and program advisors had nothing but positive things to say about the leadership and kindness of Cody and Morgan. Thank you both! Read More »
This week the SBTS crew got some help on the trail from an employee of the Patagonia clothing company. Austin is on an internship program where Patagonia pays him but he works out on the trails with the stewardship. He told me toward the end of the first day that he had never put in a full day of intensive labor before, so I was pretty surprised how hard he worked. For someone who has never done trail work he picked it up really quick and worked hard all day. When our first day was over we walked down the hill back to the boat and motored across Long Lake then made our way back to the parking area. Austin and I got a campsite at the Lakes Basin Campground while Coz and Troy went home. While I got my gear together to go ride Mills Peak I think Austin ate about as much as he could then went to bed shortly after I left. It was the first time I have looped the Mills Peak Trail using Gold Lake road and I barely made it back before dark. I guess I should start my rides before six thirty in the evening. Read More »
Work got much more enjoyable for the crew this last week, we are back to work in the Lakes Basin on the Mud Lake Trail and things are going well. It’s really nice to work in a spot where we get to ride our bikes in and out of the job on some of the best trails in the world. The morning starts off with a gut busting granny gear climb to get to the job, but when the day is over we get to drop one of my favorite descents back to the truck and to top off all that we usually have cold beer waiting in the creek.
The job we are working on is a realignment of the Mud Lake Trail. The original trail raps around the lake then turns and goes almost straight up the hill toward Mt. Elwell, most of it is steep and loose with lot of water moving down it during the snow melt. The new section we are putting in will shed water easily and be much more enjoyable on a bike, going up or down. The crew will probably be working on this job through the end of July. We have a boat at Long Lake and I will start camping out there this coming week, so if anyone wants to come join us we will be working Tuesday through Friday. The fishing is good and the riding is even better.
We spent the week preparing for our volunteer workday out at Lake Davis, located 8 miles north of the town of Portola. Lake Davis sits at approximately 6,000’ elevation and is located where the Sierra Nevada, Cascade and Great Basin all come together for one big geographical party.
On Monday I met with the Beckwourth District archaeologist, Eric Brademann, to look at historic and pre-historic sites along the route and to be sure the trail did not impact the protected areas. What I learned from Eric was that thousands of years ago native people made tools and hunted big game animals in this area, and between the years of 1915 and 1955 a company known as the Clover Valley Lumber Company (incorporated in Reno, NV) logged, transported, milled and marketed timber in the area. Portions of the proposed route follows what is left of these historic narrow gauge railways.
What I already knew about lake Davis was that for the past 20 years it has been a trophy trout fishery, attracting anglers from all over Northern California and Nevada, and that Lake Davis is host to some of the nicest campgrounds in the Plumas Forest, with one of the campgrounds, Honker Cove, offering hot showers. Read More »
SBTS Life on the Trail May 29th through June 1st
Antelope / Taylor Lake Trail
After a stormed out attempt at a volunteer weekend the crew went back to work on Tuesday to find temperatures in the 90s for the week. On Saturday it was snowing on us and by Wednesday I was comfortably swimming in the lake and fishing for bass until the sun went down. So much of the trail is exposed from the burn I suddenly lost motivation to ride after work and found myself enjoying the lake instead. We went back to work on the turnpike we started with the volunteers and got it all finished up. Falling trees and exploding brush might block the rest of the trail but this turnpike should be around for a long time. here's a link to photos from the week
field notes from SBTS Crew Leader, Henry O'Donnell