Major 14N39 trail work by ENFPosted: August 6, 2015
So, I headed out to the Rubicon to place more carsonite trail markers, and came across a large “Road work ahead” sign at the staging area. I was meeting John Briggs, the Friends of the Rubicon Tahoe side lead. We moved markers at a few of the campsites and later placed markers at the intersection of Forest Road 03 (Barker Pass Road) and 03-04.
After getting our volunteer commitments done, we headed up the Richardson Lake Trail (14N39) to see what was actually going on. We knew that the last ‘meadow’ was scheduled for work but wanted to see for ourselves.
On our way up the Rubicon earlier, we came across a HUGE dump truck. It was a Volvo 725. I believe that means a 25 yard bed. I had earlier asked the size of the hauler (before seeing it) and he said it could do 20 tons. This is a similar machine to the ones Placer used to haul so much material last summer. I think it was the same contractor.
We drove up 14N39 to the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), where the trail temporarily ends and walked the short distance from there. There we met Tim Merten. He is a Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) civil engineer on loan to the Eldorado National Forest (ENF) to deal with the “42 Meadow Route Closures”.
At the ‘meadow’, there was a very large excavator working the section of trail that goes through the ‘meadow’. The plan calls for digging down almost two feet, laying cloth that will prevent the rock from sinking but allow water to pass, placing rip-rap about the size of a football, smaller rock on top of that and finally 3/4 crushed rock as ‘drain rock’. The final product should be able three inches above the grade of the ‘meadow’.
I was told they planned on three weeks to complete the work and I wondered if they were going to place each rock by hand.
What I later learned was the plan also calls for rebuilding twenty five (25) rolling dips along the trail as they work their way out.
With any luck, we’ll be driving to the top of Sourdough by the 20th!