PIT Project Challis / Salmon USFS 2011
The continuation of the 44 cabin in the Pistol Creek drainage, Frank Church Wilderness, Idaho. July 20th through the 28th, 2011.
Last year the project was to rebuild the roof, this year it was the removal and replacement of the bottom rotten logs.
Meeting in Stanley, Idaho, we endured hours and miles of endless Idaho stunning scenic back country roads.
We arrived at Snowshoe Summit, late Wednesday afternoon.
Evidence of the Cascade Complex fire was evident everywhere, but the forest was making a comeback.
After an overnight in the mosquito infested meadows, the new day dawned and the packing began.
The hikers departed down the trail.
Flowers are abundant this year, shooting stars wishing us a pleasant journey in the morning.
8 miles on the trail, 2000 foot elevation drop.
Pistol Creek is the main drainage, and all the tributaries are named after guns. Luger, Marlin, 38, and of course, 44.A Fading Scarlet Waxy Cap I do believe
Lots of windfall over the trail, nobody cutting and clearing like the Youth Corps were doing last year.
Large amounts of wolf scat along the trail, pretty old,
but really unusual was a spot by the trail, dusted off in a perfect circle, with a pile of wolf scat next to it. ??
No tracks in the dust? Quite intriguing.
Massive burn, as far as you can see, but flora is on the rebound, cycle of life.
After a couple hours the cabin was reached, and the last stream, 44 Creek, was forded
and the project site was reached.
Work started immediately, digging out the foundation, locating and cutting new logs for replacements.
That was prep for the next day, measurements and logs picked, sorted.
In the morning it was up early and back at he project, digging out for jacks, cutting pads for jacks, and of course, major physical effort.
Mornings were chilly, but warmed up fast, the elevation intensifying the sun. Only one day was brutal, otherwise the weather was quite accommodating.
A bit dusty at times, but the day started with a hearty breakfast provided by the Back Country Riders association, Boise Chapter.
The sections cut from the existing log wall showed amazing amounts of stable structure just a fraction of an inch in from the outside of the log. After 80 years, the logs are still in good condition.
The corners were fitted with the uhralt "V"notch.
From there out it was , jack, dig, cut with hand saws and bucksaws, (no electrical tools in the wilderness, remember), carry logs and finish up notches with a slick and chisel.
With a new foundation under the cabin, our work for this year was finished. Leave No Trace principals were applied to the camp and surroundings.
Tools packed up, rocks picked up, camp broken down, loaded on the pack animals, and we were out of here for another year.
The crew was 75% volunteer effort, and everybody gave 110 %
And for myself, John Rose, the Regional Archaeologist presented me with a certificate of Appreciation from the USDA for work on Heritage projects.
I'm now a Heritage Hero.
I got a cool new travel mug too!