from the June Highline
On Friday, May 31, nine aspiring horse and mule packers arrived after sun-up (actually long after sun-up) at the Schilthuis Ranch on Florida Mesa for the 4CBCH 3-day intensive packing clinic. Over the following days, they learned and practiced the fine art of packing and weighing loads, tying box hitches, and safely transporting their gear along our mountain trails.
At the completion of Saturday's practice session, the group traveled to the Pine River Trailhead for dinner that had been prepared by Frank Amthor and Elizabeth Testa. While there, they learned about high lines, picket lines, and other necessary back country skills, after which they camped and prepared for a "graduation exam" ride to he Lake Creek area with their loaded pack animals in tow. See slide shows.
Farmer Cabin Reconstruction Sign Up
Summer is coming and reconstruction work on the Farmer Cabin will begin in June. Applications have been completed to participate in the restoration for the weeks of
June 17-21 and 24-28. Details, click here
On Thursday June 13, Brenda Schultz, USFS Special Agent, and Pam Wilson, Program Coordinator, Firewise Southwest Colorado collaborated to present fire investigation stories and, the success story of the Elk Stream Ranch subdivision and the Weber Fire. Brenda described how painstaking investigation can usually reveal the origin of most fires. Pam's description of how to create defensible space and fireretardent construction can help save many structures threatened by forest fires.
On Sunday, June 9, there was a Meet and Greet Social ride at Rapp Corral scheduled from 10 am to 3 pm. Bring your horse for a great opportunity to network for future riding partners and sharing trail information. There are plenty of trails to choose from. Parking is along Haviland Lake/Chris Park road. Bring lunch and your own horse.
There will be water for your horses and some hitching rails . . . or leave horses tied to your trailer. Some beverages will be provided by the chapter. There will be no horses available for rent. There is a port-a-john and water available. RSVP to Lisa Cribbs at 563-4185 or firstname.lastname@example.org. This ride will be a go unless severe thunderstorms occur. There is a covered pavillion to gather under. See photos in Photo Gallery 2013.
Saturday, June 1, was the annual trail clearing for our adopted section of Lower Elbert Creek Trail. Bring lunch and drinking water. Tools will be provided and stock water is available along the trail. This is a short trail section and is an easy ride or hike. We will do any necessary clearing and drainage improvements. We will plan on stopping at the line cabin about 1.5 miles up the trail where we will cut back willow brush and have lunch. For more information, call Art Berg at 799-4451 or Pat Berg at 247-1460. See photos in Photo Gallery 2013.
The primary fundraiser for the La Plata County Mounted Patrol was held at the Bar D Wrangler night on Thursday, May 23. Bob Volger purchased a block of tickets, made out to out the La Plata County Mounted Patrol. Thanks to all of you who participated in thanking the La Plata County Mounted Patrol for their help and support with our tack sale.
Saturday, May 4, eight 4CBCH members performed a lite clean up with Biff Stransly supervising and participating. See photos in Photo Gallery 2013.
The Tack Sale Committee meet at Bob and Laura Volger's home May 5, to evaluate this years sale and develop plans for next year.
Eighty (80) volunteers connected with old friends and made new ones and supported our ranching and riding community at our annual Tack Sale. View all photos in the Photo Gallery 2013. See full article in the April 2013 Highline, page 6.
The sleigh ride offered fabulous camaraderie, food, and perfect weather. See the slide show.
The annual Tack Sale and largest fund raiser is scheduled for April 5 and 6 (Friday set-up and Saturday sale). The tack sale committee completed the planning and strategy January 26. Plan to attend and help. Contact Don Kelly at 970-769-6342, or Kellyemail@example.com
was all a very surprised Larry Zauberis could say when presented with a rider and pack horse sculpture and framed certificate for his 12 years of hard work and dedication as 4CBCH Highline editor. Congratulations Larry, you set a very high standard for newsletters.
Food, entertainment, and camaraderie for 4CBCH members and their famlies. See the slide show.
This to all who helped with the Purgatory Trail access concern by sending emails to La Plata County Planning, or coming to the La Plata County Planning Dept. meeting last July, or came to the La Plata County Commissioners' meeting, January 15.
Please accept my heartfelt Thank You to all of you who responded. The outcome of the commissioners meeting was that Purgatory Metro as well as DMR agreed, on the record, that horse trailers could continue to park at the current trailhead parking for Purgatory Trail, and also, if that's full, across the highway at the ski resort. Something better as far as horse trailer parking may come along later, but for right now access for equestrians at the Purgatory Trail is secured.
We had 9 members send in their comments to LPC Planning, 6 attend the LPC Planning meeting in July, 2012 Commissioners' meeting and 12 members attend the LPC Commissioners' meeting on 1/15. That is an amazing effort on behalf of the members. It may turn out that we have prevented this beautiful old trail from being swallowed up by development. Honestly, you guys make my heart sing! You should all be very proud of yourselves!
Thanks a Million!
On September 13, at the 4CBCH general meeting, Brenda Schultz, who has been a Special Agent with the U.S. Forest Service for 22 years, spoke about USFS Law Enforcement. She discussed cases that she's worked as a criminal investigator on National Forest lands that include resource damage, illegal outfitting and guiding activities, lands trespass, marijuana cultivations, archeological resource damage, and forest products theft. Brenda is also a certified wildland fire investigator and an instructor in wildland fire origin and cause determination and has taught these courses throughout the United States and in Greece. She has worked as an investigator on hundreds of fires as well as serial arson task forces throughout the western United States. On the day of our meeting, Brenda had just returned from Washington D.C. where she received the Secretary of Agriculture's Honor Award for her national and international work on fire investigations.
Here's where YOU come in. Many of the cases Brenda talked about were solved because hikers or riders reported damage or illegal activities that the USFS would not otherwise have known about. We can all help keep our forests healthy and safe by noticing and reporting anything we think is suspicious. Here's who to contact: Main office number, 970-247-4874
|Brenda Schultz, USFS Special Agent
Office 970-385-1311, Cell 970-799-1236
|Shawn Cave, USFS Law Enforcement Officer
Office 970-884-1417, Cell 970-799-1227
By Sherri Libby
Our final day of closing the cabin for winter months occurred on September 30th. What day we had! The weather was perfect and the colors were fantastic! 11 of our Farmer Cabin committee members, 2 dogs, and 3 horses arrived for a work day.
Jeri Trausch, her daughter Meri Borst and their two dogs arrived Saturday morning, cleaned the cabin and started a nice fire in the fireplace and then spent the night. When we all started arriving to the cabin Sunday morning, we could smell and see smoke rising from the cabin chimney. What a delightful sight! Jeri and Meri had made fresh coffee to greet us and had a fire in the fireplace. What a treat to have a nice warm cabin to warm us before the work began. We were just a little bit worried when these two women were no where to be seen, but after 15 minutes of looking, they appeared. They had been out walking and taking pictures!
Pat and Art Berg brought their 3 horses and one of the horses was used for packing in food and other items to use for the work project. Sadly, Art and Pat had to leave early, but did stay long enough eat some brats and some of the food and to help with some of the projects. Pat and Art, we all thank you two for taking time out of your busy schedules to help us with our cabin project. The other committee members who arrived for our fun work day were: Pat and Frank Amthor, Bob and Laura Volger, Carol Capps, Jim and Sherri Libby.
Our projects for the day were to replace the cook stove pipe and Frank accomplished this project with some help from Laura, Jim, Bob, and Carol, Pat, then they made sure the stove could be used. Now that the new pipe has been installed, we can cook on the stove top and use the oven. So now with the stove in working order and the fireplace being used, we now have a place to use on cool mornings next spring or snowshoe in for a winter visit.
The following members accomplished the wood project for the fireplace and stove. Jim, Jeri, Meri, Carol, Bob, Pat, and Laura cut and split the logs for fire place and stove wood. Then Frank and Laura made a wood box to hold the wood inside the cabin. Ideas for a small wood shed near the cabin to store wood came from Laura Volger. What a great idea and next spring, let’s gather our design people and build one.
Everyone had a job and sometimes a certain person is called to make a quick decision in the work area. Pat Amthor came to the rescue when she noticed one horse was loose, so she left her job of helping carry the wood, corralled the horse and continued her job. What a gal!
We accomplished many of the projects needing to be done. Wood cut and split, made sure the stove worked, fire place worked, Jeri and Meri made a trail to the creek, and with the help of Carol, these three made a dam in the creek to create a pool for easy dipping of a pail to gather water. A new handle was placed on the outside of the door to the cabin for easier opening and closing of the door. The Bergs were able to use a highline for the horses in a cleaned area. And last, but not least; we made sure no items were left in the cabin that would freeze. The guys waited to place the plywood over the windows after our lunch break.
Of course what would a work party be like without food! It never ceases to amaze me when this group asks for each person to bring a dish to share; you can’t imagine the variety of dishes. Pat also helped Sherri and made sure the food was placed on a make shift table, we really need a nice table to place outside. The Weber grill was cleaned placed outside, the charcoal was lighted and soon the grilling began.
We can’t begin to thank all of you for coming and just have a fun time, working and being friends. Maybe more of our members will become involved when they hear about how much fun we have working as a team.
Thank you all.
Twenty-seven 4CBCH volunteers helped make the Purgatory 60 endurance race on Saturday, September 8th a big success and lots of fun. Fifteen volunteers worked the first check point at Lower Hermosa Creek and another dozen took care of the second check point at Strawberry Patch. Forty-five competitors from 5 states saw how our group pulls together and gets things done. For all of the volunteers, it was an educational day of working with the veterinarians, great horses and great riders. Rusty Toth, race coordinator, said they couldn't have done it without all the support from the 4CBCH.
by Elizabeth Testa
In early June, 4CBCH brought together 10 eager students with veteran packer Denney Schilthuis of Vallecito Lake Outfitters for 3 days of first-hand packing learning and practice. Students came with a range of experience, from zero to "just need to fill in some gaps." Day 1 covered the gamut of equipment (including assessment of students' own gear), Day 2 added hands-on skills to the mix, and Day 3 saw the graduation ride: All students independently tacked up their own or Denney's animals and headed out for several hours of practice. Evaluation comments after the clinic were uniformly enthusiastic, and every student indicated plans to use his or her newfound skills in the high country this summer. One extra benefit of clinic participation--"graduates" from any 4CBCH packing clinic may participate in the 4CBCH mentoring program or sign up for paid mentorship from one of our professional outfitter members; contact Bob Volger at firstname.lastname@example.org or (970) 883-4004 for more information.
Watch for dates on the website and in the Highline newsletter next winter or ask Elizabeth Testa at email@example.com or 970-259-1581 to put you on the "interested" list for details as they become available.
Here is the long-promised checklist for back country packing, given out at the the packing clinic in 2012. Compliments, Elizabeeth Testa.
The packing list discussed at the Back Country First Aid for Humans meeting in Bayfield is available for download. Search And Rescue Packing List