Sunday, June 11, 2017

Second Trip in 2017

     On Saturday, June 10, 2017, the Camp Loll Staff had planed to head into Loll for the summer.  However, a long cold winter, heavy snow, and a cool spring has presented a challenge.  On that day five Loll Staff Members did make it into Camp.  Camp Loll is in great shape.  The buildings all standing, the incinerator appears to have weathered the storms of winter well, however challenges still remain. 

     A crew had attempted to get to Loll on Monday, June 5th, but were turned back by heavy snow on the road from the west side of Calf Creek.  We couldn't even make it to the top in our truck.  (See the post just before this one for pictures and comments.)  Saturday we were able to make it to the "snow pole" at the top of Calf Creek divide.  The north-east facing grade was still blocked by a fallen tree and drifts, but the five intervening warm days had greatly reduced the "snowpack" and given some hope that another week would render the road passible at this point. Beyond the shaded Calf Creek section the road to Loll was relatively clear until the turn off into Camp. 

Here are some pictures that will take our trip to the turn off to Loll

Here is the crew at the top of Calf Creek Divide.  We call it the "Snow Pole" although there has not been a poll here for some years.

This is the north-east slope of Calf Creek Hill.  This is the largest tree down on the road.  (*Note - on our way back out, we noted that a large truck had driven in as far as this snow bank.  It had broken up the drift about half way to the fallen tree.)

At the downed tree.

Beyond the "tree" the road is still blocked by drifts, but a warm week of snow melting will reduce them to conquerable barriers for a determined Camp Loll Staff. 

Starting up the hill on the east side of Calf Creek, the road is clear.  There is still mud, and soft spots.  I had been raining the night before and there road was wet.   This is the view looking back toward Calf Creek.

Here is the view looking west, toward Camp.

There are some drifts, but a warm week will much reduce these, and what is left will soon fall to a crew of determined shovel men.

I was concerned that a high run-off would take out the road, but Boone Creek seems to have stayed within its banks.  The water on the road is snow melt from the drifts above. 

Here is the last run up to the "Camp Turnoff".  The Loll Road Sign spends the summer right at the top of the ridge here. 

     To this point there was nothing that seemed unsurmountable with a week of melting and a determined crew.  Things were about to become a little more challenging. 

This is looking south up the road from the turnoff from the Grass Lake Road headed toward Loll.
There were some promising open spots, but most of the road in was still under a foot of more of snow.

Long sections of the east facing side of the hill were still covered.
Here is the corner at the top of the first long hill, where the road turns back to the west. 

There were a few small trees down over the road.
We crest the hill and head down toward Loll.
We are not alone in the Wilderness.
A quick stop at the Parking Lot.

The Road in was relatively clear.
                                              Lake of the Woods appears through the trees.

 The Lodge is still standing - always a relief!
The last turn in will surely take some digging. 
The roof withstood a lot of snow; camp is full of a lot of snow, but if the weather cooperates there is hope of being into Loll by next weekend. 
      At this time we are still considering our options, but wanted to have some pictures available for  those who will be involved in the great adventure.  More to come.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

The First Trip In - 2017

    On June 5th a Crew from Camp Loll attempted the first entry into Camp for the Summer of 2017.  Unfortunately winter had not yet left our beloved mountains.  The road is in great shape; we met the Forest Service crew clearing downed trees - they have done a great job.  However, as we started up the Calf Creek divide we ran into snow.  The road was impassible from the "pull out" about half way up coming in from the west.  On this west facing side of the mountain, there were bare spots in sun exposed sections, but the drifts that covered the road were deep, hard, and blocked the entire roadway in most places.  Once we reached the top, where the "Snow Pole" once stood, things became even more discouraging.  The entire road running down the north-east facing slope of Calf Creek Divide was deeply buried in snow.  The peaks of the drifts were up to four feet deep.  Here are some pictures:

This is the first drift we encountered.  It is just past where we parked the truck in the pull out to the south of the road.  You can see one vehicle has gone further up the road, but it was parked just past the end of the track plowing through the snow that you can see to the left of the picture.

Here is the road going up toward the Calf Creek Summit, (the snow pole).  You can see it is completely buried under two to three feet of hard snow.  The water was flowing out under the drifts and flowing off the road in the diversion ditches along the north side of the road. 

Yes, this is bear sign.  We are never alone in the woods!
Looking back down the road toward the west from the top of Calf Creek Divide.  Imagine trying to drive the cargo truck up this!  It gets worse!

The "far" side of the Calf Creek Divide.  Down the road a bit the road dives into even denser forest.  The snow will get even deeper.

The drifts looking toward the north-east. 

We hiked down the road to the place were the meadow opens up to the West.  Then started the trudge back up the hill.  You can see that wherever there is shade over the road the "drifts" are standing four feet deep. 

I am standing on top of the drift, the guys are standing on the surface of the road.  My feet are about level with their heads.

A little further up the hill, Chris stands on the road's edge, the snow, rising about him, buries the road.

Looking back down from the top - we prepare to head home.  The power to move this barrier to our summer home is in the hands of Mother Nature: warm winds, sunshine, and time.