Trailridge Runners 4WD Club
Middle St. Vrain Road Project II

photos and story by Adam Mehlberg

While doing the Trailridge Runners 4WD Club trailhead hosting this summer of 2002, Greg Beery noticed that the old Middle St. Vrain bog had broken through the road base that had been placed over it some 15 years ago. As with any type of bog problem, with time and traffic it would get worse. So, the Trailridge Runners 4WD Club added a work weekend at the end of September to fix the bog before it grew back to its original size.

The biggest problem with repairing the bog was going to be getting enough road base to cover the corduroy (laying logs across the bog). As was the fear the bog had grown to three times its size by within a month. To cover the project we ordered five truck loads of road base and rock fill for the project. Total cost would be $817. Once we had the rock delivered to the Middle St. Vrain 4WD road parking lot, we had to call on the assistance of Darrel and Mike Turner and their Jeep trucks to haul the rock. As it turned out, even Ray Comeau started hauling rock in his dually.

To cover two projects at once, we coordinated with Martha Moran of the Boulder Ranger District to have the fire crew come up and cut some of the dead trees around the parking lot and the host site. These were then cut to length and hauled up to the bog to use as the corduroy sections. By removing the hazard trees around the host site and the parking lot, public safety was improved, and we fixed the access into the host site for those volunteers with larger campers.

With the road base, we repaired the mud holes in the parking lot, fixed the beginning of the Middle St. Vrain 4WD road at the gate, and filled the large mud hole by the host site. The rock fill was hauled up to the bog and was used to replace the road that had collapsed. By laying in a plastic mesh sheet and then putting the logs across it, the rock fill that we put on top would not sink into the bog, but would allow the water to flow under the road bed.

Around noon Kathy Howell and the food crew came up to the work site and set out a great snack table. We had all kinds of food for the hungry volunteers. After our short break, we had a lot of dirt and rock to haul, the group started in on the bog again. In between the truck loads of rock and dirt, we began building the buck and rail fence to keep traffic on the main road and out of the willows and meadow. After all of our buck and rail fencing work, we had this part down fairly quickly.

At the start their was one delay. We had brought up the generator, cords, drill bits and hammers, but forgot to get the drills. So while Bill Boitano went back to the parking lot to get the drills, everyone started taking turns pounding in the 8 to 10 inch spikes without pilot holes. You could do about two spikes before you needed to rest your arms. Those 2lb. sledges start getting heavy.

We saved the rebar that holds the fencing to the ground until Bill returned. Pounding rebar through the buck without a pilot hole was more than anyone cared to pound with the sledges. About 5:00pm the last load of rock and dirt was laid out onto the logs. The bog crossing was once again safe for vehicle traffic.

About this same time, the cooking crew, that had went to the Forest Service cabin to set up for the end of the day dinner, was wondering where the work crew was. Of course we were not done yet. There was still a large pile of road base and rock left in the public parking lot. So we set to work hauling the road base over to the host site to help build up and widen the parking area. We were moving much quicker now. The guys driving the trucks only had to cross the parking lot once they were full. They didnít have to drive more than a mile of the 4WD road to empty.

Even with this short run we still had what seemed like a never ending pile of rock to move. By about 7:00pm we were loading up Darrel Turnerís bobcat and heading to the cabin. The food crew was glad to see us and made sure that everyone got feed. Thanks to the Forest Service for letting us use the cabin, it made the wait for the food crew much easier.

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