upDates you should know about

SMC Director Gabe Howe points at Pearsoll Peak
From Gabe Howe, SMC Director

28 February 2013 | Ashland, OR -- There are some (up)dates every SMC follower should know about.

Friday, March 1 -- First Friday Artwalk at Indigo Creek Outfitters. Checkout some cool pictures of the Siskiyous and meet the Club. Doors open at 530pm, 130 'A' Street, #2B in Ashland.

Saturday, April 6 -- Join the Club for a day working on the Collings Mtn Trail No 943 near Applegate Lake. Email howegabe(a)gmail.com if you're interested.

Saturday, May 4 -- Everyone is invited to our annual Volunteer Appreciation Night at Southern Oregon University's Meese Art Gallery and Auditorium. Details to follow soon.

May 17 - 19 -- Our crew leaders are training up at the High Cascade Forest Volunteer's training weekend in Westfir, OR.

May 25 - 27 -- We've got a crew who will work from Babyfoot Lake Trailhead to clear anterior sections of the Trans-Kalmiopsis Route. There's still space, so sign-up here.

June 7 - 8 -- We're logging out 20-miles of the Pacific Crest Trail with the Pacific Crest Trail Association. We'll car camp from Bean Cabin. Email howegabe(a)gmail.com for details.

We kicked off our 1st presentation of Campfire Confessions, real stories from the Siskiyou backcountry. The next is March 18. 

I've been working with a couple of Southern Oregon University interns on a secret project in the Illinois Valley. They're restoring a historic trail that we'll unveil when finished.

We've received good response from graduating high school seniors for our scholarship program. There is enough money in the fund for 4.5 scholarships. We'd like to provide 5-8 students this outstanding opportunity to continue their education while developing valuable skills.

Our full calendar is not out yet -- some dates are stewing on my office wall until we hear back on a couple of critical grants. We'll have a lot more trips coming out in the Soda Mountain Wilderness Area.

Questions about this year? Contact the Club.

High Cascade Forest Volunteers Training

22 February 2013 | Portland, OR -- Get up to pace this year with High Cascade Forest Volunteers. Their  free training weekends are your chance to hone your trail skills, get the needed USFS certifications to do trail work, and meet others in this field.

Participants can take an array of classes, from CPR/1st Aid, to retaining rock walls. You can also get your initial saw certifications, for crosscut and power saws, or get re-certified. This isn't just a chance to get your papers straight.

It's a chance to meet with leading field experts and inherit their skills, many of which cannot be found in field manuals or learned in the classroom alone.

"I have learned so much there," says SMC field coordinator, Gabe Howe. "I can't imagine doing the work we do without High Cascade."

The Club will be arranging carpools to the Westfir Training Weekend May 17 - 19. Our 2013 wilderness crew leaders will be attending the crosscut saw certification class, as well as renewing their CPR/1st Aid.

There are four training weekends throughout the state, running April - June. Registration opens soon.

Go to their website to learn more and sign up. 

Don't miss this outstanding opportunity to volunteer, explore, and enjoy.

From Carter Creek

A Campfire Confession
by Gabe Howe

This is a journal excerpt from the Kalmiopsis Wilderness Area in 2012. I had just watched one trail crew depart Carter Creek for home, and had a full day till the next crew arrived. For 24 hours I was alone without much to do. Sitting next to the creek, I wrote this:
"I'll miss you guys," I told them this morning. They acted like I was joking. I wasn't. 
"I'll miss you guys," I told them last night over beans and rice. They just smirked. Cold beer, hot pizza, and garden fresh tomatoes were only nine miles out and they could taste it all on the tips of their tongues. 
I'm far behind them. I've got another -- let's count -- 10 days, nine nights down here.
I look forward now to tomorrow, when the fresh crew arrives. When Jill, my wife, arrives. I look forward now to cutting into Taggart's Bar, meeting an objective, seeing new ground.
But even then -- it's lonely down here.
Because I know that tomorrow I will meet with my wife; meet my new crew and we'll cut into Taggart's. 
I know this.
But not until late on the 26th will I see my boy, Carter, pushing a year old. 
Not until then will I pick him up in my arms, twirl him round and receive the broadcast of the most radiant smile and most genuine laugh.
And while I long for those friends that have departed, Rose and Steve, and I do long for the arrival of more, that loneliness only masquerades the deep, uninterrupted, most honest desire of all: to see Carter, whose namesake flows past me with a roar so loud that I cannot, even for one moment, forget about his own magic, beauty, charm.
It's lonely down here, at Carter Creek without Carter. 

Campfire Confessions

12 February 2013 | Ashland, OR -- On February 18 the Club will put on its first presentation of Campfire Confessions, Real stories from the Siskiyou backcountry. 

The highlight of the short presentations are inspiring stories told straight from volunteers. Next Monday, Southern Oregon University senior Austin Kasner will share his experience with a small audience in Ashland's railroad district.

Kasner knew about the Club from friends, but never saw himself working on a trail crew. But somehow, last August he found himself smack dab in the middle of southwest Oregon's rugged Kalmiopsis Wilderness Area for a 9-day work spike with the Club.

After just one day, Kasner's feet had blisters and he'd grown weary about his commitment.

 "Eight more days? I don't know if I can do this," Kasner says early on in his story.

The presentation lasts about 45-minutes altogether, and includes a visual narrative through southwest Oregon's federal wilderness areas.

Campfire Confessions will be presented the third Monday of every month. Because space is limited, attendees must be invited and RSVP.

Would you like to be invited? Email SMC Director Gabe Howe, or go to www.siskiyoumountainclub.org/campfire-confessions to learn more.

Club receives grant award from PNWFSA

4 February 2013 | Ashland, OR -- The Siskiyou Mtn Club received news today that we were awarded a $1000 grant by the Pacific Northwest Forest Service Association (PNWFSA), also known as the OldSmokeys.

The award will be used to offset supply costs. This is the second $1000 grant the Club has received from the OldSmokeys.

"I could see there was some alignment between our organizations," says Gabe Howe, the Club's Director responsible for writing grants and fundraising at large. "Our work is embedded in the rich trail legacy of the Forest Service."

The Old Smokeys' membership is represented by retired Forest Service employees from Pacific Northwest Region 6. Their mission is to:
  • Provide opportunities for retirees and persons nearing retirement to share their knowledge of resource management with people living in the Pacific Northwest. 
  • Provide a link between land management agencies and retirees, emphasizing the importance of historical events, people and equipment. 
  • Promote relationships beneficial to the conservation of the Northwest's natural resources. 
  • Encourage retiring Forest Service persons and their associates to maintain and nurture their professional and personal heritage. 
Learn more about the OldSmokeys at their website, www.oldsmokeys.org. There you can find loads of information on Forest Service history, learn more about the organization, and read their newsletter.

The SMC aggregates funds from diverse funders to operate our programs.