CARSONITES INSTALLED ON THE YREKA TRAIL
By Bob Evanhoe
The rescheduled installation of Carsonite markers on portions of the Yreka Trail met with excellent weather conditions on May 13 and 14 this spring.
A group of 10 people met in the vicinity of Sheep Rock to place OCTA Carsonite markers on selected BLM portions where the trail rounds the Rock and drops into Shasta Valley. Bob Evanhoe coordinated the effort, with previously flagged locations established by BLM Archaeologist Eric Ritter and retired BLM OCTA member Joe Moltor. Eric and Joe each supervised a group of enthusiastic volunteers which included John Winner, Lee Dummel, Denise & Jim Moorman, Kate Brackett, Susan Tebbe and BLM intern Bennie Davidson.
The BLM parcels are all surrounded by private property so access tended to be somewhat circuitous and at the mercy of the owners. One owner had actually locked a gate on the historic livestock-drive trail and explained that “there’s only one rancher who uses it anymore.”
A total of 41 markers were set over the two-day period, all being GPSed in both NAD27 and WS84 datums. (For those who have not experienced the privilege and pleasure of installing Carsonite markers, be advised that the custom driver weighs 22 pounds and is often preceded by the use of a pilot probe which scales in at 30 pounds. Both are operated like a fence post driver. The greatest effort is expended in removing the probe when one must work against the 30 pounds with upward thrusts!)
Virginia Parks and Bob hosted the group Monday night in Yreka where the fare was pizza and salad with various libations, augmented by the Winner contributions from El Dorado County. A special feature of the evening was a visit by Orsola and Richard Silva, who provided details on the history of the various trails through Siskiyou County. Copies of their—along with Keith Arnold’s—original YT trail coordinates, confirmed the locations of the current markings.
There will be more such installations in the future as we fill in spaces between the 20 rail markers installed by Trails West in 2009. These cover the Yreka Trail from where it branches off the Applegate near Lower Klamath Lake, to its destination in Yreka. ~