October 7, 2006 | Retrieving the Safe Doors, part 2

This was our second trip to Echo Mountain to finally retrieve the two Safe Doors we initially located on September 16, 2006 (see below). We had a good crew of 12 volunteers and got a lot of work done. Our goals were to retrieve the safe doors and secure one in the Tool Shed at the Cape of Good Hope and deposit one at the Alpine Tavern campground site. We also strategically placed logs and brush to prevent hikers and bikers from causing any unnecessary trails which damages the trails and causes more erosion on the hillside.

We started our day by witnessing an 8 point buck supervising us, such is a rare occurrence in Echo Mountain and we were enriched by his curiosity, which lasted for several minutes.

The crew began by prepping the hand truck and lowering it down the side about 100 feet down from the fire road. The slope is at a 70 degree angle which made it a challenge to reach the doors. The safe doors had been sitting on the side of this hill for decades so we had to be very careful when handling them. The second step was to secure the safe doors on the hand truck and use a pulley system, with John Harrigan's truck as the mule, to pull the doors up. Each door weighed approximately 200 pounds.

This was a successful work day and we want to thank everyone who helped.

History by Paul Ayers:
While we were doing the safe parts extraction on October 7, 2006, I realized that the area we were working on was described in Dr. Reid's history as Giddings Trail Canyon. Dr. Reid spends a fair amount talking about the Canyon, the trail and peak associated with it. Giddings Peak, became Grizzly Point and then Sunset Point [See, photo of Paul at Point on February 1, 1992]; the Point is basically where Middle Millard Trail crosses Sunset Ridge leaving the Millard watershed for the Rubio and Las Flores watersheds.



September 16, 2006 | Retrieving the Safe Doors, part 1

Charles Seims, author of Mount Lowe, the Railway in the Clouds, told us that 2 doors from the safe that was originally at the Alpine Tavern had been dumped along the side decades ago near the Cape of Good Hope. We surveyed this mountainside for hours which proved to be a challenge since the cliff was at a 70 degree angle. As we walked up and down the cliff we had nearly given up. As we looked for an easier route to climb we finally stumbled upon the Alpine Tavern safe doors.

We were very excited and began the arduous task of mounting the safe doors to a cart and secure it safely to the mountain. Each safe door weighed approximately 200 pounds. We were unable to pull the cart more than 15 feet before our rope broke so we'll have to come back to this site once again. Next time we'll come better equipped with good strong rope and pulleys. We look forward to our next trip. Thank you for all the volunteers that spent the day with us locating this wonderful find.

The Crew - Joel, Joe, Lee, Bruce, John, Susan, and Brian



May 13, 2006 | Hauling up artifacts

Our volunteer group hauled this old artifact during a nice day in Spring.


March 4, 2006 | Removing debris from Fire Road

Part of the job was to clear debris off the fire road as we traveled to our work destinations. This particular rock of decomposed granite was not very decomposed. In other words, we couldn't break the darn thing up, no matter how much we pounded on it. The sledge hammer would just bounce off. So we ended up muscling it over to the side of the road and left it.


February 18, 2006 | Surveying Mount Lowe

Who says it doesn't snow in Southern California? We came to survey the land and enjoy the beautiful scenery in Mount Lowe. Joe Hall said the temperature at Inspiration Point was around 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Brian Marcroft is standing next to Granite Gate without a coat. He had read "To Build A Fire" by Jack London and figures that 25 degree weather is just not enough to get all worried about. HaHaHa