Monday, May 14, 2012

Middle Branch of the Ontonagon to the O-Kun-de-Kun falls on the Baltimore river done!

In the North Country Trail clearing post as seen here 2 posts earlier,  we’d come from the east and cleared a 3 mile section to the Middle Branch of the Ontonagon river.  Now we wanted to clear from the Middle Branch to the Baltimore River.  This section is found on highway 45 and about  ½ way between Mass city and Bruce Crossing MI and is known for the O-Kun-de-Kun Falls. From back country skiing last winter, we knew that this section was 4 miles in and strewn with dead-falls.   This was too much work for just my pack, plus too far a hike in with 100lbs of gear, just to get started!   We asked around and heard that the Forest Service roads into there were gated and impassable anyway.   My pack wondered how to tackle this section. Could they hike the 7.5 miles and clear the middle?  From past experience, they knew the hike wasn’t bad, but to haul in the gear and clear the trees off was beyond their capability.   Wimpy?  At least there were some streams for me to drink from and cool off in!   But my pack was at a loss as to what they should do.   Then they got the bright idea to call our silent sports friend Dean,  who lives near Mass City and ask him what we should do.  He immediately said “we can get in there!”   The FS logging roads were passable, at least for ATV’s, and legal for their use, plus he knew the routes very well!    Within 48 hours he had contacted various friends with a UTV to haul us in and give more help!

My pal Dean, who organized the whole thing!

The motley crew gets started after a 4 mile ride in, although Jim did ride his bike.  BIG thanks to Al for hauling us in with his Rhino and for the help.
Ya, many sections looked like this!
Along the Ontonagon river.


The same bridge we cleared to a few weeks earlier
and as far east we'll go today. This is the Middle branch
 of the Ontonagon river.

Ya we cleared it, but it still needs some blue trial blazes put up.
There are darn few left!

Arly took his big saw this time. Good thing,
 because this one was nearly 20" in diameter!
  O-Kun-de-Kun falls on the Baltimore river.  I'm glad to be out and very tired.
 After nearly 6 hours of "hike-n-cut" we tramped our way down to the Baltimore river and were SO glad to see Dean was there to give us a lift back.   I'd had enough and was ready for my nap!
We need to give Dean a BIG thanks for his work to make this clearing of the NCT happen.  
Without his gracious help, it would not have gotten done.

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