Passage 15 – Tortilla Mountains

March 3, 2017

Twelve American Express Serve2Gether volunteers came out for a half-day maintenance project on AZT Passage 15b near the Florence-Kelvin Highway Trailhead. Four ATA volunteer crew leaders along with Zach McDonald and Wendy Lotze provided support. After a thorough safety talk, four crews split off – two headed northbound and two southbound to tackle various issues on the trail. Ample winter rains had caused lots of growth to be brushed out, and the trail was lined with bright poppies! Unfortunately, in places where the tread had become too narrow, those poppies had to be grubbed out as we widened the bench and knocked off the berm. Several drainages required minor rock work to prevent further wash outs. Although we tried not to disturb the locals as we harvested rocks for the check dams, there was at least one resident who was upset by our efforts (and what a fuss it made). Removing one larger catclaw shrub near the road crossing required major digging and cutting.
After the work was completed, the group headed to Old Time Pizza for lunch. Gary and Lorraine were amazing hosts as usual, and the crew signed the Kearny banner in their native languages, which included Hindi, Tamil and Telgu. Thanks to everyone who helped, and to American Express for supporting the volunteer efforts of their team!

Wendy Lotze