Archive for January, 2006

January 16th Vision Quest and Counting Coup Update

To all the participants of the Vision Quest and Counting Coup:

If you plan on camping out in a motor home at O’Neill Park we highly recommend you make a campsite reservation. Prior to June of last year O’Neill Park campsites were available on a first come, first serve basis – but they have now instituted a reservation system.

Although we have reserved two group campsites, these campsites are for tent camping only and available on a first come, first serve basis.

To reserve a site go to the park website at:

As a reminder, if you signed up for the early 5:00 a.m. start you must pre-register at Switchback Cyclery on the Thursday or Friday before the event and transport yourself to the starting line at Black Star Canyon Road.

If you are doing the regular 6:00 a.m. start and want to drive yourself or be dropped off at the start you can pre-register at Switchback also.

Switchback Cyclery is located in Orange at 3436 E. Chapman Ave (at Prospect Avenue on the southeast corner about a mile and a half east of the 55 Freeway). Their phone number is (714) 628-3913.

We encourage everyone to pre-register even if you aren’t doing the early start (or driving yourself to the regular start) to save time in the morning.

We will have additional updates, including course conditions, up to the date of the Vision Quest on March 4th.

The Warrior’s Society

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Vision Quest and Counting Coup Sold Out!

The Vision Quest and Counting Coup are sold out. We usually have around 5-7 openings prior to the event due to injuries or family emergencies. We stopped putting people on the waiting list after we had 13 people on it.

Your best bet is if the event is postponed and people have to drop out due to other commitments (backup date Saturday, March 11th). If that occurs I’ll put people who want to sell their spots in contact with those willing to purchase them.

The Vision Quest and Counting Coup Events sell out two weeks earlier every year. This year it sold out on January 8th – so when I open registration for the 2007 Vision Quest this November 1st I expect it to sell out sometime in mid-December.

If you want to do the Vision Quest or Counting Coup in 2007 we suggest you register when we open up registration in November.

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01/15/06 Warrior’s Society News

In this issue:

1. Positions left in the Counting Coup 40 mile Event – Vision Quest sold out

2. Write-up on the Pow Wow course trail work

3. Train To Be A Wilderness Park Volunteer!


To help those considering participating in the 2006 Mountain Bike Pow Wow Events we are going to be doing weekly updates on the positions left in each of the events:

* 52.5 MILE VISION QUEST – SOLD OUT – We will not add any more positions to this event.

We do have a waiting list for the Vision Quest, but usually have only around 5 participants that drop out prior to the event.

Our Vision Quest waiting list consists of the first 10 people asking to be put on it. It makes no sense to put more than 10 people on the waiting list if we usually have only 5 participants drop out prior to the event. We suggest you participate in the 40-mile Counting Coup event below.

* 40 MILE COUNTING COUP – 13 spots left (140 total – we decided to up the participation in this event by 40 since it is not as difficult an event to support as the Vision Quest). Once we get down to 5 spots left we will be turning off registration and removing the downloadable application from our web site.

If you would like to do the Counting Coup as a second choice to the Vision Quest – I suggest you submit your application ASAP. We expect the Counting Coup to sell out soon.

If you earned a free entry for the Counting Coup via your finish in the Sunset Sprints Series, sponsors comp’s, or as a qualifying Warrior’s Society Club Member, we must receive your applications before we sell out or the comp will not be honored.

In addition to downloading the Counting Coup apps off our web site, or registering through, you can also register and pay for the Pow Wow Events at Switchback Cyclery in Orange. Switchback Cyclery is located in Orange at 3436 E. Chapman Ave (at Prospect Avenue on the southeast corner about a mile and a half east of the 55 Freeway). Their phone number is (714) 628-3913.

Here’s the info to download the Counting Coup apps or you can register on

To download an app for the Counting Coup go to:

To register for the Counting Coup on go to:

Applications will be accepted at the time received. We suggest you register by to insure a spot in the Counting Coup.

Your confirmation will have additional event information including a course description.


We had a great turnout at our Trail Work Event on Saturday, January 7th! Because of the great turnout and our power hedgers and weed wackers, we were able to get far more brushing done than we expected and thanks to John Huth and Eric Muyderman, we even removed a slide on the shale section of Trabuco while Jesse Vargas and Denny Bean repaired a section of lower Trabuco that was failing.

Mike Caffrey repaired the Upper portion of the Holy Jim Trail just below the Main Divide where the Main Divide road repair work had pushed rock and dirt onto the trail making it difficult to navigate.

John Early, Matt Forest and Matthew Nourmohamadian concentrated on brushing the upper portion of the West Horse Thief Trail, while Andy Lightle and Bob McCarter bushed the upper portion of Trabuco Trail and Jeroen Bosboom and Ken Rands brushed the upper portion of the Holy Jim Trail below the Main Divide.

Dave Ross and John Schmidt also concentrated on removing as much of the low lying poison oak by the use of weed wackers; they completely weed wacked the Trabuco Trail and 9/10’s of the Holy Jim Trail. Over the years we’ve attempted to cut back the poison oak where the main stalks grow that are the “root” of the poison oak trellising across the trail or the source of the “feeders” along the trail bed. The poison oak was really out of control five years ago but our program of poison oak removal has brought it under control and pushed it back.

Usually Chris Vargas takes care of removing the poison oak but unfortunately Andy “Fast On Slow Horse” Lightle managed to get a very bad case of it and Dave Ross and John Schmidt got some too. Right now the poison oak has very little leaves on it and is hard to identify so Andy may have not realized he was trimming it back. Dave and John will be alright and we think Andy will make it though OK with his usual treatment of high quality beer to help him ease the itch.

Andy asked if the club would hire a swimsuit model to put the calamine lotion on him – but this was not necessary because Club member Tammy “Cuts Em Off” Martin agreed to do the same thing with a wire brush.

Club member Steve Peterson, of Peterson tree work’s, removed several trees that fell across the Holy Jim Trail. One of the trees was pretty big.

We still need a small amount of brushing on the section of Trabuco Trail from our club Christmas Tree down to the shale section and club member John Early well be hiking a power hedge trimmer up there to finish it off before our next trail work event on Saturday, February 11th.

Work left to be done at next Trail Work event on February 11th:

Upper Holy Jim above the Main Divide:

Upper part was very rutted and slippery down the middle at the bottom switchbacks. We will work on improving this section.

Lower Holy Jim:

The upper part of the trail (that is below the spring and before the rocky sections) is brushed pretty well but will need some tread work done to keep the trail from “sliding away” down the hill.

The middle area (from the falls junction to up past the rocky sections) is in need of brushing. There are lots of sections where both sides of the trail have the brush and buckthorn encroaching on it. While it’s not bad now with two months of spring growth it will be.

The earthwork repairs and the placement of grade stabilizers on Holy Jim and Trabuco that were installed after last year’s record rains have kept the trail beds in great condition; the grade stabilizers should help prevent and trail bed scouring from this year’s rains.

Thanks to Bob Haislett, Mike Caffrey and Mark Cluttey for driving our work crew’s up to the Main Divide and many thanks to all those not mentioned who also helped get a tremendous amount of brushing work done. Special thanks to Keith Eckstein for the great meal after the work. John Early posted some pictures of the work on his web site at:


CRN # 22682 HORT- 070: Volunteer Naturalist Training

The 2006 Spring training program starts on March 13, 2005.

While Orange County is fortunate to have large areas of open space set aside, this is only part of maximizing the benefits of preservation. The most important job is helping the public learn the value of our natural areas, and how they can help keep the wilderness wild while being able to visit and enjoy it. As a volunteer, you can make this happen!

An 8-week course in the Horticulture Department at Fullerton College will train interested people to become volunteer naturalists. The class consists of 8 Monday evening classroom sessions on topics ranging from native plants and animals, to human impact. There are 6 required field trips visiting some of the most beautiful and seldom seen natural areas in Orange County. Field trips will be led by some of the most dedicated and talented local scientists and naturalists in the area. This class is worth 2.5 units of college credit, and is offered on a “credit/no credit, grade optional basis”.

To enroll, call Fullerton College Admissions directly at: (714) 992-7568, or on the Internet at:

You must first apply for admission to the college; the application is available through the Fullerton College web site. Once the application is in, you can register on line as well. For general information about the college visit:

The Nature Conservancy and the Laguna Greenbelt training programs begin with this class. Both programs require First Aid and CPR certification. The Nature Conservancy and other land stewards require a brief orientation period for volunteers specific to their wilderness area and your access mode, hiking, mountain bike or horseback. After the program, volunteers will be eligible to lead tours at a variety of local natural areas, such as The Irvine Ranch Land Reserve, Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, and many other sites.

The class begins on Monday, March 13, 2005 and continues through May 8. Class times are Monday evenings from 6:00 to 9:30 pm. Weekend field trips will be from 8:00 am to noon on either Saturday or Sunday mornings. The class starts in March, but registration will begin shortly and close prior to the first meeting. This class always fills so register early.

For more information, or questions, please contact:

Michael Hearst or Fullerton College Horticulture Department 714-992-7381

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