Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Site Location & Directions!

Los Piños - Pine River
The time has come! Scout Council came to a consensus on a site location on the Full Moon, and now that the Transit of Venus is underway for the last time in any of our lifetimes, we are prepared to announce the location info and directions!

This year, Wild Roots Feral Futures will be taking place in the Weminuche Wilderness, amongst the mixed pines (including old-growth Ponderosa for tree climbing trainings!), firs, spruces, quaking aspen, and willow thickets along the upper Pine River, aka Los Piños, northeast of Vallecito Reservoir, about 35 miles from Durango, CO.

If you're driving in, please check in with the ride share board to see if there's anyone from your area or on your route who is seeking a ride. Also, keep your eyes peeled for feral hitch-hikers!


From Bayfield: Turn North off Highway 160 onto County Road 501 towards Vallecito Reservoir.

From Durango: Take 15th or 32nd Street off Main Ave./Highway 550 in Durango to Florida Road (County Road 240), towards Vallecito Reservoir. Turn left onto County Road 501.

Take County Road 501 all the way to and around Vallecito Lake to FR 602. Continue until the road ends at a trailhead for Trail 523, where you will pass a fee site campground and find free and plentiful trail-head parking. We may not be able to have an established presence at the trailhead, but at the very least we'll put some visible welcoming info in the windows of some vehicles. (If anything appears unclear to you in these directions, please email us for clarification.)

Barbed wire fencing along Granite Peaks Ranch
The trail leads you past three miles of barbed-wire fencing on the right-hand side of the trail (we recommend keeping your animal friends leashed so they don't chase squirrels and get cut by it like our dog friends did!) past the Granite Peaks Ranch, and then through about a mile of day use area to the wilderness boundary, which is well-marked and can't be missed. The trail is relatively flat and easy-going (particularly compared to past years), but take your time and make multiple trips if necessary. Likely we'll have some significant communal gear to haul in, so help out if you're able!

The site location begins pretty much as soon as you enter the wilderness area, but the main base camp where the community kitchen will be located is up the trail about a mile, on the edge of a large meadow on the right-hand side of the trail, at an already-impacted site. The valley continues onward and upward into the wilderness, so explore and find yourself a nice spot! We're asking folks to try to stick to the established campsites and avoid creating new ones, as well as new fire pits. Having one main community fire and only a few neighborhood campfires elsewhere helps with group cohesion dynamics, as opposed to many fires at each camp that keep us more isolated and has a greater impact on the land. We're asking everyone to practice good low-impact, leave no trace, dispersed camping, which we will talk about in the woods as well.

Several dynamics are significantly different from past years, perhaps most significantly the absence of car camping at the parking area. While folks can most likely get away with sleeping in their vehicles at the trail head parking, you cannot set up camp at the parking/trail-head (pitch tents, make fires, etc.). There is a pay campground just before the trail-head, but staying in such a travesty more or less defeats the purpose of attending such an event in the first place. Regardless, because we cannot otherwise set up a welcome center camp at the trail-head, we will possibly utilize some of our funds to get the camp site closest to the trail-head for the duration of the event, which will serve as our welcome station. If we opt against this, we'll at the very least leave some welcoming info inside the windows of some vehicles.

We would also like to note that we have also come to a consensus in the selection of a back-up location site, should some unforeseen event beyond our control (be it "natural" or imposed by the State) lead to our eviction or evacuation from this location.

Again, we are asking everyone to arrive prepared for self-sufficient wilderness camping (be prepared for cold and rain as well as heat, etc.) and are requesting that folks bring as much potable water and communal supply donations (tools, food, etc. - see our initial call-out post) as possible. Also, please come with as much water purification and/or filtration capacity as you're able. Though we may get a significant amount of potable water at the trail-head, all water at the site itself will either have to be hauled in, filtered, boiled, or otherwise purified. Bring your own filter if you can, and share it if you're able! For communal use, we're looking into utilizing communal funds we've raised to purchase some sort of quality, high-capacity backcountry outfitter's water filter. If you have or can acquire anything of the sort, please bring it! Most importantly, stay hydrated! We will be at a high altitude and some folks will need to acclimatize to the elevation. Hydration is key in this.

Off the computer, into the woods!

May the forest bewitch you...

—the Wild Roots Feral Futures organizers' collective

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