Hurricane Irma Thrashes Whissenhunt to Closure
Whissenhunt OHV park Closed Until Storm Damage can be cleaned up.
Hurricane Irma paid a visit to Whissenhunt OHV park on her way north. Lots of trees down on ALL roads and trails, and some sever trail damage. GARTRA spent the entire day Saturday, Sept 16, working to clear the roads and trails. It all started in the parking lot where a very large hardwood tree fell across the parking lot. We spent well over an hour just to clear enough to get in the parking lot. Then with a crew of over a dozen volunteers, and James Wascher (GARTRA Trail Captain at Whissenhunt) leading operations, we all set about clearing the main roads. There were trees down every few hundred feet. We were able to clear all the main roads, 192N, 192G, and 192D. Then we split up into three crews and began working the trails. My crew was able to clear 192E before we ran out of gas in the saw and had to return to the parking lot. Other crews had been working to clear other trails on the north side of the main road. We all broke for lunch about 1:00pm, and the the break was welcomed by everyone. Nathan Wascher worked his usual magic at the grill to After lunch, we split up and began again. This time my crew worked 192J and 192H. We were able to clear all but one tree on 192H (not enough daylight), and had cleared most everything on 192J. But then we encountered "The RootBall" on 192J. A huge hardwood on the edge of the trail had blown over and took most of the trail with it. To get an idea of how big it is, John Medicus volunteered to get swallowed up by the hole for all to see. Don't worry, we didn't leave him there. We don't have a Pirate's Code. So we managed to pull him out on the other side. Bill Shilling was able to get across the hole to ride out with John, while the rest of us turned around and headed round to rendezvous with John & Bill on the main road. We made a lot of progress, but were not able to get everything cleared by days end. James will file a report of our progress with the USFS.