With the government shutdown still ongoing, there were some concerns about the upkeep of facilities in AF canyon. Today a small group of us checked and emptied trash bins in the vault toilets, along with restocked toilet paper. For the most part the lower day use sites in the canyon were in decent shape, however the vault toilets at Tibble Fork Reservoir were all out of TP in both locations along with a fair amount of trash to clean out.
After restocking and trash removal, the group split with some heading home while Coy and I headed up the 085 to Holman Flats. Our objective was to correct a sign issue we noticed at the end of the season, and clean/restock the vault toilet at that location. We loaded up a sled with the necessary supplies and hiked up to the site. Along the way we took note of a large barrel looking item in the river, along with dozens of trees that had fallen along the road.
Once at Holman Flats, and after restocking and emptying the half full trash bin, we proceeded to our sign project. At the end of the season this year there were some information signs accidentally placed over our groups adoption sign. Having obtained permission from the Forest Service earlier, we removed the new sign, removed our adoption sign(which required cutting off welded on bolts), then reattached the FS sign and our adoption sign in a new location.
We completed our tasks faster than expected, so we loaded up our trash and supplies, then proceeded to hike the 085 up to the last campsite before the switchbacks before heading back down. Along the way down we assisted a gentleman who was lost trying to find Silverlake Flat, and made our way over to the "barrel" we had spotted earlier down in Tibble Fork Reservoir.
It turned out the item wasn't a barrel, but a piece of very thick plastic culvert. It was very heavy and an awkward shape, but being determined to not leave it in the river and get it out of the canyon Coy performed a feat of strength and packed the item up out of the river and to the parking lot.
For the most part there wasn't much trash to be seen on the ground at the day use sites, although its quite possibly just being buried each time it snows. Tibble Fork Reservoir was surprisingly busy, with a large amount of people out on the ice which was a bit worrisome at some of the thinner looking spots.
The reservoir area could probably use a quick trash pick up, although the main concern is the vast amount of dog droppings that stuck out like a sore thumb in the white snow lining the road and paths.
We will be returning during the week, most likely by Wednesday, to check on TP and trash levels again. If you visit the canyon and notice bins needing to be emptied or a shortage of TP please let us know. We have obtained a large supply of trash bags and TP for this purpose.
Despite the challenges encountered, it was a great day to be in the canyon and quite the workout. Already looking forward to our next adventure.
Til' Next Time!