The Mount Shasta Trail Association is pleased to announce that John Thomson has joined its Board of Directors.
John has spent a good portion of his entire life in Mt Shasta. As a descendant of a true 49er, he has continued a family tradition of loving the California mountains (his great grandfather was photographing them before Ansel Adams). He learned to ski in the Old Ski Bowl, has climbed THE MOUNTAIN 4 times, and picked up his Dad’s love of exploring and navigating.
Back in 1967 John helped build a family cabin on Hill Rd. More recently, he and his wife Eugenie have remade the cabin into their home and have been true Mt. Shasta full-timers since 2017.
John followed his passion for public transit by getting both an BS and MS in Civil Engineering at Stanford. His career was entirely spent working as a consultant to public transportation agencies, generally in project management or related roles.
His favorite activities are hiking, bike riding, skiing, snow shoeing, photography, exploring and improving his home. Before an old neck injury stopped him, he was a champion sailor.
You can find John leading a hike (or other “wander”) somewhere in our area just about every week as Scribe for the Siskiyou Wanderers.
If you missed it, below is an article from the Mount Shasta Herald newspaper by Tim Hold and published on December 5, 2018.
A volunteer crew of the Mount Shasta Trail Association, they give up part of their weekends to clear brush, chainsaw fallen trees, and build water diversions to curb trail erosion.
The next time you’re out hiking in our region, maybe around Lake Siskiyou or up on the slopes of Mount Shasta, you might want to say a quiet thank you to John Harch and his crew of “crazy old men.” They’re the ones who give up part of their weekends to clear brush, chainsaw fallen trees, and build water diversions to curb trail erosion. They’re the volunteer crew of the Mount Shasta Trail Association, led by Harch, 62, a retired general surgeon.
He’s a man whose intense energy is leavened by a generous dollop of humor. “He’s got a magnetic personality,” adds trail volunteer Glenn Harvey, who’s 64. “He’s really good at getting people to come out and do all that hard work.”
Harch is also good at getting other organizations to come out and help with the trail work. At the Mount Shasta City Park in the spring of 2017 Harch and his “crazy old men” were joined by 20 volunteers from Wholesale Solar to spread chips on a trail. Harch and his Trail Association volunteers work with a local organization called Clean And Safe Mount Shasta to remove trash from abandoned transient camps and other litter dump sites in the region.
Last spring in Dunsmuir Harch led an effort to fix a portion of the river trail leading to the city park. Erosion had narrowed two portions of a trail carved out of a steep slope above the river, making it potentially dangerous for hikers. Harch’s crew, joined by several Dunsmuir residents, widened the trail at both locations and built rock steps at the steepest part, where it wound past the roots of a large tree.
Longtime trail crew member Mark Telegin, 70, takes pride in the work done that day, in what he calls “a beautiful blending of rock, roots and dirt.”
Volunteers like Telegin take their trail work seriously, spending a lot of time and thought in the placement of rocks for water diversions and steps so they’ll be there for years to come. Telegin himself has taken classes on trail maintenance by the Pacific Crest Trail Association in Ashland. He’s read manuals on the subject and gotten tips from park rangers at Castle Crags State Park, where he recently helped build a bridge over a small creek.
Telegin admits to being something of a trail fix fanatic, someone who can’t take a leisurely hike without at least picking up some litter or clearing some brush. He’s been a volunteer with the Trail Association since he retired as a railroad engineer eight years ago.
For big jobs, like the building of a new, 45-mile addition to the Gateway Trail on the lower slopes of Mount Shasta, the Trail Association uses contractors who come in with heavy equipment to carve out and clear hiking paths. But after that the volunteer crews are there year after year to make sure the trail stays clear, safe, and enjoyable to hike.
Looking to the future, Harch says, “I just want to remind folks that these ‘crazy old guys’ aren’t going to last forever, so if anyone is interested in joining our crew I encourage them to get in touch with me.” His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those of you that shop online at the Amazon website, here’s a way to make a portion of your purchase a donation to the Mount Shasta Trail Association. What a deal!
Instead of logging on the the regular Amazon website, log on to the smile.amazon.com site and register the Mount Shasta Trail Association as your chosen charity and bookmark the smile page. Then as you shop, 0.5% of your purchases will go towards trails in the Mount Shasta Area.
Fine print: this is not an endorsement of Amazon by MSTA, but simply an opportunity worth sharing.
Once again, for the most amazing views, join the Mt. Shasta Trail Association on a day hike to pristine Deadfall Lakes and to the top of Mt. Eddy slated for Saturday, August 4th. This 10-mile round-trip hike starts out gently on the Pacific Crest Trail to the multiple lakes and then becomes challenging as we gain 2,250 feet to the summit at 9,025 feet.
Mt. Eddy was formed some 400 million years ago from peridotite, a volcanic form of serpentine. This type of rock, ultramafic, is high in magnesium and low in calcium, and as such the soils derived from this material constitute a harsh growing medium for most plants.
Like with other serpentine areas, the result is that some plants adapt to the harsh conditions, taking advantage of the relative lack of competition, and evolve to become endemic to the site. The iron contained in the rock rusts, giving it its reddish tint.
It is the highest mountain in the Eddys – a subrange of the Klamath Mountains – the highest point in Trinity County, and the highest mountain W of Interstate 5. The mountain was named after Olive Paddock Eddy, the first woman to climb Mt. Shasta.
From this majestic peak hikers will be able to see Lassen Peak, Mt. Mc Loughlin, the Scott Mountains, the Eddy Range, Black Butte, Castle Crags Spire and of course Mt. Shasta towering over everything in sight.
Participants will meet at 9 am at 111 Morgan Way, in front of the Best Western Tree House Motor Inn. Bring lunch plus snack and water and if interested, a bathing suit for a very refreshing swim. Hiking poles are recommended. Expect to return by 6 pm.
Join us at 6:00 PM at the Sisson Museum for the Trail Association’s annual meeting where presentation will go over past accomplishments and future projects. Beer, wine and appetizers provided! Learn about the City of Mount Shasta being designated a Trail Town by the Pacific Crest Trail Association, and other exciting developments.
The Mount Shasta Trail Association is happy to announce that Glenn Harvey, another native son of California, has joined the Board of Directors. Born in Oxnard and raised in Camarillo, a small agricultural town near Santa Barbara, Glenn developed an early love for trails while hiking in Boy Scouts and from camping trips with his family. Scouting and family trips frequently included National Parks, so conservation and habitat restoration were a natural part of his early education.
Initially pursuing natural sciences in college, Glenn obtained a degree in Biology at San Diego State University, followed by an MS in Ecology from the University of Oregon at Eugene. Shifting to applied sciences, Glenn completed an MS in Chemical Engineering at Oregon State University in Corvallis before moving to Boise, Idaho for a job with Micron Technology. A job opportunity offered a move to American Microsystems, Inc. in Pocatello, where he worked and lived for 25 years. Retired in 2012, Glenn moved to Mt. Shasta with his wife Kathy Morter, where they continue to enjoy a combination of outdoor life and community service.
The Mount Shasta Trail Association is happy to announce that Paul Schwartz has joined its board of directors.
Paul Schwartz comes to Mount Shasta from Chico, California where he grew up. While in Chico, he met his wife Kim, who is a 4th generation Siskiyou County native. Paul received his bachelor’s degree at the University of Pittsburgh and earned his master’s degree from the University of Kentucky. In 1993, Paul and Kim moved to Mount Shasta. They have two college-aged children.
Paul is a physical therapist and manages the Therapy Services Department at Mercy Medical Center Mount Shasta where he has worked for the past 25 years. He has been involved in the community in a variety of ways over the years, from the volunteering for the 4th of July Run/walk with the Mountain Runners, coaching youth sports, leadership in his church, and as a Scoutmaster with Troop 97 (his son earned his Eagle Scout). Also, he was a member of the Mount Shasta Union School district for 12 years, serving 7 years as the board president.
Being outdoors is a constant pursuit for the entire family. On weekends and after work you can find Paul hiking, biking, and running on local trails. He has been crazy enough to run local ultra trail runs, and has completed the local Headwaters 50 kilometer run three times.
Being involved in the community has always been important to Paul and he hopes to contribute to the work of the MSTA to help build sustainable opportunities for exploring and enjoying the splendor of the great outdoors that we are fortunate to call our “backyard”.