Christmas Tree Run 12-10-2005

Every year the Santa Rosa 4x4's and guests head up to Mendocino National Forest and cut Christmas Trees. Not only do we get to have some fun playing in the hills, but trees that would cost $75-$100+ are only $10 each!   

As with most runs, most of us met at Coddingtown in Santa Rosa and headed up to Upper Lake to the Ranger Station to purchase our tree permits.

All pictures from the trip are HERE.

After leaving the Upper Lake Ranger Station we headed into the Lake Pillsbury basin.   We stopped at Oak Flats campground to air down.
There are Tule Elk in the area, we saw some on both the way in and the way out.
Some Tule Elk in the distance.
Last year we ran into quite a bit of snow and it took quite a while to get to the top of the mountain.   This year there were only very small patches of snow, and only in places that had shade most of the time.   We were able to get to the very top of the Hull Mountain in time to have lunch up there.
It was a perfect day, with very little wind and clear skies.   This is the view of the lake and the dirt runway from the very top.
This is looking farther into the forest, with the arrow showing about where we ended up cutting out trees at.
After lunch we headed down the hill farther away from civilization and found a small side trail that lead to some great trees.   There were 9 vehicles in our group, a few people that came along did not get trees, but others got more than one.   I believe the group took 10 trees.
Here the kids stand next to our tree.
We also picked up a small tree for our next door neighbors.  After the kids located it, they posed for a quick shot before we cut it.
One of the thrills for the kids was they got to ride up the hill in the back of Marks truck.  
The ground on the back side of the hill had spotty snow.   The dirt seemed loose, and there were pockets of ice crystals that would crunch and sink when you stepped on them.  
This was the worst section of road, it was late in the afternoon and the ice was melting quite well.   I was barely able to make the truck get a little sideways on purpose!   I'm sure that first thing in the morning it would be a different story!

On the way down, we took some side trails and spent a bit of time playing around.

Some people headed straight home, and others stopped off in Ukiah for some dinner.   Even after having dinner, we still made it home by 8pm.   It was a great day!

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