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The porch deck of the cabin and the old sill log

Our Ferry County Chapter of Back Country Horsemen is in the extreme North East part of Washington State. Here we have over one million acres and hundreds of miles of trails in the Colville Forest to ride our horses and mules in.

We have been joining up and volunteering with our Forest Service since 2003 when we first organized our chapter. Clearing trails is just part of our job; we have built a puncheon bridge, put trail signs up, removed rocks, and reopened old trails, as well as packing in supplies with our horses and mules.

George Young old sill log with the rot

For almost two years we have promised to work on the Snow Peak cabin on the Kettle Crest trail. In 2015 our attempt to work on the cabin was complicated by the fires in our area of the forest. This year on Monday June 27th our members came up the Snow Peak trail with a pack horse full of gear, not knowing which tools might be needed for the job and also with some good ideas on how to fix the problem the cabin was facing.

The newly cut sill log ready to be cut and notched. Terry Fralic, George Young and Pat Michael

Our volunteers were met at the trail head by Carmen Neilson our recreational ranger. The problem the cabin was having, amounted to some repair to the sill log that was causing the cabin to list in a way that made the door and the windows not to shut properly. After removing the porch decking we discovered how much damage was done to the sill log by rain and snow melt that had wicked from the roof down the upright and unto the sill log. Eight feet of the top of the log was rotted nearly to the middle, causing the porch to list to one side.

The new sill log cut and being measured

Our Trail boss, George Young, and longtime member Terry Fralic decided to lift the roof of the porch to take the pressure off the uprights and raise the porch roof high enough to put in a new sill log. Terry and George located a ten foot log that would hold up the roof enough to insert a new sill log. Having that in place, and the roof held up, Terry went to look for a new sill log. Moving the new log to the cabin looked like a big job until four more of our members arrived just in time from clearing trail on the Kettle Crest from Sherman Pass.

Terry Fralic setting the new sill log in place

Our members, Rob, Tracey, and Pat Michael along with Wade Moss rode up just in time to help carry the sill log to the cabin and into place. With a bit of measuring, trimming, notching and muscle the new sill log was put in.

Next the upright had to put in position. This called for a lot of muscle. Just the man for the job was Wade Moss; who with a sledge hammer moved the upright so it would be over the new sill log.

Wade Moss putting the upright over the new sill log. Left to right Pat Michael, Rob Michael, Terry Fralic behind the post and Wade Moss

Pat Michael and George Young refitted the old decking on the porch deck to finish the job. This project took much of the day and when completed and leveled it will help the integrity of the cabin for many years. On the way back downhill we packed out some refuse that had been left in the cabin.






If you would like more information on our chapter our web site is: fccbchw.com

You can find us on Face Book: Back Country Horsemen of Washington – Ferry County Chapter

Lu Young


Ferry County Chapter of Back Country Horsemen of Washington.

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