News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Volunteers install kiosk at trailhead

In last Saturday morning’s chilly temperatures and bright sunshine, eight local Sisters men — all members of both Sisters Area Woodworkers (SAW) and Sisters Trails Alliance (STA) — gathered at the Peterson Ridge (PRT) trailhead to install a handsome new informational kiosk they constructed last week.

Kris Calvin, owner of Earthwood Timber Frame Homes, was the foreman on the project and provided his homebuilding workshop and equipment for construction and installation of the kiosk. Calvin designed it last spring using the SketchUp computer program. The proposed design and placement of the sign then had to be approved by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

Being a member of both STA and SAW, Calvin tapped eight of his fellow woodworkers to construct the kiosk: Kerry Bott, Dale Grinsman, Dennis Mills, Rod Moorehead, Jim Naibert, Craig Renkert, Rick Retzman, and Mark Thompson. Calvin milled the 8-by-8-inch timbers for the kiosk frame from hazard pine trees he has been collecting from Sisters Country for 30 years, including one that came from in front of the Sisters Ranger Station.

He created layout detail sheets, with cuts and dimensions, for each of the woodworkers before they arrived at his shop. After all of the pieces were cut and finished by the SAW members, the kiosk was pre-assembled like a jigsaw puzzle — all in one day. It was then unassembled to oil all the pieces and reassembled before installation.

The City of Sisters Public Works Department used their equipment to drill the post holes and provided the oil for staining the kiosk. SAW member Kerry Bott used his Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine to carve the letters in the wood of the kiosk.

The kiosk project was a community effort involving the USFS, the City of Sisters, SAW and STA volunteers, with grants of $1,000 from the City and $4,000 from the Deschutes Trails Coalition.

“This is yet another example of when everyone works together towards a common vision, we all end up with a greater end product than could be accomplished alone,” said Sara Baughman, Recreation Team Leader for the Sisters Ranger District.

When the decision was made to move the PRT trailhead from its original location in the Buck Run neighborhood, to a half-mile south, off of Elm Street (Road 16), the STA entered into an agreement with the State Recreational Trails Program (RTP) to provide volunteer labor for the trailhead and to construct the kiosk at the trailhead.

The dream of the new trailhead began seven years ago when STA members Gary Guttormsen and Patrick Eckford gave a presentation in Salem to the RTP requesting a grant to cover the expense of creating a new trailhead. STA provided the 20 percent match required for the RTP grant with the labor of their volunteer members. STA then coordinated with the Sisters Ranger District on the design, as the trail is on Forest Service land. The new portion of the PRT was dedicated last spring.

Last Saturday morning, the joint efforts of everyone involved came to fruition as the kiosk was lowered into place and braced in preparation for concrete to be poured in the holes holding the timber posts. On Sunday, the shingled roof was put on the top and the center board that has a large map of the trail and related information on it were added. Rick Retzman, who created the part of the kiosk that says Peterson Ridge Trail said the sign was based on the Jellystone Park sign with the zigzag ends seen in the Yogi Bear cartoons.

With all of his planning, designing, organizing and milling complete, when asked why the SAW volunteers agreed to be involved in the construction of the kiosk, Calvin replied, tongue-in-cheek, “We are successfully fighting boredom.” Another volunteer chimed in with, “We’re avoiding our ‘honey-do’ projects.”

The final sentiment was, “We had a good crew.”


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