Some locals may have already noticed the hand-peeled logs that hold up three porcelain enamel signs welcoming visitors to the Bunny Flat trailhead.
The signs provide information about the area and inform visitors about the unique ecosystem that is upper Mt. Shasta.
Many made contributions to the creation of the signs, a project that began in concept some 20 years ago, according to Chris Marrone of Mount Shasta, one of the project’s founders.
According to ShastaAvalanche.org, the Bunny Flat trailhead sits at 6,950 feet on the south side of Mt. Shasta. Information on the website states that Bunny Flat is the busiest trailhead, and it provides access for climbers and hikers who wish to scale the south and west sides of Mt. Shasta. A quote from the website about the importance of this trailhead during all seasons shows the significance of this site as an area of recreation for not only tourists but also locals.
Bunny Flat, as stated on the website, “is also the launching point for snowmobilers heading up into the Old Ski Bowl area. It is also the point for any and all spiritual seekers, motor tourists and any other folks making a quick jaunt or weekend off the I-5 to check out the mountain. This road is plowed to Bunny Flat year round and thus is the standard access point for all winter recreation too.”
Thanks to the joint efforts of the United States Forest Service Mt. Shasta District, the Sierra Club Foundation, Marrone Construction, and many other contributors, the sign project was created in hopes of benefiting visitors for generations to come.
The design, construction, and drafting of the signs involved numerous individuals from the area, many of whom donated supplies, time and money. The signs are made to withstand the hazardous weather conditions of Bunny Flat year-round.
The construction included at least 50 backhoe/loader loads of dry stack boulders for each side of the signs that border the parking area. Boulders were added to rebuild the beginning southern access trail at Bunny Flat.
Thirty-eight and a-half cubic yards of concrete and 6,000 pounds of steel were used.
Marrone said the majority of the steel is located under the concrete to “resist the lateral snow movement.” Tons of stone was split to build the foundation for the signs, six logs were harvested and hand-peeled to hold them up, and 220 cubic yards of material were used to prevent erosion and to help stabilize the bank for a drainage swale.
The stone was harvested on site, and a “no parking” zone will be striped in front of the signs by the County in the spring.
The plan calls for placing boulders in front of the signs in the winter to protect them from snow removal operations.
The project was completed during four weeks of construction with some working all day, back-to-back to get it finished before this winter’s snows started falling.
The project was funded with grants, monetary donations, project material donations, and countless volunteer hours.
The list below, in no particular order, includes project contributors whose efforts are much appreciated by the project’s founders:
Sierra Club Foundation, sign; USFS, Becky Cooper, sign design, layout, graphics; USFS, Carolyn Napper, administration, grants; Sousa Ready Mix, concrete; Solano’s Building Supply, building materials; Willow Creek Ranch, logs; Mike Hupp, photography; Dale La Forest, sign structure design; Tom Hesseldenz, trail design; USGS, Mike Calvert, geological information; John Effland, stone work; Brad Fischer and Darrell Cox, construction; Bill Miesse and Michael Zanger, photography and sign content; USFS, Nick Meyers, facilitator; Marrone Construction, construction/management.