Double Circle Ranch NPLD 2014 MarkSpencer
by Mark Spencer 

We could not have asked for a better weekend, crew, or site for this year’s National Public Lands Day event with the U.S.F.S. The weather was cool and moist, and we all enjoyed the shelter pro-vided by the lodge building during the Saturday night thunder-storms. There were no incidents, accidents, or even complaints.

There were nine aircraft total, with about twenty-two folks in-cluding ground support of FS and locals that came to support the work. Local ranchers Jean and Erik Schwennesen, Jacob Connor from the old 4 Drag ranch, and Dave from the former Double Circle (modern day) showed up. Jean was also playing the role of FS volunteer coordinator. Local ranchers also sent over gas grills, generators, and necessary heavy or large tools. Cub Crafter's AZ dealer and pilot Rick Bosshardt drove from Phoenix to provide much of our heavy hauling and food, and man did we eat! We were blessed with a special gift from Ron Keller of the New Mexico Pi-lot's Association and NM DOT Aeronautics Division, a full dinner of homemade green chili brats ferried over from NM by a Colorado pilot Steve and his two children.

We got everything we had planned completed, and then some! We oiled both the lodge and the bunk house exteriors using the FS recommended blend of linseed oil, wax, and thinner, cleaned both structures completely, and installed the incredibly beautiful new countertop that Micah had milled for the project, a 3 inch thick solid alligator juniper slab which took the lodge structure back another 50 years in time. We'll be heading back in a week to seal it and protect it from spills and such. You'll have to see this for yourselves, and we sure hope to see all of you at the ranch one of these days soon. We re-stood a huge juniper fence post at the gate leading to the airstrip, and mowed much of the parking area for aircraft. We oiled the floors of the bunk house and cleaned up trash left behind by other campers. We removed the new front door and trimmed its bottom so that it closes properly, and completed several other jobs I am forgetting.

We had 17, maybe 19, I lost track, spend both Friday and Saturday night with movie night in the lodge Friday night. We had some great thunderstorms on Saturday night, but were happily tucked away in the lodge building.

Stay tuned for upcoming events at the ranch as we work on getting approval for a window replacement project this winter and the new porch roof at our April 3rd thru 5th fly in at the ranch!

We have many very excited pilots and locals already looking forward to the next project!




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