Trail Maintenance 10/16/2011


trail map

Trail Map

The red dots on the Buster trail is where we did maintenance. We did not go all that far from Dexter, but we had a lot of fun.

Participating were Keith Andrews (cameraman), Ken Shapiro, Derrick Leedy and Ramon Gandia (author).

This USGS map was produced by a "gtopo", a Linux software program by Tom Trebisky. The map itself was further edited with "gimp" (like Photoshop but for Linux) which sized it, cropped it, added text and dots.

chop Copyright © 2011, Keith Andrews

Kenny Shapiro with a pick and shovel.

new creek Copyright © 2011, Keith Andrews

Death of a Road

Buster Creek was diverted by an irresponsible miner, Dan Martinson, who never repaired the damage he caused. The creek then flowed right down the road and excavated it out.

this big Copyright © 2011, Keith Andrews

"It's only this big," says Leedy

Here Dr. Derrick Leedy, the Nome Veterinarian and accomplished 4-wheeler and snowmachine man, chats with Ramon about something yeay big.

Leedy has good boots; notice he is standing in the creek.

spider Copyright © 2011, Keith Andrews

Sydney Hangs On!

Ramon in his Honda 350 Rancher climbs out over the ramp that Kenny formed. Sydney, his German Shepherd desperately hangs on like a spider.

Pretty stable, having four legs.

Note 2020: I got this dog August 28; and took her everywhere for years. She was killed by Muskox August 2, 2020 while defending me. See stories of my my dogs

diggings Copyright © 2011, Keith Andrews

Buster Road Destroyed

The cameraman stands where the creek used to be. Miner Dan had a piece of equipment stuck, and he dug it all out, piling the dirt behind me (left in picture). This opened up the water from the Beaver pond which flowed down the road. He then went down the road with his bulldozer, pushing mud, gravel and willows out of the way, completely ruining the road. Thanks, Dan!

Note of 2020: In 2018, Homer Hoogendorn, who has the Buster Mine farther up this road, contracted over $20,000 to fix it so water no longer flows down the road. However, even this did not bring it up to grade.

looking back Copyright © 2011, Keith Andrews

From Osborn Creek, Looking Back

We got out of the Buster Mine area after doing the dirtwork, and we arrived at the Manita Creek fork of the Osborn.

ruins Copyright © 2011, Keith Andrews


This miner's cabin went up in the early 1900's. They weren't good carpenters, and built quick and cheap.

In this case, the lack of diagonal planking proved fatal to the cabin. It starts getting distorted and skewed by the winds, time and frost, and eventually collapses.

Judging by the cot frame and the wood stove, this cabin was used last in the 1930's.

pondering Copyright © 2011, Keith Andrews

Kenny Surveys

Arriving at the banks of Osborne Creek, or more exactly, Manita Creek, Kenny surveys how to get through those willows. The creek had eroded the side of the trail, and there was not enough to safely travel it.

We had to cut a bypass.

choping Copyright © 2011, Keith Andrews

Ramon Cuts Willows

Doesn't take long with the Swedish Sandvik Lopers

lonesome Copyright © 2011, Keith Andrews

Oh, Lonesome Trails!

Here two of us are returning back to Nome. Look carefully. The machine in the lead is Ramon, and the dog is riding in back.


Narrative Copyright © 2011-2020, Ramon Gandia
Pictures Copyright as indicated