If you are driving on a field day, be sure to review Bark’s Driver’s expectations.
In the email that you receive the week before your field day, you will receive a meet-up location as well as information with directions to the specific survey location/timber sale you will be visiting. In addition to this information, all of Bark’s webpages about specific timber sales include driving directions to those sales. While driving to the location, you will have the option of following the Bark staff or volunteer coordinating the trip. Most of Bark’s work occurs in Mt. Hood National Forest and requires 1-2.5 hours of driving (one way) from Portland.
Details on carpooling will be provided after signing up for a field day. Generally, field day participants will meet at the Hollywood Grocery Outlet in Portland (~a 5 min walk from the Hollywood Transit Center) and organize carpools with other participants there. For overnight trips, Bark will provide resources like a shared spreadsheet to organize carpooling with other participants before the trip. If you have specific needs for carpooling, let us know when you sign up or email Misha with questions or requests. Participants are not required to carpool and carpooling is subject to current COVID-19 Safety Protocol.
In general, driving to survey locations will usually include dirt or gravel roads that often have potholes, washboarding, or plants growing into the road. Dirt and gravel roads are more common as we get closer to our destination. We encourage everyone to drive at a speed you feel comfortable with and to stop if the road gets too rough for your comfort or safety. If we need to stop before reaching the intended destination, we can create a alternate travel plan or destination.
If the person leading field day has been to the location you are going to, they will inform you of any rough driving conditions. Since we are often visiting new locations when conducting surveys, the person leading your group will likely not be aware of all of the road conditions.
Resources on Road Conditions
Mt. Hood Roads Table
Many forest roads in Mt. Hood National Forest have conditions reports on the Roads Table. The roads table will tell you when a road is closed (which may happen due to season closures, fire closures, or construction) and often reports when roads are impassible, in poor condition, or if there are hazards such as rock fall. You can find the roads table by visiting this link or you can also find it by visiting the Mt. Hood National Forest Homepage and clicking “Road Conditions” in the “Quick Links” box on the right side of the page. This table can sometimes be slow to be updated.
Mt Hood Forest Alerts
Another place to check for road closures is on the “Forest Alerts” page. This can be found via this link or by visiting the Mt. Hood National Forest Homepage and looking at the “Alerts and Warnings” page on the right side of the page. Closures due to fire or construction are usually posted most quickly to this part of the website.
Oregon Department of Transporation (ODOT) Road Cams
During the winter, spring, and fall, we may encounter snow, ice, or road washouts. When snow is predicted, we usually plan a driving route that avoids the highest elevation roads by driving around the mountain rather than over it (i.e. driving from Portland to Hood River to get to the east side instead of through Government Camp). Check ODOT’s road cameras to forecast if you will encounter snow or ice on the roads. You can view some of the most helpful cameras for Bark field days at this TripCheck Camera page. Here are some tips on winter driving safety from ODOT.