Monday, April 2, 2012
Trail Work on the Ossipee
Yesterday was a great day to be out on the trails. The sky was blue and the temperature was pleasantly cool. The river gurgled and splashed beside me while the birds chirped in the trees. Kevin went up ahead to finish the initial clearing of the new loop, using loppers and boots to push dead fall and loose rocks aside. I started at the beginning of the loop doing what I like best, working down to the dirt with my rake. There is something strangely satisfying about watching a flagged route through the woods become a trail. After Kevin completed the loop, he joined me for the ground work. He uses the McCloud for this. That tool is too heavy for me since I've had my shoulder surgery, but it does an excellent job of removing the top organic layer and getting down to the dirt. Anyone can drag a rake through the woods, but to make a trail sustainable and flowing takes some work and some know-how. Luckily Kevin has the know-how. He has designed a narrow meandering single track that works perfectly with the terrain and the setting of the island.
The island we are working on has a lot of debris left behind from what we believe was a log drivers camp, probably in the nineteen forties judging by the bottles we have found. Some might call it litter, but Kevin and I both find this stuff fascinating.
We missed the trail work at Bear Brook Saturday, as we just couldn't get out of bed early enough. But we did get out there for a nice mountain bike ride later in the morning. Kevin and I started our ride on the steady uphill of Hemlock, hoping to find the trail crew still working. Starting a ride with a climb just about kills me, ugh. We found that the crew had already come and gone. The NEMBA folks had already cleaned up the logged section of Hemlock. This made Kevin happy. He had built this trail himself and was a little sorry to see it logged so heavily. Now it is completely ridable again! We owe NEMBA a trail work day for that, and we'll be sure to get out of bed in time for the next one.