"Yet another great weekend up in the Jemez Mountains. By all accounts, the SWNSC Fall Trail Work Weekend was a success.
So many folks chipped in and basically adopted a section or two or three...and got after it clearning the brush, aspen shoots and etc. to make things ready for the ski season. Snow or no, it needs it every year so that it doesn't get too overgrown.
I think with all of everyone's efforts, we got almost all of the tree sections cleaned up. There still may be some work to do on TJ's, but I need some confirmation on that -- we were all so scattered all over the system doing different things, that I didn't get a chance to see it all once we were done. We were also able to get the steel poles set out and ready to be pounded in for the fencing setup. We managed to get a few of them put in before running out of time. We also got the trail counter installed, so we'll hopefully be collecting some numbers on the amount of traffic in and out of there.
The snowshoe trail system is going to be amazing this year with the additions scouted and partially cleared out by Paul and Tom. There needs to be some clearing work on it still to get it ready, but once that's done, it'll be something everyone will need to go take a look at.
The chainsaw class, put on by Miles Standish from the Santa Fe National Forest Espanola Ranger District, was very informative and provided very good instruction for those of us "self-taught" amateur sawyers who basically "hack" our way through the job of clearing out the dead-fall that plagues our trails every year. Some of the safety points were new for us, as well as the various strategies to tackle tough clearing jobs. Thanks to the FS (Miles) for coming out and working on getting us officially certified on our volunteer agreement.
Along with the usual SWNSC members who always energetically show up, we had a number of new faces out there who dove right in and got their hands dirty with the trail work. We even had some 75+ yr old Finnish volunteers, courtesy of Sanna Sevanto, who wrangled her visiting parents into coming out for an entire day of brush and aspen shoot cutting. They showed us how it is done and got a lot of work accomplished!
Our Albuquerque folks also made the trip up, with John D., Beth, and Dave K. pitching in and also camping on Saturday night.
Speaking of which, the camping was also a great time, with four of us the first night, and a whole bunch more the second. It was pretty cold on Saturday morning, but that night, the moist air moved in and made Sunday morning a bit warmer, if not a little more damp. Very nice experience waking up to the sunrise in the meadow and just basically being right on the trail for a weekend.
A big thanks goes out to all of you who came out. I was a little bit under the weather, so I didn't get around as quickly as I would have liked, but it sure looked like everyone got a lot done. We'll have more to do from now 'til the snow flies -- hanging up the fencing, clearing the snowshoe trail, cleaning up the meadow sections (they also get aspen shoots and a lot of errant branches and rocks), etc. If you have some time, consider taking some shoot cutters or go pound in some steel fence poles on the front hill!
Be sure to check out the pictures on the SWNSC photo album (follow the links from the website).
See you next time. We'll probably have another shorter day or two in November to get the rest of the things done."