Things are starting to look pretty good with our season preparations and the trail work in general. We've gotten most of the real hazard trees down and bucked off the trail. In some places, we just didn't have the horsepower, so they're pushing in a little tight, but I think we have a plan to get that bit pushed out a little wider. It was a LOT of work for the small crew we had this past weekend, but amazingly, we got most of it done. There are still a couple of big trees (already bucked up) that need to be moved off the trail on the lower road (with the help of a pry-bar), and some stuff on the trail from A to C that needs pushing out a bit. We also need to work on the "log platform" at "the rock" just below point J. It got burned out and we need to replace it with some logs. That log platform at the other big rock on Dave's Dogleg also needs some significant work.
On top of all of that, there are a LOT of new aspen shoots, or more like shrubs, in the trail throughout the burn area that need to be cut. They keep standing when the snow comes and we groom over them. They're pretty now, but not so nice to try to ski through, and not to worry, they *will* return!
I am gone this coming weekend, but Paul Graham will be around to provide guidance on the specific areas and work tasks that are still in need of some love. Things are quite nice out there with the snow and more open areas. It is still an amazing place to be.
The Rocky Mountain Youth Corps will be here this coming Monday, as will the fencing material. They're mainly going to focus on installing the fence, but there will be some trail work that they will get to as well. I'm going to list the things they could work on that we haven't gotten to, but the fence will take much of their time. The fence will serve to keep snow on the trail (by providing shade and a wind break), and hopefully improve the skiing and keep moisture on and in the ground longer to speed up the recovery process.
If anyone wants to feed a hungry crew at any point during their stay, they would certainly appreciate it. They are youth crews who are building their experiences with these work projects and live on a shoestring while on these work stints.
After that, we have one more team of burn area recovery folks who will come in and take out the few big hazard trees that we did not want to approach ourselves. Once that is complete, we should be ready for being able to open up for the snow season, we hope.
Once again, a HUGE thanks to Lynn and Co. (Myles and Jennifer) at the Espanola Ranger District of the SFNF. She/they have provided us with so much support and assistance in getting the recovery efforts moving and all of the red tape, finances, etc. headed in the right direction. I know I've been a major pain in the neck for them and they've handled it well. If you enjoy the trails and feel the need for sending some appreciation notes, don't hesitate to drop them a line...they are rarely thanked for the amazing work they do.
That's all I have for now. I'll update more as I get more information.
Also, a big, BIG thanks to all of you who have taken time out of your busy lives to lend a hand. It all makes a difference. The trails will be open for everything that we love to do around here and you'll know you had a hand in that.