6.26.2006

good time for my trail efforts

years ago I was out in that wild and wonderful state of colorado
a state that is a very similar to that wild and wonderful state of west virginia

similar yet different


while out in colorado working several jobs and snowboarding nearly everyday I used to watch the ski patrollers while I was on the chair lift

I would watch them and their daily duties


the ski patroller is like a fireman...
when they are not saving lifes there are other tasks to fulfill

the patrollers are bombing avalanches

they are testing the snow stabilty to decide what areas are remain open and what areas of the mountain they close

they also work to improve the quality of the skiing on the mountain

one way that the ski patrollers improved the quality of the mountain was the use of snow fences

the same type of fences used to preserve sand dunes would be used to create drifts of snow

the drifts would develop in front of and behind the snow fences

the patrollers would return each day to pad the collected snow down
only to let more snow to collect to be padded down
then the fence moved slightly or entirely

I mimic this process to a certain degree on the trails of rock creek park
I try to improve the hiking paths by terracing the steeper sections

as well as the rapidly eroding paths many of the paths are the routes of water headed down the valley into the creek on rainy days some of these paths can look like water falls or rivers
on days with rain of great volume
my favorite time to put a few logs perpendicular to the trail
in one of these paths is on a night before a big rain
the logs collect all of the furtile top soil and sand terracing
the trail
creating steps slowing the erosion holding onto furtile soil aiding in growth slowing decline
after the sand and soil collects I often try to pad this soil and sand down
in the hope that the step will build up and hold strong enough to make the trail a more pleasant hiking experience

over the years I have installed many of these

some have lasted months

some have lasted years

some logs never caught any soil and never built up to a stair

but most of my efforts have worked for some time to make the trail more enjoyable


well... except some of the paths are no longer as fun to sled down
but...
there are still trails to sled on other than the ones I have terraced

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