Monday, November 20, 2006

Patapsco Trail Work Success

First, thanks to everyone who made time on Sunday to help us out and work on the trails in Patapsco Valley State Park. Trail work this past weekend was a success. The bridges that have been put in over the years on Cascade have been impacted pretty heavily by the elements including a few nasty storms. After a long day of working, we improved a situation that was overdue for some attention. A few of us doubted whether the bridges would last one season of heavy rains. They are still here.

Who knows how many people have fallen off of them. We really should have gotten to them earlier, but honestly, I never really thought that they were that bad. The stories that we heard from riders passing through and some fellow trail workers were scary to be sure. One pair of riders who blew through stopped to mention their buddy who had ripped every tendon and ligament in his knee when he went over the bars, landing on the rocks and in the water. Ouch. He's been off the mtn bike for two years now. I'd be pretty pissed if I had to stay off the bike that long. The state is lucky that dude didn't sue.

Honestly, after hearing these stories, I feel bad that we neglected them this long. The ride-arounds are obviously well-used and only very recently did I even think about using them instead of the bridges. Unfortunately, the banks of the river are now a solid 6 feet wider than they were when the bridges were put in. It would have made more sense to harden the sides and create a ford out of stone instead of doing all of this heavy-lifting work. Oh well. I wasn't asked about this project when it was put in so I'm just helping out.

The entire Cascade Trail is on my shit list anyway. It's a legacy trail (meaning it was never designed, its just always been there) and it's really not in a good spot. I don't like working on trails that require a lot of attention. I'd rather get a section of trail re-worked so that you are less likely to have to get back there with man- and woman-power to fix problems. A lot of the sections of trails that we have focused on in the last 7 years or so have been dramatically improved and are much more rideable much closer to any rain or other precipitation event. A lot of the trails over by Morning Choice in the Avalon/Orange area are more hardened and require no maintenance, which should be the goal of MORE and the park management.

So, of course Emily and Emma had a great time. They had a trail PLAY day to correspond with our trail WORK day. Eric and I both kept our eyes in their general direction for the day and they still managed to get pretty wet. I'm sure as hell not complaining. We were moving hundreds of pounds of large stone, I was running a chainsaw, people were throwing shovels full of dirt and rock all over the place and they never got TOO in the way. Everyone was super nice about it and helped keep the girls in line. They were both great. Having them run around the stream was helpful. Random woods might not have been as much fun for them so it worked out great and I had a great time with Emma. She's such a great kid and I was lucky that she decided to cooperate.

Jeremy is posing with his new favorite toy: a big-ass box. We got a new table and chairs for the kitchen and they came in huge boxes. I cut them up and taped 'em together and the kids moved in. We colored on it, they played inside, they hid from the cat... You know, the normal stuff. It's going to be hard to get rid of their new fort, but we'll let it hang around for a few days until it looks really bad.

Happy Thanksgiving! Drive safe, ride safe, walk safe, eat. Try to find something to give thanks for.


At 12:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know...the girls were helping us quite a bit to ferry rocks to the bridge from 30 yards upstream...don't know if we'd have gotten as much done without them there. Emma even shared some raisins with me when I bonked. Thanks to MORE and everyone for the work day, it was a good time.

At 7:10 PM, Blogger Big Daddy Mike said...

I'm glad that Emma was helpful. She's big on sharing and I'm glad she got a good report. Both the girls had a long leash that day. I'm glad they pulled through.

At 11:47 AM, Blogger Teen said...

It has been way, way too long. I saw Marthea yesterday and it reminded me that I needed to get back in touch with you. I love the blog! Let's catch-up soon.

At 8:09 PM, Blogger Big Daddy Mike said...

Yo baby! We'll be seeing you soon, eh?


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