Sunday, March 14, 2010

Impromptu Trail-Work Day

Last night I went to the Grey Eagle to check out the Wood Brothers and I completely forgot about G.W. time so this morning I was an hour behind for the scheduled 8am raincall/9am rally/10am start that was planned. With Sophiedag along we picked up Mike B. and Maximum Overdrive and met Mike R. and Eric C. at Turkey Pen trailhead at 11. The proposed route for the day: Mullinax->Squirrel asfaraswewanted then back. I was looking forward to getting out in the woods and didn't really know what to expect in terms of trail conditions. This has been the hardest winter that I've experienced for the Pisgah region. Record snows, huge wind events, and bitter cold that was proceeded by (and seems like it will be followed by) record rains. Well, the trails were a total mess. We still had the idea of making it to say.... Cantrell Creek area as we made our way onto Squirrel. Someone had already cleared Mullinax. Soon thereafter we understood that what lay ahead was not a ride day but a trail work day. Squirrel was a disaster. Luckily there was a folding saw in Mike B.'s pack as with the aid of that one tool we were able to clear the length of Squirrel all the way to Laurel Gap. It was if nothing else, a day of trail work that I needed to get in and a total body workout. On and off the bikes, taking turns sawing through up to 6" trees, pulling, pushing, dragging trees downhill, it was very tough and slow going.
We probably cleared a hundred of piles of downfall. I don't believe I'm exaggerating.

It took nearly three hours to get to the gap. Once there I felt the need to get home and do my part tending to Miss Zoe so we turned around there. It was very rewarding being able to descend the freshly cleared trail. Our work had made Squirrel ridable again and we hit break neck speeds and accomplished some fine bike wrasslin' by the time we got to the bottom.

Eric and Mike R. decided it was such great fun that they should do it again so we bid good-day to them at the S. Mills River bridge and Mike B and I climbed back to the Jeep.
Great day in the woods with he dogs and great company. Exactly the ride that I needed to start the long road to getting back in shape.