Friday, October 24, 2008

Trails School

I'm sitting in Jessie & Pete's house - the only one up, besides the dogs, reflecting on the past three days. I just spend three days at Trail Management School, which was quite possibly the best training I've ever been to. The best part was Wednesday - we spent all day at Mt. Grace State Forest putting the things we'd learned into practice.

First, I went to the Trail Drainage session. This session was all about how to keep water off the trail and prevent or stop erosion. My group learned how to use clinometers to measure slope percentage and then found some places where water created damage. First we made a water bar with a dip in front of it, that directs water off the trail. Further up the trail, we found a steeper slope with a bit more erosion damage. Here we put in a rock water bar. This required us to quarry some pretty big rocks from the area and put them in the trail to help divert water.

I also attended th Trail Signage session where we constructed some trail signs and placed them along the trail to direct people to the summit of Mt. Grace. I got to use a power drill, hammer, and post hole digger.

The last session I went to was the Stream Crossing session. Here we were removing an old rotten foot bridge from a stream and replacing it with a new one. I helped hammer on the new boards and quarry a ton of rocks from the area to help build a natural look around the bridge. Getting the rocks out of the ground and moving them was the best part. We had to use huge crow bars or pry bars to move the rocks. We had to use other rocks as leverage and really use our muscles. I still feel it in my upper back, shoulders, and arms!

I can't wait to bring Jay and Hank back to Mt. Grace to show them what I did. I think we may visit on Sunday! I'll take pictures and post them. Time to play with Thea....

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