Call it my (in)famous latent Catholic guilt, a sense of being involved in my community, or I just plain like it, but there is something immensely satisfying about trail work.
Every trail worker is building a legacy. Something quite literally thousands of people may use over the years.
It can be hard work. Where you hike all day, move logs, saw, clear brush and have heavier packs than may be normal for a day hike. And the day can be long.
But you are giving back. You are outside all day in a place you love. And you are with people who share the same passion you do.
And you look back at what you’ve done. And you know something good was accomplished.
I try to get in a work week’s equivalent of volunteer work a year.
At first, because of a feeling of obligation.
Now? It is because I genuinely enjoy it. A different way of seeing the outdoors. I also find that the communal nature of trail work is conducive to spending time in the outdoors with a group. Time spent versus some solitary pursuits I tend to mainly do.
And after a day of working with people, the simple pleasure of sitting around a campfire, talking, and just enjoying each other’s company is welcome.
This particular project was over two days along two different segments of The Colorado Trail.
The first day was spent hiking sixteen miles, with about 3000′ gain, plus lots of blow down cutting, rock bar work, and brush clearing.
My good friends organized a group of us for the weekend and even gave some instruction on technique for trail work.
But it was not all hard work. The hike along our segment 12 of The Colorado Trail provided a much better view for work than I get in my beige box for my day job.
And this work is rather fun at times. 🙂
Shoutout to Disco & POD for getting myself, and many others out doing trail work for the first time. I’ve likely walked over thousands of water bars and downed trees yet I’ve never really taken care of either. It felt good, and was fun to learn from such knowledgeable folks! — Another thanks to all of those that came out for two days of work, including @mrsgraceshattuck @itsmnky @piece_by_piece_ht @andreannamarie @pmagsco @felicialhermosillo @thetrailshow @colorado_yeti and also Meadow Feather Shattuck (even if you ate my burrito). — #coloradotrail #gaggles #takelessdomore #trailwork #sawatchrange #ladiesownthetrail
And at the end of the day, there was not gold at the end of the trail. There was something better….COLD BEER!
Tired, but elated, the group of us picked up dinner and went back to camp.
The following day a few of us helped our friends POD and Disco on their newly adopted section of The Colorado Trail.
The day was easier than the previous day being mainly light maintenance such as pruning. But needed work for the trail.
And it was just as enjoyable, too. We even had time for a side trip to the old Interlaken resort.
The six of us made it back to the car shortly after. Some cold beverages were enjoyed at the trailhead.
Disco and POD made their way back home in Salida. And the rest of us had a late lunch in Leadville.
A fantastic and satisfying weekend with some people who share an equal love for all things outdoors.
Looking forward to my overnight CDT project in a few short weeks!