I carried a couple tools to do light trail maintenance while hiking. Gloves, a folding saw, and a machete. The machete proved to be completely useless against woody shrubs; the saw was very good. I'll have to experiment with this more in the future. Maybe a bow saw for bigger trees, or maybe a pair of loppers or hand pruning shears?
I spend more of my time these days running than backpacking, but I love going cross-country as well as trying to follow old, unmaintained trails. In Ventana Wilderness and in the part of the Tahoe NF on the American River shown below, some of the trails are in such bad shape, and the Forest Service so underfunded, that I fear they will be lost forever. So maybe I can run the open sections of trail, and brush out a mile or two by myself, adopt-a-trail style? On most of my real trail work volunteer trips, the emphasis has been on heavy work to make the trail suitable for horse travel. The trail was already up to my standards before we even got there, but then we piddle around with boulders and making drainage perfect, and meanwhile there's some completely overgrown trail somewhere else that's disappearing.
Friends are welcome to help any weekend this summer I'm not racing. It's only a 3,000 foot climb up from the river.
|She was less excited on the way back up the canyon.|
|Would have been great in the rain, if it had a floor.|
|Brushing out the trail after a burn|
|Words to live and melt glaciers by|