By Caitlyn Ball, AmeriCorps member of the Bear Mountain Trail Crew
The trail surfacing material has arrived at Bear Mountain!!! This may seem an unusual thing to be excited about, but the Bear Mountain Trail Crew is excited about progress. We dove into our Monday (in actuality, a Thursday, but we are weekend warriors) with an irrational exuberance about carting load after load after load after…you get the idea…of trail surfacing materials for days on end in order to finalize several sections of newly built trail on the mountain.
Joe and I started up the engines on the Canycoms and we were off! The terrain in some spots was slippery and steep (being a mountain and all) and as many heavy loads passed through, the ruts got deeper…and more slippery. But the beasts could not be tamed! We found an alternative route and plodded along through the heavy fog using the blooming pink mountain laurel as a guide to keep us on track.
Three o’clock struck and I caught up to Joe. He and his Canycom appeared in a state of sadness. His machine had lost a bolt causing the tread to slide off (like sprinkles off a cone on a hot summer’s day). Jaime and Kevin hopped to working their magic to fix the problem and Joe was back in business; just in time to rescue me and my Canycom. She and I (she switches genders depending on mood) had come to an abrupt stop and I found her to be in need of an engine belt replacement. DOH! Sadness aside, the Canycom repairs were a teamwork opportunity as the crew rallied to hitch one machine to the other and slowly tow the offender down.
And WHOA!!!, a big shout out to Amanda Beck for coming out on Friday and staying the whole day with us. Trail work is demanding in and of itself and for a first time volunteer, she was a trooper who kept working while the rain BEAT DOWN UPON US. Our fortitude was being tested and she and the crew passed with flying colors and a product to be proud of, including: cribwall, revegetation, and gargoyles lining an inviting staircase.
This Saturday June 21 is Ladies Day (as is every 3rd Saturday of the month). Male volunteers are welcome as well, of course, but we offer an opportunity to our female volunteers to work with an all- female crew in order to become comfortable with the muscle mechanics of our bodies and trail work. Don’t be scared! COME AND JOIN Ama (Professional Trail Builder/Educator), Caitlyn, Ellie, and Jaime on the mountain!
For more information on the Bear Mountain Trails Project and how you can get involved, visit their page on our website.