Rollers, grade reversals by another name, also a distant cousin to the infamous “water bar”. They aren’t just fun to ride and run, they are an important part of our trail design that will help our little trail network bring the smiles for years to come. They are also one of my favorite features to build. Rocks, sparse in our little park, are great to use for adding variety to trails. Our trails design calls for the addition of some rumble strips to where our trails connect to the concrete Coal Creek Trail. Doing so will help keep soil from spilling out on the concrete and provides a neat way to transition from one surface to another.

Saturday

First stop for any proper trail day...

First stop for any proper trail day…

We have made a tremendous amount of progress in improving the quality, durability, and my favorite, the playfulness of our trails. My target for this past Saturday was to continue that work at the southern end of the “Middle” trail, or what we unofficially refer to as the Sunset Ride trail. Specifically, I set out to continue the smooth “this is going to be really cool” feeling provided by the upper-most berm that we built last month. But before any of this is going to get started; donuts, people, we need some donuts up in here, now. Donuts.. and Coffee… lots of coffee.

who's idea was this...

who’s idea was this…

Saturday morning I awoke up to perfect weather, sunny and cool. I acquired the donuts, consumed my coffee, gathered the tools, arrived at the work site and prepared for the day. As the volunteers arrived, I explained the plan for the day, warmed up, and went to work. Step one, we tore up the existing trail bed (or Tread) for approximately 200 ft. This is done to allow us to get at and remove the mats and balls of grass roots that protrude into the tread as the tread settles in. It is a lot of work, but so incredibly worth it.

The secret trail dance

The secret trail dance

Once the existing tread was dug up, some of the crew began to rake out the organic clumps and larger rocks; the rest of us dug the blackslope.

Within a couple of hours, we have improved a berm, added two rollers, and in-sloped another 75 ft of trail beyond our original goal.

By 1 pm, the crew had completed everything I had hoped to and started shuttling tools back to the truck and cleaned up the work site. By 1:30, the Belgian recovery beverages were poured. A solid day with a good group of folks.

Sunday

ummmm.... who's gonna clean up this mess...

ummmm…. who’s gonna clean up this mess…

Rocks, Bring on the rocks. Scott W., our favorite Trail Designer from that “county to the west”, headed over to help us learn the finer points of laying rock. At 9am sharp we began loading rock and tools into trucks and planning the day ahead. They may or may not have been donuts that I can or cannot admit to eating or not eating… just saying…

Second stop, ultra secret ESA tool bunker...

Second stop, ultra secret ESA tool bunker…

We decided to “Rock Out” the north entrance.

Quick drive and we are unloading tools and material, jeez, didn’t we just do this? This trail day starts out no different than any of the others from the last few weeks, we dig out the existing trail and pile the spoil off to one side.

The process of laying the rock is painfully similar to laying a patio, but here, we actually want it to be uneven, messy, and ummm… “natural” looking. I might have to try that one with the Mrs. if she asks for patio work in the backyard.

Once we started, we developed a rhythm and started making progress.

Coming together

Coming together

I think my favorite “motivational” quote from the day was from Scott W., “Think it of a jigsaw puzzle where none of the pieces actually fit together.”

Within a couple of hours we had arrived at a really good place to call it day and assess what we had completed. It was now time to regroup and have a chat about the rest of the network.

More on that to come soon…

Now that is good looking work..

Now that is good looking work..