First and foremost, a very big THANK YOU goes to Mike and Longs Peak Sprinkler Systems. He volunteered his equipment, his fuel, and his time to help us move rocks and finish up work on the Sunset West property this weekend. The work we accomplished would not have been possible without his help. Mike, from all of us at ESA, thanks again.
Second, Thank you to Lee at Miners Tavern and the guys over at Industrial Revolution Brewing Company. Lee personally delivered us lunch on site Saturday and even held a table for ESA volunteers for the Broncos game on Sunday. Miners Tavern is a regular supporter of the ESA and our volunteers. They make a wicked good hamburgers and have even started stocking some inner tubes, a pump and some tools.
Having just recently opened, The Old Mine is the newest addition to ESA list of favorite places. They provided the trail crew with a round of their freshly brewed hard cider and a deal on their tasty pulled pork sandwiches on Saturday evening.
It is local business like these that are making your trails possible. Head down to Old Town Erie, park your car and ride to your trails from there. You will have a host of tasty options available to you when you return.
Now on to the the build report!
Who grew up with “Tonka” trucks and a sandbox? I did. I spent hours, days, pushing dirt and digging trenches for one imaginary purpose or another. Today, I work in construction and relish every chance I have to make it out to a jobsite and spend time with the people pushing dirt and digging trenches for one real reason or another. When the town of Erie approved us to use mechanized equipment on the Sunset property, I was positively ecstatic. Tonka trucks here I come!
We quickly made contact with Mike from Longs Peak Sprinkler and took him up on an old offer to use his equipment. A plan was put together in no time at all.
The beauty of people working together for a common, mutually beneficial purpose, is thing to behold. It’s a big reason why I volunteer as much time as I do. Great people working together to create great things… anyway..
With the date set, we all watched the forecast unfold. By the Tuesday before the event, all signs were pointing to great weather and the flurry of last minute activities began in earnest.
Saturday began with, you guessed it. Donuts. We were all about to live out some serious boyhood dreams and what a better way to start than with some tasty pastries from a business that needs to move to Erie.
We held a quick safety talk to review the dangers of working around equipment and the scope of work for the day.
Five pieces of equipment were onsite and the plan was to 1) Complete the “Meadows” trail, 2) move some large rocks onto the old dirt road that crosses the property, and 3) move some medium sized rocks to the trail entrances to really formalize the park.
I’m going to go on record and say that the Meadows trail is turning to the single hardest half mile of trail I have ever set out to build. Between the torso sized mats of roots, to the frozen ground that has dulled our tools and spirits. It has been a true pain to build. It will however making riding it, that much sweeter.
Well, the frozen ground was almost too much for our little mini-excavator. Good thing I scheduled a second workday for Sunday. Work on the meadows trail went a lot slower than we planned. By the end of the day Saturday, we had only established about 600 ft of new tread and about another 600 ft to go.
The rock work, on the other hand, could not have gone any smoother. The crew built two beautiful entrances and found some beautiful rocks to place at the old vehicle entrances.
With that work complete, our most experienced trail builder, Scott W., started to “tune-up” Tire Tracks berm. Well… by tune up I guess I mean completely re-build it into the “Supa-Berm”! Trestles bike park, eat your heart out; Town of Erie, Enjoy! It’s is awesome.
Pleased with what we had accomplished, we called it a day. The call of certain refreshing Belgium recovery beverages had grown too loud to ignore.
What do you call it when one requires a recovery from the recovery beverages? Let me know what you come up with, I’m calling it “Sunday”.
Sunday, eight volunteers showed up to help finish the Meadows trail and put the finishing touches on the Supa Berm. The catch, we had 3 hours to establish tread on nearly 600 feet of trail and there was no way I was going to ask anyone to be late to the Broncos game.
Some quick work planning, a safety chat, and the crew was off. I jumped in the mini-ex and attempted to pick up where we left off. I put the bucket in the ground and… still frozen. So maddening. after a couple of feeble attempts, Scott W. and I came up with Plan B and I took the mini-ex to the slopes with a more southern exposure and got to work breaking some trail.
The three hours went fast, too fast. Even with the awesome crew that showed up, the Meadows trail just would not yield. Yes, it’s getting personnel.
I gathered up the crew, thanked them for their hard work, and sent them over to Miners Tavern.
The Most Understanding Wife could see that I was clearly not ready to give up the fight. She stuck with me and started polishing out the trail I had been cutting with the mini-ex. She rocks!
By 2:30, even she was done. It was time to wrap it up and watch some football. I’ll be back…
In the end, The meadows trail is completely connected and roughed in. The rocks are in place and we have one heck of sweet berm on the property.
Get out there and enjoy your new trails. We hope you have as much fun riding them as we did building them. See you out there.