It is such a great word. It is a word that can impart a feeling of warmth, joy, comfort; and when I feel those feelings, I smile. It is those feelings, that feeling of “Welcome”, that is what we wish to immediately impart to every visitor, be they on a bike, on a “strider”, in a pair of running shoes or a stroller. Welcome.

Local Red Sandstone, the Erie, Colorado version of the "Red Carpet".

Local Red Sandstone, the Erie, Colorado version of the “Red Carpet”.

This weekend we had only one workday planned and we used it to work on our Welcome. We used it work on the those first few steps and pedal stokes from the Coal Creek path into the Sunset Park trails. We worked on building a transition from the “unnatural” path to the nature surface of the trails. This transition or “gateway” informs the trail user that they are welcome to proceed and provides some clue as to what expect. Our transitions are being built from natural materials that are common to our surroundings.

The North Entrance almost complete

The North Entrance almost complete

So what, exactly did y’all accomplish today?

Well, we finished installing rock work on the north entrance and completed a good portion of the south entrance. Here is how it went down.

Build days all seem to start in a similar manner. Wake up, breakfast with the family, explain to “The Most Understanding Wife Ever” (yes, that is her official name and title), that as much as I would love to stay home and do __”Insert_Chore”_ , I am really working for the greater good and that I am setting an example of community service and, and, and… You get the picture.

This time, it not only worked, but I also convinced her that having her help me load half a pallet of Sandstone pavers into the back of truck was somehow going to make the rest of her day be awesome… Sales, I tell you. There are days I think I should have followed a career in sales…

The great motivator

The great motivator

Anyway, I arrived at the site with a truck full of sandstone and tools right at 9:59 am, and within a few short minutes, I had… wait for it…      …..    wait. for. it…. volunteers… annnnnnd… Donuts!  (You really didn’t think this build report was to be without a donut reference?)

Two volunteers, neither of whom had ever built any trail. AWESOME!

I provided them a quick explanation of the days objective, the circle of death, and the importance of proper donut consumption to trail yardage ratio’s. etc, etc, etc. Shortly afterwards, a third volunteer showed up. Excellent.

We tore into the hard-pack at the north entrance and within an hour and a half, we had completed last weekends efforts by widening the interface between Coal Creek path and the trail and by adding several more feet of rock work to the transition area.

Who wants more?

Apparently everyone did. Go figure. I swear it was the donuts, they are, after all, the great motivator.

We relocated the remaining materials to the south entrance and went for one more load of stone from the ESA stockpile. It was going on noon, the winds from earlier in the day had subsided, the sun was out, the sky’s were that beautiful Colorado blue and the crew was cranking. Welcome, indeed.

What you don't hear are the truck noises Tanner is making...

What you don’t hear are the truck noises Tanner is making…

Within two and a half hours we were laying the last piece of flagstone for the day. As Tanner said, “So we are done putting the dirt back in the hole we just dug, or do you want to take it out again?” Comedian, that guy…

Come out and take a look at the entrances to your trails. We have a bit more work to do, but tell us what you think.