Friday, June 23, 2017
I had good intentions. There are three miles of hiking trails at my local state park that need attention. Winter rains made the oat grass, poison oak, and thistle crowd out the tread in places to the point that it was covered. I knew what to do - get a group together on the summer Solstice and knock that stuff out.
So Wednesday at 7:30 a.m., I was waiting in the parking lot near the Valley View trail head in Fremont Peak State Park just like I said I would be when my friend Mel drove up. Mel would be the only other volunteer to show up that day. I'm 65. Mel is 69. We ain't exactly trail crew summer Solstice/spring chickens. We are both pretty fit as old codgers go, but as we were about to find out, trail work during a heat wave is for kids.
We took turns. One of us would use Mel's plastic-bladed weed eater to slay the brush while the other raked the trail clean and lopped overhanging branches. It didn't take long to get sweat-soaked and a little woozy. That kind of work is different from my usual walking or bicycling or calisthenics. There is a different stress level and it's noisy. You use different muscle groups. Old muscle groups. Possibly lost muscle groups. By ten o'clock, we had cleared about an eighth of a mile of Carmen's Trail and we were toast. Very soggy toast. You gotta know when to fold 'em and that's just what we did.
The newly cleared part of the trail looks really nice if I do say so myself, but to finish the job, I'm going to need more bodies (younger bodies!), more tools, and hopefully, a brush cutter like this one.
So next week I will try try try again, and eventually, I will get this sucker done.
If you want to keep up with my "Walking San Benito" series on BenitoLink, the fifth article came out today. They can all be found on the "Features" page. Click here.
Peace, Love, and Pace Yourself,