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460 Trail Work 2011-08-22

Scouts working on trails

Last week my friend Ray called and told me that he had scheduled a trail work day for Saturday. He was wondering if I could make it. I agreed to help and also volunteered our friend, Jon's services. Okay, I then had to persuade Jon to join us but I knew that wouldn't be a difficult task.

Saturday morning we left Nashville at seven for the two (plus) hour drive to Fall Creek Falls State Park. The other volunteers had started working at eight and had completed a few projects before we arrived. The next task was to put in a water bar to direct water off of the trail. Soon we were swinging a mattock to loosen the dirt and rock and shoveling the excess material from the soon-to-be trench. Finally, the six-by-six water bar was set, leveled, and secured in the trench.

Ray at work

Ray on lunch break

By noon the other volunteers left (as scheduled) but never fear, the Boy Scouts arrived just in the nick of time to take their places. A troop from nearby Sparta was camping and working on service projects over the weekend. The Boy Scouts were full of energy but we really didn't plan on them working with us.

Mark, the trails coordinator, suggested the Scouts collect rocks and move them to key locations. Soon their Leader had them collecting stones from all around the area. It was amazing how many rocks a few Scouts could collect.

After the adults finished putting in a couple of water bars we allowed the Scouts to help by shoveling and doing other chores with the tools. Lines quickly formed to be the next Scout to use the tools. We could have probably finished the project in half the time if we would have had more tools. These young men were workers.

At the end of the day, we had put in two long water bars and three shorter ones and had fun talking to the Scouts about their merit badges, camps, and activities. It was fun to work with the Scouts and their Leader. We appreciated their volunteer spirit.

A few trail work notes ...

It was warm on Saturday. My friend Ray always says how much cooler it is up on the plateau than it is in Nashville. It might have been cooler, but it was still warm.

Lots of park visitors were hiking on the trail. Many of the hikers stopped and said thank you for your work. It was gratifying.

We had fun planning the layout of each water bar. It will be interesting to return to the area to see how the different construction methods weathered and functioned over time.

If you are planning a work day, you can't have too many tools!

It was good to spend time with my friends, the other volunteers, and the Scouts (and their Leader) even if we were working on the trail.

Happy working on the trails


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