The best part about trail work, is that you learn a whole bunch of rules – how to set rocks, where things should go, where they shouldn’t go – and then you get to break all of the rules. Nature does what she wants, and doesn’t give a hoot about your so called “trail rules.” I love this because it means that every project must be approached differently. You never know what you’ll find when you set out to work. This means that as trail workers, we have a set of skills that we have to adapt to new situations. When I first found out we’d be working on a mudslide on Mt Evans, I was excited- I had no idea what that would entail, besides finding the trail. The mystery grew as I looked at a map and realized that the directions I was given didn’t make any sense, there wasn’t a trail between those two lakes! Maps don’t always have all the trails though, so we met our volunteers, drove up, found a trail and then started hiking. And then we saw it. A HUGE MUDSLIDE.
So we got to it, rearranging the decomposed granite, figuring out where the trail might have been at some point and how to keep everyone in one spot with cairns, mono-walls, and retaining walls. It’s been a new experience for me and I can’t wait for the next challenge.