Today was the day to do blazing. I had my bucket of red paint ready to go but the forestry guys decided we should use yellow. Luckily I had a half a can of yellow to get us going. It’s a messy job and it takes a lot of time to do. We are required to paint a 4″ circle 5′ off the ground using a brush and a template. I used old x-rays for the template and I eyeballed the 5′. Asa met Barbara and I at the trail this morning with his brush cutter and Matt showed up to help with the painting. We started on the new trail with Asa cutting and the rest of us painting. I think we were done with it by 11:30 and Asa did a quick ride on it. It still needs to be raked but he said it was a good ride. We broke for lunch and a quick dip in the creek. The dogs were hot and tired and thirsty and we were hungry.

Next we started painting the main loop with Barbara and Matt going left and me going right. Asa took his brush cutter and started at the other end. He used the brush cutter on half the loop and he was pretty worn out by the time he was done. I managed to get my side done without using all of my paint but I may need to go back and fill in some gaps. Barbara and Matt ran out about half way so the headed for the creek to cool off the dogs. I used my remaining paint to do some more on their trail but I didn’t get very far. Asa’s parents showed up with some watermelon and some boiled peanuts so we hung out at the creek for a while socializing. When we were ready to leave, I took the paint can and wiped it clean trying to finish off the loop but there wasn’t enough left. Woody said he could get me some more paint so I’ll have to go back next weekend and finish it up. A couple of signs and some maps will be next, maybe even a kiosk. We finished up about 5:30. So 7 hours for 4 people is 28 hours total.

Published in: on May 31, 2008 at 6:41 pm  Comments (2)  

Hard Weekend.

This was a hard weekend. Friday after work i did a quick lap on the newly moistened trails and then did an hour’s worth of trail maintenance. I was planning on doing the MS ride in Milton on Saturday morning instead of the trail maintenance we had planned at UWF. As it turned out, I over slept so I ended up at UWF for about 3 hours with David D. cutting back the spring growth. Saturday evening Barbara and I went to Greg and Stephanie’s house for buffalo burgers. After 2 burgers, 2 mixed drinks, a glass of wine and 3 beers I was bloated and ready for bed. This morning I had a food hangover but I made it up to Blackwater and managed to finish the connector trail I had been working on. Now it goes from red gate #2 along Red Rock Road to the dirt access road. All I need to do is give it a quick raking and trim back any stray brush and it’s rideable. I finished up with that at 1:30. There was a rumor floating around that a group would be coming up to ride at 2:00 so I got everything ready to ride and did a quick clipping of some overhanging branches on the trail. I went back to the car at about 2:10 but no one was there so I loaded up. I was beat. As I was heading back down Munson Highway I ran across the merry band. I whipped around and met them at the trail head. We did a quick loop, had a celebratory beer, and I was done. They were going to do another lap or 2 and maybe hit the creek so I said my goodbyes and headed home. So I got 10 total hours of trail work but only 6 at Blackwater.

Published in: on May 18, 2008 at 4:12 pm  Comments (11)  

Summer is Here.

I think Saturday was the first day of summer. It was hot and muggy but it was overcast which kept me from getting roasted. I met Christian at the trail head Saturday and we continued working on the section that parallels Red Rock Road. Christian lives in Milton about 15 minutes from the trail so I’m hoping he rides it often. We got the section from the dirt road to the old access point on Red Rock Road opened up and almost rideable, maybe an eighth of a mile. It just need some raking and a little more grubbing. About the time we finished, we ran into Greg T. who was skipping out on yardwork to do some laps. We did a couple of laps with him but I was pretty beat so they were just slow paced.

The trail has gotten some use in the last month or so and the feedback seems positive. Christian said the trail was ‘kinda boring’ and that’s true but it’s still a new trail. It’s also never going to be epic unless it gets to be about 50 miles or so. My immediate goal is to make it worth the drive from Pensacola and in the future get it to the point where it’s a destination. Asa F. did a lap at night which is pretty scary.

Sightings: 1 hawk and a stripper on a canoe trip.

Published in: on May 11, 2008 at 7:21 am  Comments (1)  


I got an email from Woody the Forestry Guy about trail blazes. Bike trails are blazed with a 4″ circle at 5 feet off the ground. Once I get the trail paralleling Redrock Road done, I’ll start some blazing. I’m not sure what color yet, I’m waiting on recommendations from the forestry people. Barbara wants me to get the Boy Scouts involved which would be nice but I worry about the paint being oil based and creating a huge mess. The Boy Scouts blazed parts of the Jackson and Juniper Creek trails so maybe they are more experienced than I am.

Published in: on May 6, 2008 at 4:08 pm  Leave a Comment  


I had planned on going to Oak Mountain this weekend but the weather was bad on Saturday so I stayed in town. I roped Dale and Ed into going to Blackwater on Sunday to do some laps and check things out after being away for two weeks. My how things have grown. The trail has an amazing amount of growth on it and the forest is really green now. I guess those oak trees we cut don’t give up easily. We did three laps, two slow and one fast lap the other direction, so maybe we’ve re staked our claim on the trail.  It was nice to be back out there and I’m ready to get some more trail cut. Dale rescued a turtle off of Munson Highway and my Toyota got a strange vibration in it. Coincidence?

Published in: on May 4, 2008 at 4:24 pm  Leave a Comment