Wow. Close to half a mile of lopping, grubbing and raking. My ‘mouse hands’ are starting to toughen up working the ax and rake. I made it past the deer stand today. There were two old bottles of doe urine and a rusty can of bug spray next to the stand. Hmm. I also saw the fawn twins and they didn’t run away as quickly as last time but they are getting more agile. I need to scare them away so they don’t get used to people being out there, with the deer stand still in place. The trail looks rideable and I need to start using the trailer but today I was already worn out from a busy Friday and Saturday so a slow walk through the woods was relaxing. The trail looks fast with few tight turns and longish ups and downs. I’ve got one section at about 5% slope with a really short section at maybe 8%. There is also a fall line trail for about 100 feet but I’m going to see how it wears. Maybe a good place for some water bars. The trail looks good enough to start pulling out some flags to use for the next section. I may have to get some flags from phase 2 to have enough. Next weekend is trail maintenance at UWF and the weekend after is the Blackwater Bike Festival. The weekend after that is the Fenner/Wantz ride. October is flying by and it’s not even here yet.
Barbara helped out today so we got quite a bit done. She raked and lopped and I chopped brush for about 5 hours. I would guess we have maybe a quarter mile rideable. Next weekend I’m going to need the bike trailer for the tools. I saw the fawn again and there are actually two of them. At some point I think I heard the mother call them and I saw them both again heading back the way I came. I reported the deer stand to Woody but I didn’t go see if he had removed it yet. Tomorrow I’m going riding in Tallahassee.
I started the new trail on Sunday. I started at gate #2 and went left. I flagged the new trail until I ran out of flags, about 2500 feet. Then I went back with the loppers for several hundred feet until I got tired of doing that. Then I went through and chopped and grubbed for a while until I was pretty whipped. I managed to slice my leg on Saturday doing a creek cleanup. It was bad enough I decided to go get a tetanus shot and the doctor put 6 stitches in. The antibiotics were making me weak, I think, because I was unusually tired on Sunday. Anyway, this new trail looks pretty fun. A little straighter and faster. All the turns seem to be big radius turns and the forest is wide open. I need to check some of the slopes but it looks like we’ll be able to keep the speed up on this one but a couple of water bars may be in order. I got 5 hours in and it wasn’t overly hot.
I saw a spotted fawn twice. It wasn’t much taller than the schnauzer. A little later I saw the mother across the ravine. I’m hoping they got back together.
I think I finished doing any straightening and rerouting. There might be some places that need re-revisiting but it should be good for now. I sweated buckets, maybe due to the amount of beer I consumed at the beer fest, but I still enjoyed working on the trail. I broke my loppers so I got a new set of Fiskars. We may have another storm in the gulf next weekend so we’ll see if I can get back out.
I did a little work on the trail on Saturday. I wore out my hands though. I’m sporting about half a dozen blisters but I still managed to ride Oak Mountain yesterday. I built a new skinny and fixed a couple of bad turns. There are still a few more areas I want to get fixed but it’s still way too hot.