CDT trail work 1

The Junko lake trail head is at about 3100m elevation. The outer tent fabric had a good amount of ice and frost on it this morning. Got up and joined the others for breakfast. The crewchefs, Michael and Donna, had done a big breakfast buffet with eggs, bacon, oatmeal, fruits and all you could expect from car camping.

Didn’t know what to expect from this. Some people would trickle in over the weekend. It was Kylie from the Continental Divide Trail Coalition. She was the young lady running the show, and had a particular knack for complaining about my drainage work, and also a Vegan. Vegans seem to produce a lot more gas than us carnivores. Nikita, the Russian whom worked in quality control and gave me a ride to Denver afterwards. Mike, the guy who basically came directly from the operating table where he had his testicle removed. Beforehand he had gathered all his friends to a big “last night of the nut” party. Then there was Linda the sheepdog competitor, Adam the trail adopter, and Adam the super volunteer, ski bum and landscaper who drove me up last night.

The volunteer work was done in collaboration with a company specializing in trail work. “All trails”. Chris, Seth, Shaun and Brendan. They would go ahead with chain saws cutting tree falls. No chain saws in tge wilderness area, do there trees had to be cut manually. More Norwegian dimensions on the trees luckily.

After breakfast we got our hard hats. Strictly verboten to carry or operate tools without hard hat on! Then we gathered in a ring, going around, saying our name, stating a safety concern, our favorite condiment and a stretching exercise. If we had the company song, it would have just been like a Japanese factory.

While in DNT the crow bar is the universal solution to all tool needs. Here they had shovels, pick axes, loppers, saws and a hoe developed by fire crews called a McCloud. No huge cross cut saw required for this section.

The trail was in the forest, so quite a bit of “lopping” and tree cutting, which I worked on with Linda and Kylie, while the rest were doing drains. This we continued until we got caught out in an afternoon thunderstorm. Hail and flashes all over. A little scary running across open meadows with big metal tools…

Back to camp it cleared up and we had dinner around the campfire with a moose grazing in the background. Fritos pai and S’mores for dessert. Getting a crash course in American cuisine here.