Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pizza in the cave

One of the things I enjoyed doing when I was in high school was to order a pizza, then take it into a cave and have a picnic. Somehow, I was able to talk Erin and our friends Amanda and Isaac into doing this. A couple of weeks ago, we hiked up to Cave of the Winds with a pizza and a diaper bag.

Erin with Calvin in the cave. He may be the youngest person to ever go in that cave, and I’d strongly suspect the first to be breastfed in there.

On the way out, we had a wonderful sunset. It looked very much like it might rain, but sadly it didn’t.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Trail maintenance with Craig Martin

Craig Martin is our local trails guru. He’s employed by the county; I believe his title is something like “open space specialist”. He’s been running trail work sessions for the past month or two, but I’ve always been unavailable because of Calvin. Yesterday, however, was a time I could make it. I was really excited to help out because the trails are something very important to me, and I want to contribute. Also, I like digging holes.

The meeting place for yesterday’s session was at the Nail Trail trailhead, off NM 501 about 500 vertical feet about the townsite. The goal was to stabilize a section of train so it wouldn’t wash away when the monsoons arrive. Of course, I biked there with all my junk in the basket. Craig thought I was a little nutty.

There were 8 of us. We hiked in 20-30 minutes, had a quick training session, and were off to work. The tools were a Pulaski, which has an axe one side and a pick on the other, and a McLeod, which is basically a giant hoe. It was very difficult, filthy work, with huge amounts of dust containing a mix of dirt and soot. I’m still pretty sore this morning.

My favorite part was filling in this hole. The profile is not obvious in this picture, but it was a gash across most of the trail. It’s about a foot deep on the right side of the trail, maybe 2-3 on the left, and the whole mess extends down the slope another 3 feet or so.

I believe it was caused by the root system of the stump at left burning away.

After! I (along with the help of several others) built a rock wall and then filled in the gap with rocks and dirt.

I suspect this spot will need more attention soon as the thing settles and the tree begins to rot away.

Side view of the rock wall we built.