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Trail HAPPENINGS November 2015

Trail Work and Valued Volunteers
by Tom Dillon

As the tourist season winds down (LOL, right. When?) and the daytime heat wakes later and tires earlier, volunteers become energized, coming out of the shade, knowing that they will no longer be burned at the stake, or in this case the trail, because they ventured out into the desert during the day. Those volunteers are the heart and soul of what has made the awesome trail system that Moab now has. Without y’all, there’d be less hiking, biking and horse trails to enjoy. Plus, you even had a hand in keeping the lovely Nordic ski trails in the La Sals in good shape. Trail Mix will have built over one hundred and fifty miles of mountain bike trails, fifty miles of hiking trails in the near future. (Probably by the time this article goes into your recycle bin.) Since horses are notoriously secretive, we aren’t sure how many miles of trails they’re slated to build. But, they’re all volunteers. And, by sheer and almost unimaginable coincidence, 50 is the atomic number of tin, which sounds like the perfect number of volunteers for a trail work party. And, almost as amazing, 150 is the height in centimeters of Judy Garland, who often came to Moab to entertain the uranium miners and was a strong supporter of trail building, even back when it was considered gauche and much less important than mining. She wrote ‘Over the Rainbow’ while hanging out at Gemini Bridges, while thinking about how sweet a trail would be in the area. The coincidences go on longer than the Whole Enchilada, but we must move on. Once you coast down off of that eerie high of weird coincidences, you’ll probably ask yourself, “Where did I leave my keys?” Then you’ll find them right where you left them. Then you’ll ask, “So, why would I even look into considering the possibility of thinking about the idea of volunteering to do trail work anyway?” Well, other than missing out on what others have said is the most fun they’ve ever had with work gloves on, there are these points to consider: - You make a difference. Really. No, I mean really! - It’s good for you. Physical activity. Yeah, you know that. But did you also know that it improves your state of wellbeing and optimism? It even boosts your immune system. You’re gonna need that last one for the winter predicted. - You’re going to meet cool people. Ya know, people like you, who want to make a difference in the community. - It looks really good on a resume. - It’s an investment in the community. And who doesn’t find someone who does that wildly attractive? - It’s fun! When you’re out with a group, creating or doing maintenance on a trail, it’s actually pretty fun. You wouldn’t think so, but it really is. Try it once, you’ll be hooked. - When you ride or walk past a part you worked on, you’ll say to your buddies, “Yeah, I worked on this part. I didn’t let them dumb it down.” They will look at you with awe and respect. So, grab a friend and come out to do a bit-o-trail work. Tasks vary from raking, using a pick or McLeod, or painting the lines on slickrock to installing signs, and building small bridges or other fun activities, something for every skill level.

Check Trail Mix out on their Facebook page at facebook.com/MoabTrailMix. Trail Mix is typically doing trail work Monday, Wednesday and Fridays. Meeting times vary especially in the late Fall and Winter so contact Scott Escott, scottemoab@gmail.com or Sandy Freethey, sngmoab@preciscom.net We typically meet in the vacant lot across from the Rock Shop Hwy 191, (Main St.).

The US Forest Service has a Facebook page that you can find by searching on Facebook for “U.S. Forest Service-Manti-La Sal National Forest” or, hold onto your hats https://www.facebook.com/US-Forest-Service-Manti-La-Sal-National-Forest-879461288799152. Plus, there’s a local IMBA (International Mountain Bicycling Association) at facebook.com/MoabMBA. All these pages have the latest info on when volunteers are needed.

The Forest Service and Moab MBA often work on big volunteer opportunities a few times a year. Note: The part about Judy Garland may not be entirely factual.

About the author: Tom is a long time member of the Trail Mix Committee, and has served as the Biking Representative for the group from time to time. Tom always brings a smile to our faces with his wry sense of humor, wit and off beat insights. Bee keeping is one of many other activities that he enjoys when he is not biking or hiking.


 

 
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