Search This Blog


Upcoming Projects

    I came up with a logo for Adventurer's Project.  The green, of course, stands for greenery and the yellow stands for the sun.  The latter is very important because it gets hot here in Far SE Ohio, which our area includes 40 miles of the Buckeye Trail (North Country concurrent) in the Marietta Unit of the Wayne National Forest (The Wayne).  Hikers often underestimate their water consumption here.  And on the North Country Trail, it mostly stays above the 42nd parallel.  We're at about 39°N and our summers are more like Kentucky and Tennessee.  North Country is more like Vermont, New York State, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Northern Wisconsin, Northern Minnesota and North Dakota.  I'm certain they probably don't realize how hot it gets down here.

    Right now, I have some smog tubes (secondary air injection) on order for my 1987 Chevrolet G20 Sportvan.  They should be coming in tomorrow?  When I dismantled the former exhaust pipes, I realized that there was weakness in one of the exhaust manifold bolt holes.  Rather than wait for it to give way, I decided to replace the manifolds.  I have those now.  But I wasn't going to mess with trying to unbolt the smog tubes.  I'd probably round out their bolts if I tried and still not get them out?  I have new exhaust manifold gaskets, so this is going to be a complete replacement.

    The forest service has us doing some rather extensive modifications to the trail in The Wayne.  For one, every stream crossing needs to have ramps benched on both sides.  Benching is a part of trail maintenance where we have to widen, or re-establish the trail's tread, or the surface that you hike on.  More notibly, if you hike up a grade, that's "pitch."  But when building a trail, when the trail builders come across a hillside, but in the other dimension, leveling that out by benching, that's the "roll."  It has to be maintained every few years or so because of erosion.  And our off-road trail is so backcountry and narrow that it has to be done by hand manually with mattocks and Pulaski axes.

    The off-road in The Wayne for the most part was originally designed and built for the North Country Trail from 1983 to 1987.  By word of mouth, the NCTA struggled with getting maintainers from 1987 to 1997.  My impression is that for about 35 miles of off-road, they were working with about 4 volunteers if I had to guess.  10 miles of off-road per trail maintenance volunteer is 3x more than any one volunteer should ever have.

    There was a North Country Trail Association chapter in this area, but it was short lived.  The Buckeye Trail Association took over the maintenance and some of the routing administration in 2000.  But it took them about 5 years just to get the trail opened back up by mostly minimum standards.  So, I think I have to assume that some of the benching hasn't been maintained in 30 something years?

    In addition to being the lead for Adventurer's Project, I'm also the volunteer Section Supervisor for the Whipple Section - Buckeye Trail (North Country concurrent), which is the south of what the project supports in this region.  My two biggest projects are in the ballpark of the present day Whipple Section, Point 03/ Big Run Rd/ Township Rd 414 in Independence Township and Point 05/ Brooks by McCain Hill & Bean Ridge Roads to Point 06/ Brooks by Cow Run Roads in Lawrence Township, both of Washington County, Ohio.  

    The trail in The Wayne has a mountain bike concurrency, but that's by no means unusual for Distance Hiking Ohio.  With the tasks that need to be completed, there are some hiking related safety issues to iron out.  But what I see in it with the mountain bikers is something cooperative and diplomatic.  The hiking world really doesn't understand, or doesn't fully understand when I get like this.  I have no idea if this will work, but I am sure that it won't if we don't try.

    In the ballpark of Whipple 03/ Big Run Road, I've been working to the east of there so far.  And the trail ascends up to the top a ridge, where it's roll has been leveled along it's side.  But it wasn't well built.  Another BTA volunteer and I had to use our Pulaski axes to chop away the south side embankment to widen the trail.  Then i came up to an area with a 500lb boulder sticking out of it and a big slip on the other side.  With authorization from the forest service, I either have to do extensive work trying to get that boulder out and repairing that deep slip, or I'll have to reroute the trail within 50ft of the original?  And in order to know if I can reroute it, I'll have to approach the area from the opposite direction to know for sure?  If it's unattennable, then we'll have to work with what we've got.

    Whipple 05 - 06/ the Brooks Rd area features the Little Muskingum River Flats where the trail right next to the river in it's flood plane..  You could say that this place is in the Sitka, Moss Run and Dart areas of Washington County, Ohio.  It has five distinct features to it.  There's the East and West Highlands, Embankments - East & West and then there's the flats in the middle of it all.  The West Flats are no problem.  But the east end gets narrow.  The river embankment gets tight and wedges the trail against it and the river.  We're having erosion problems on the river's side of the trail and we need to reinforce that bank with some boulders and rocks.  But the boulders and rocks have been washed out to  a point at the start of the west end, which is a mile away.  That's a long way to haul heavy loads, especially during COVID-19.  But I think I might be able to do it with a wheel barrel if I bench ramps  into 3 stream crossings down there first?  I estimate that I alone could haul 6 loads to the site.  But the problem is that there's nowhere to stage piles of rocks and boulders out there, so every time a load is delivered, the boulders have to be set then.  I think that's going to impede the "assembly line" if you would?  The good news is that one of my forest service liaisons and I did some work on this site last year.  And the high side embankment was easy to bench.

      On the project's side of things, COVID-19 has made in-person trail promotion rather unattennable.  i was supposed to execute a project that could strengthen some of our weaker areas, but considering the people still wearing face masks and complying with state recommendations, it's not worth the fuel or time right now?  Regardless of anyone's particular persuasion, it's just a really bad time and conversation over it for these purposes are an utter waste of time.  From my end of these, we just have no choice but to ride this out in other ways.  I suppose that since I don't know this area too well, that walking through these towns, villages and cities to get a rough feeling of what they're all about could be a good idea?  And I could possibly engage people, say one at a time?

No comments:

Post a Comment