Project Leader: Bobby Woelz Project Dates: Jan 10 - May 13, 2011 Email address: RWoelz@thesca.org Phone: 208.608.6324
Circles are something we are all quite familiar with in the SCA. It is a staple of our training and work days playing games to get to know our neighbors, or just stay warm for a few minutes. It is how we stretch and discuss the movies we are most embarrassed we have not seen (that would be Casablanca for me). It’s how we “take five”. So naturally the TrACS team was well prepared, on frosty morning in February, to begin our season by surveying the Council Bluff Trail—a 12 mile loop meandering around Council Bluff Lake. Following the lake shore for the most part, this trail has been designed for hikers and mountain bikers. The elevation stays fairly consistent although there are some pretty intense grade changes from time to time. The trail has access through a popular recreation near Potosi, as well as several camping, swimming, and fishing areas.
For this first hitch we would be tackling the TrACS survey as a combined crew of five and putting our newly acquired skills to the test. Unbeknownst to us, we’d also be putting our tolerance for wet and cold to the test. The m.o. for MO seemed to be rain and cold for most of this first hitch. We all got very good at writing on waterproof paper with fingers either frozen or heavily gloved. I can safely say that we all became intimately familiar with certain “task codes”—a combination of letters and numbers that signifies a trail feature and what, if any, maintenance needs to do be done on it. Drain dips, hazard trees, trenched tread, and bermed tread made frequent appearances in our surveys. Moreover, we all became much more adept at spotting trail features and knowing where to suggest them in order to improve an unhealthy section of trail. Tthis is one of the most interesting and fun parts of our job; it’s like we are trail doctors, diagnosing and prescribing treatments for everything that ails a trail. Of course there is the hiking too. We’d usually end up hiking at least 3 or 4 miles each day, but sometime as much as 8—not bad for a days work on hitch 1!
About 500 drain dips and hazard trees later we were done and the sun was even shining! It took us about 7 days to finish those 12 miles of surveying. Place a check next to Council Bluff…On to BELL MOUNTAIN WILDERNESS…