Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Trail Repair

We spent most of last week repairing damage to the Angel's Palace Trail at Kodachrome Basin State Park. The heavy rain of the previous week, which had cause so much damage on the Nature Trail and in the campground, had also damaged the hiking trails in the soft sand found in this part of SW Utah. First, we worked on a bridge over a dry wash that had been badly damaged when the rainstorm filled the wash with rushing water two to three feet above the bridge. We really wish we had gone out to see what was happening during and right after the rain. It must have been impressive to watch. We gathered stones out of the wash to build a base at both sides of the bridge, then brought in dirt and gravel—road base—to cover the rocks. That meant shoveling the base into our Kawasaki Mule then dumping it at the bridge and shoveling it where it was needed. We also built up rocks at two corners of the bridge to prevent run-off from separating the bridge from the sides of the wash.

Next we filled in a run-off channel in the center of a steep part of the trail, and then we rebuilt the trail-side in two places where logs which had been set with rebar had failed to keep the trail from eroding away. We dug out the side of the trail, then gathered rocks—some as heavy as 80 to 100 pounds—to provide a base for the trail. Then we shoveled in dirt and tamped it down by walking back and forth numerous times.

This work is difficult, back-breaking, and very rewarding. We really feel like we accomplished something last week that will make a difference for hikers—at least until an even worse rainstorm occurs. We also feel good that we are able to do this kind of heavy work at the age of 64. Our weight training and cardio workouts really pay off.

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