In the Field: Week 7 (Part Two)

This week the Red Feather Lakes Crew worked on Lion Gulch Trail over in Lyons, demonstrating a culmination of all the skills we have acquired over the course of the season, with a hybridization of maintenance and construction. The Lion Gulch took extensive damage in the flooding of 2013, where the trailhead in its near entirety had washed away and was forced into closure. Extensive reconstruction was in the works that was a bit out of our qualifications, so we were extensive reconstruction was in the works, so we were sent up to its end and worked down. Our first day on location we had learned this for ourselves, but if anything it gave us an idea of what we would be taking on as we progressed through the week. The legend Wyatt Johnson (below) eased the stress of this situation by an entertaining hand fishing confrontation with a brookie.

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On Tuesday, our work consisted of routine trail maintenance and construction- your standard drainage work and trail sustainability including checks and dams. Covering a good amount of ground with the assistance of USFS contacts Chris and Matt before having to locate and unpack a basecamp. We found a perfect location for basecamp with a view of a sprawling meadow. I myself found a scenic space tucked away atop a small hill that overlooked our camp. From here we gazed in enchantment upon a setting red sun tinted and sharp from the smoke of a distant fire.

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The second day brought us great strife and a Sisyphus complex as we were tasked with filling in a 7-foot trench that washed out the tread with boulders and pebbles alike. To start, we had to move an arguably massive beast of a rock where the force of 8 men and 3 rockbars were just enough to topple it into the pit. The completion on said rockwall was an enormous victory for our progress on the trail considering the will resourcefulness of our small crew. With half of our work day still ahead of us, we moved through it with relative ease.

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Ahead of us on Thursday was the clear aftermath of natural devastation, where the original trail had fallen away into the floodpath of the gulch. We were content with attacking the 200 feet of new tread within 5 hours. Within the last 50 feet we were threatened by a massive storm that seemed to be rolling in. Under the pressure of time and low morale, with the help of determination and energy drinks, we completed our goals and set out back home.

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