- Spring '08 Trail Work -
Every year, Mother Nature leaves us with some work to do after the Winter/Spring wet season. Fortunately, the creek crossings were not significantly altered this year, and only required moderate fiddling. This has mostly taken the form of tossing out a few large rocks, raking in some smaller fill, and re-setting some of the large stone water control dams. After years of study, I have gotten fairly good at constructing water control dams that cut down on crossing damage, and yet are fairly sustainable from year to year. These have been successful to varying degrees, and need varying degrees of refinement or maintenance every year. You can never quite bend Mother to your own purpose, but with effective study you can sometimes come to a reasonable compromise! The upper left pic is the #5 crossing at North Branch. At the upper right is a natural tangled tree tumble down that is in a perfect spot. The rock wall below was constructed 3 years ago to further slow the water and create a nice scouring pool. The rock wall to the right was just rebuilt to buttress the trail tread just above it. All of these structures take energy out of the water and preserve the crossing for riders and walkers. The extensive structure pictured above is at the 1st crossing. This is always a spot where the water volume and velocity is very high, and has been a problem in terms of erosion in the past. Last year's effort at building a solid structure was pretty successful, and left us with a crossing in pretty good shape. However, I decided to rebuild it to an even more substantial and rugged level for two reasons. One was to make it heavy enough to withstand even greater water events than before. The second reason was to stay ahead of trail walkers, who have a tendancy to build walking dams right in center of the trail tread. They are often not mindful of the other user's needs, and tend to foul up the crossings by effectively BLOCKING them. By building this super heavy structure that doubles as both a walking bridge and a water control structure, I am attempting to satisfy ALL users needs with one effort, and obviate the need for anyone to crerate anything less than helpful to all users. This is yet another past problem area; the traditional lower route at Crossing #2. Mother created an absolutely perfect tangled tree tumble down about 30yds upstream from this, and subsequent natural and man-made structures have significantly reduced the amount of damage this old crossing sees. This year required very little effort to freshen up and make it rideable again, relative to the usual destruction that took place on a yearly basis. Taking energy out of the water is the key to reducing erosion. If you ever wanted to know how to build the perfect water control Tumble Down and Scouring Pool, this area is the model! Tiina found this little guy, quite by accident, living on a really steep hillside along the Creek Trail. The flower itself - which I believe to be either a Smooth Yellow or Early Yellow Violet - is barely the size of a dime. you'd step on it without notice if you weren't paying attention. That would be too bad, for it is a pretty little dude. In fact, pretty things are all around at Jones Park!