my body hurts....
the local trails hurt more
yesterday was a comedy of errors (as described in the previous post)
after work I went for a quick cross town spin on the Karate Monkey Single Speed
there had been a sprinkling of rain that day,but the earth was still bone dry.....go figure
in my travels on the way home I linked dirt to asphalt to dirt to asphalt dirt to asphalt always being aware of oncoming trail users and respectful of their right to a placid good time
knowing when to expect a horse
never screaming at top speed around blind curves
well, maybe a low level scream... it is mountainbiking and not touring
never going out of control
well, maybe testing the limits a little as I like to feel alive
always familiar with the trails and the obstacles ahead
and even recoginzing the some of the regular trail users
the dirt was hard and dry with a thin coat of dust on top
the local hiking trails have really seen some serious pounding in the last few years
the number of hiker and dog walkers and the frequency of use has really increased
and the wear is showing
each day as I hike my dogs or when I make my occasional cross trail trip I daydream about starting my own NOT-FOR-PROFIT... TRAILHEADS.org .....because trail repairs always start with the TRAILHEADS
I daydream about getting a long list of joggers, dog walkers, then the hashers, and the hired dog walkers to come out on a weekend day and volunteer their time
in assistance to the volunteered time I imagine getting the NPS involved with a few hired hands
a few seasoned workers with knowledge of trail maintenance (or some of my friends from MORE would be helpful as well....Mike and Joe of MORE have each said some very simple things about trail maintenance that should be implemented on our ever eroding trails) But more than anything I imagine having the National Park Service drop off earth....the trails need EARTH!
the leashless dogs along with the rain and the indigenous animals have stripped the land of its top soil
if Earth is not added things will only decline more
so I imagine that I we have two types of earth delivered
a brownish orange earth for the trail/path and a brownish black fertile dirt for the area around the path
in this daydream I have made a rectangular box out of 2X6 about 8 feet long maybe 12 inches wide
the orangish dirt is used to fill this wooden rectangle and packed down
the fertile earth is put on its sides
logs are used as anti-erosion barriers to guide runoff and to keep the rain water from stealing all the new earth
the orangish dirt is selected to aid in guiding the hikers to stay on a more narrow track of path
the surrounding dirt would be seeded with an indigenous grass....my Latin and Science is not existing...so I will not try to fool you with any false names
I also would not mind adding an occasional indigenous tree....maybe a few more firs (but placed no more frequently than they would naturally appear in
on this same trail maintenance day I imagine some over zealous volunteers rushing deeper into the trails with wheel barrows full of earth to repair trail cross roads
to make the trails there more clear and to aid in keeping the hikers from bisecting trails and cutting corners....as such actions end up killing all the vegetation and making the trails unnecessarily wide (and unattractive)
I do realize that there is something great about how ROCK CREEK PARK is kept in its "natural state"
but the current natural state is DECLINE
if this momentum is not reversed we will have a large bald plantless patch of land
perhaps I will act on bringing this daily fantasy to a reality level
currently I try to do my part
it seems easy enough if everyone did the minimum then the trails would be in better shape....
the minimum....Stay on the trail and do not leave any trash.
I try to take it to the next level by picking up trash and by trying to keep the trails clear of fallen trees and by also adding an occasional natural anti-erosion barriers with a fallen tree that create a natural steps
if everyone did the minimum plus the occasional trash pick up we would see the trails maintain instead of decline
then on top of that if we could add some earth at each trail head....perhaps the plant growth could stretch from trail head to trail head filling in all the trail in between
it all starts at THE TRAILHEAD
are daffodils and tiger lilies indigenous?
who do I talk to to get this earth delivered to the trailheads
if I just started on the trails closest to my house in Mt. Pleasant....
I could witness its effect and see if such an effort could hold
and perhaps inspire people to take positive control of other urban trails that are in decline
what would be the best time of year to make such an effort?
(I once wrote a childrens book on a napkin, Dean and Dad go Hiking....it covered the experience of a father and son going hiking well prepared and respecting the trails and the wildlife as they hiked.....much like most of my ideas....it faded away)
unrelated question....if a spaceship goes MARS to get a sample of dirt....is that dirt called Mars? Dirt on Earth is called Earth....