10.21.2008

the season is fall... the trails are buff

I started this last night but never got back to it
not sure if it makes sense
not sure if it is worth putting forward
just as I figure I took the photo I might as well show the image
I typed the words so I might as well share the rant
there it is...


the season is fall... the trails are buff


it has been dry for steady long time and the trails are most definitely butt and dry
maybe too dry
dry and dusty
someone in the world of
hikerbikertrailology would be able to assess things better
but from my untrained eye... the trails are is super righteous riding conditions, but they could maybe use some rain

there is a fork in my mental road
right here
the thought has a choice of two different directions
sometimes this is how my streams of consciousness go



direction one:

in addition to my daily walks and my longer weekend hikes with the dog in the woods I also occasionally dip into the woods for a cross town shortcut without the dog
these trips are often done on two wheels
I have seen the signs
I know the rules
yet I stay my course

when I am in there I try to be respectful of others
often obsequious
over friendly long hellos
always trying to make eye contact behind my amber shades
sometimes I even stop
type of eye contact and the tone to the shared greeting lets me know if there is an invite to stop
if there is a dog to pet I often slow to stop and pet the dog

most of the people on the trail are people just like me
people who love the outdoors
people who would rather be outside than inside during any season on any day
people who love and appreciate nature

runner, hiker, walker, dog walker... I am all of these things

there is a varied response
my approach is sincere...
most people are warm
some people are ambivalent
other people are cold
there are those that are confrontational
but most people are warm

it is bothersome when people are confrontational
it is bothersome not because of them but because how I often respond
as I am also often confrontational

I know my situation
I know the law

I also know that it is within our system to exist with a rational extension of the set parameters
we all extend the parameters
we all bend the rules
like the notion of leading and stealing

I know that these people in other aspects of their life they modify the law to suit their needs
ironically many of the confrontational people are walking their dogs off leash
they are bending the law just as I am bending the law
yet they bring it front and center that my actions are wrong and out of place
while their actions may be worse than my own

it is about the balance between bending and breaking the law
there is a rational and there is an irrational bending
a point where bending becomes breaking

the SPEED LIMIT is a perfect example of this sort of societal acceptance of bending a law
it is a standard convention that people are permitted to exceed the SPEED LIMIT
which of course is an abuse of the word LIMIT
yet we still use the word

this is just one case of an understanding about an allowed bending of a law
a bending that if done in respect of the law and respect of others around you is fine
but really... most drivers are not bending the law... they are breaking the law
and they are most definitely not extending these parameters with any consideration of those around them

okay... let me step back and take a breath let me look to see what I said let me see where I am going with this there are lots of thoughts in my head I started with an intention of one direction and quickly headed down another let me see where we are at back sure enough... I took things in a different direction so I will try to expand on DIRECTION ONE and DIRECTION TWO

when I take my cross town shortcut I am always trying to be safe and courteous
never trying to disrupt anyone else's outdoor experience
I respect their space and I respect their safety
my pace is casual
the intensity is low

my impact is minimal
I stay on the trail and these infrequent adventures are always are avoided after even the slightest rain
because it is important to be respectful of your impact upon the world around you


direction two: the urban trails need some help
the urban trails need some help.... it is obvious
the effort for repair would have to be a several teared approach
as the state of the disrepair is caused by many factors

-a great deal of erosion has been caused by how rain water funnels into the park and then down to the creek
(I am not going to go into the creek itself, but the walls of the creek need repair as well as some rebuilding... something that makes them more sustainable)
there needs to be some control over the water before it hits the park
the areas that have been torn up need to be rebuilt
and there needs to be a system that can withstand the volume of water that comes from even the slightest summer rain

rebuilding of the eroded sections on the interior along with irrigation gardens and some sort of natural barriers that have greater effectiveness than the old school water bars
there would need to be fertile soil brought in as well as the introduction of indigenous plants
and sections of trails would need to be rerouted
the addition of switchbacks where the trails are too steep
and the removal of short cuts and repetitive paths

I day dream about repair projects like this
in these dreams I think about theses eroded ditches being filled with mulched christmas trees than topped off with enough soil to create a natural base so that life can once again thrive in these spots
another aspect of these dreams is the thought of creating a singletrack path of infertile soil flanked by fertile soil
the lighter color path would guide the hiker to stay on trail
while the flanking of fertile soil would also allow life to return to spots where life no longer exists
guiding the trail users would be a big part of the process
but this effort would be nothing without the fertile soil, the indigenous plants, and the effort to control the flow of water down into the valley



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