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Sunday, June 5, 2016

Change of course

I sure got my energy's worth out of myself this morning. Knowing I had to come to town after my 2 hrs of trail work, and not wanting to get to town with any left over energy. Which is my normal mode of operation. Rest in town, but arrive exhausted. In that spirit, I walked my new trail to where I'd left off work yesterday, then climbed to the ridge to flag my course. When I got there I decided to change the plan from crossing the ridge at the lowest point to crossing at a higher point, requiring a series of switchbacks. If I cross the ridge at the lowest point, it means following the north side of the ridge to the saddle. That would enable hiding the trail from below, which would maintain the pristine look. However, the south slope up the ridge is relatively barren and gravelly. The north side, because it's cooler on the north side, is really rough and heavily vegetated. Preserving that vegetation, and not having to deal with the  near impossible terrain, changed my mind.

1. Crossing: Where I plan to cross the ridge. From there it's still quite a ways uphill to the saddle, even though it doesn't show from this photo.
2. Landing: Small flat area where I'm going to launch over the ridge from.
3. Switchbacks: Where I'll need to cut switchbacks on the steep slope.
4. Lower ridge: Where I had been planning to cross the ridge.
5. Where today's trail work ended on the gradual slope. No steps or switchbacks required.

Anyway, after I climbed around on the ridge and flagged some, I went back down to lengthen the trail. No sooner had I picked up the hoe than I couldn't remember if I had left the hose running in the courtyard. I made it to my pickup in record time, no walking stick or anything, rushed to the house to find the water turned off.

I wasn't about to be cheated out of trail work, so back I went and made good progress. That gentle slope is level (side to side) unlike all the trail previously where I had to even it out. So I just had to hoe off the rocks and pick out the grass and a few rocks that wouldn't hoe out. When I get back down there I should be able to finish with the gentle slope. After that, it'll be switchback time. I don't know how that'll go, but it has to be an improvement on the steep slope, which is a killer to climb. Everything seems loose and pick-able. Hopefully, not so loose that it won't make a stable trail.

Back in Alpine not much going on. Photographed this cooperative Common Whitetail and that's about it.

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