On October 25th a good crew of people met up at Old Buck to rally for another one of Jaclyn’s trail days on Dale’s. As always, our day started with coffee from Bean Around the World to take the edge off and get us all pumped for a day of digging dirt and hauling big heavy things.
Trail days are always an amazing insight into just how much work it takes to build and maintain the trails we love to ride, and why it is so gratifying to jump in a dig at least a few times a year. This year was no different, and (again, as always) we piled into Jaclyn’s zombie apocalypse machine and enjoyed some 4 wheeling down the back roads of Seymour.
The crew split into 2 groups and our group worked on fixing up the entrance to Dales. The current entrance was a bit like a washed out stream-bed with lots of babyheads and a sloping entrance that perfectly funneled all the water straight down the trail to maximize erosion. We started off by deciding to dig out the entrance a bit and rock it up so that water flowed past the trail instead of straight down it. Of course, my crew of 4 dudes, poor injured Anne and me came up with other ideas – we decided to do a modern day Stonehenge raising and our “rock it up” idea got maximized by a factor of 1000. A few of us started digging and picking away at the entrance while the rest went searching the woods for the biggest rocks possible.
You would never know it looking at the finished product, but to create a really solid and lasting entrance, we dug in at least 5 feet deep from the finished lip and the full width of the entrance to the trail. Approximately 8-10 huge rocks (as in the kind that takes 2 -3 people to roll and a whole team to “reposition”) make up the entrance, even though only 2 or 3 are visible. The rest are all a very stable support system that create an entrance that will stand up to our harsh rainy seasons. It took at least 5 hours (not including our lunch break of delicious pizza that was so generously delivered to us on site by more bunnie helpers) with at least 6 people to dig out the entrance, find the rocks, tetris the rocks into place and finally top it off with some gold, but in the end we ended up with a solid entrance that includes some fun lines, even with an optional drop and a roll.
After we wrapped up the entrance and kicked ourselves for not having bikes to test it out, we hiked down to see some of the great work the rest of the team had been doing digging out some of the poor drainage spots on the trail and rebuilding with good bedding and dirt. Even in October, the weather cooperated with us and held off the worst of the downpour until just after we all made it back to our cars, ready and deserving of a post trail-day beer.
Words: Karin Grubb
Photos: Jaclyn Delacroix, Gina Hopper & Anne Langmaid