Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"Easy" on Trail Patrol

Every time a storm blows through the camp I go out on Trail Patrol very soon afterward, to make sure all roads and trails are clear. With so many trees on the place there are bound to be limbs and even possibly trees down somewhere. Me and "Easy" headed out this beautiful afternoon to see what we could find. Now since Easy has come along it has made this venture a whole lot easier.

Before coming into the ministry, Easy had a life that was, simply put, easy. For the first 15 years it traveled the paved streets about a mile, twice a week, down to the Valley Hill Country Club, where it transported its owner for 18 holes (maybe even 36, on a great day), go up and down the hills and fairways that was almost as nice as a road, then carry him the mile back home where Easy was kept in a nice garage out of all the weather.

I would say while his life was filled with luxury, it was lacking in adventure. That has drastically changed! Shortly after the Fall Jamboree, Easy came into the ministry and I must say it's adjusting well, along with a few scratches and bruises.

A lift kit and some off road tires would probably save it from some bumps on the trails but other than one flat on a real rocky stretch things have been just fine. Just the other day I installed some headlights so the adventure would not be limited to just the daytime.

Anyway, the first place we went was down Beech Bottom Trail.

This is the trail that leads down to the secret creek and has been blocked by some huge trees. Since I don't have the equipment yet to handle quite that big a job, I managed to cut a trail around the trees. There were a few limbs down but nothing too big to handle.

After all the rain in the past week and especially yesterday, the creek was up and rolling. Right now this is the only trail that you have to eventually turn around and come back the same way you came; I'm working on changing that.

Next we went across the road to High Ridge Trail which begins shortly after you enter the gate, on the left. It goes up, down and around, and when the leaves are off the trees there is a beautiful view of the ponds, especially the Upper Pond.

Speaking of the Upper Pond, I created a new picnic area there this week and cut a path down to it from the main trail. Plans are to put another picnic area there in the spring or maybe even the winter. As we were nearing the top of the last hill there was quite a big tree that was blocking the way. I managed to pull it back just enough that it cleared the way. There were a few more smaller ones but nothing that was a big deal. We left that trail and traveled up and then across the field to the Nature Trail.

Easy must have thought it was back on the golf course for awhile -- well, maybe the rough any way. We started down the path and right away there were a few limbs in the way. Now this trail was cleared off by Sam Kelly earlier in the year and Sam did a great job. Easy's brakes got quite a workout for the next 15 minutes or so as I had to stop several times in the middle of going down the big hill.
Really there were no major obstacles, just some small limbs and a few rocks I moved out of the way. The squirrels did not seem to appreciate all our work as they were barking at us everywhere we went. Occasionally a chipmunk would dart in front of our path and would be gone in a flash.
Of all Easy's duties, I would guess Trail Patrol is his favorite, though last week he was a workhorse and there was some groaning going on. On patrol you just never know what will pop up. Here is a picture of what was discovered on High Ridge Trail last week. I am sure they could tell a story of days gone by.

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