On our 9/27 session corner work continued…

Below you will see our volunteers clearing the extended routing of debris; deadfall, branches and duff. Having the opportunity to extend this corner was made possible by a cooperative effort. Our friend Hal Lee borrowed a GPS unit from the Skagit Land Trust (SLT) to help us determine the property line. This made it possible for the Mount Vernon Parks Department to approve the extended routing, which makes for a much better corner. The slop can be more gradual, making it safer and more sustainable. A special thanks to all involved.

And while the extended routing was being prepared native material was being prepared by Art Tuftee. As you can see, a battery operated roto-hammer is a wonderful tool. And look at the split rock in the foreground, ready to be moved down to the wall – but how you may ask…

While there are many methods for moving large rocks, below you’ll see one of our favorites. Here Art carefully moves one of the rock halves down the hill and John Erbstoeszer looks on. Art is using one of our braking wheelbarrows that we find to be indispensable where motorized equipment can’t be utilized. We built these wheelbarrows that have modified bicycle disc brakes on them.

Below you’ll see Art moving on to the next "large" wall rock…

In the following photo Jerry Granahan (our crew leader) gets an opportunity to see what Art has been up to. He was wondering how Art kept coming up with such perfectly shaped rock…

In our last image below you will see the final corner’s routing. At day’s end, as is usual, our group’s size was a touch smaller. Our volunteers come and go as they want, and their schedules permit. While pleased with the new routing, and the day’s work – it is not finished yet. We still need to restore the surrounding areas to a natural form. We contour the surrounding areas that were modified. Then we pull duff (organic material) over it, along with leaves, bark, branches and other native materials. When we are done it will be restored ‘as near as possible’ to its original form, with one notable change – it will have a sustainable multi-use trail running through it…

On Tuesday, September 30th the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) will be volunteering. We are very excited about this new partnership. If the session goes as we expect, meaning they see value in the experience – it is possible that trail building will become part of their training. Only time will tell… Thanks for your interest in our work!

Published by Jenny Sandbo

Jenny Sandbo is a communications professional, trail advocate, hiker, mountain biker, and mom. She's been volunteering with Skagit Trail Builders since 2012, serving as the communications manager since early 2022. Jenny believes that safe access to outdoor places is vital to the health of individuals and communities.

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