Showing posts from July, 2016

In which we revisit a Trail Masters article from a while back

I can't believe it's been TEN YEARS.

After we completed the AERC Trail Master class in 2006, I wrote a little article about our experience, and Endurance News published it.

This week, the newest AERC Trail Masters (including Gail, Duana and Jason!) are attending classes at Silver Falls State Park in Oregon.  

In their honor (and illustrated with photos from the current class) I dug up that ten year old E.N. article, and I'm posting it below.  

Compulsive Trail Maintenance Syndrome:  there is no cure  by Aarene Storms

1.  Have you ever carried loppers to early-morning staff meetings?

2. Have you ever calculated the average grade of the WalMart parking lot?

3.  Do you include trail equipment in otherwise normal sentences?  (Example: "I think I'll take the dog and the Pulaski for a walk.")

4.  Do you find yourself eyeballing the sandbox at the local preschool, trying to figure out what the correct binding amendment would be if the box was placed on a slope of 5 to 10 de…

In which not all gardens are tidy, and a Tomato Curse Update

Jim and Henry and I spent the weekend at the annual Powellswood Storytelling Festival.

Every year when we attend the festival, my camera is busy taking pictures of the beautiful gardens.

Back home at Haiku Farm, the gardens don't feature quite as many spectacular colors.

But we are just starting the time of year when the yard explodes.


In which we say hello to some green bean riders and also: puppy

Although truck troubles kept me off trail for a bit, Fiddle and I are back on track again.

The weather, heavily influenced by the Tomato Curse, has stayed cool and wet.  That's fine.

Blue skies are pretty in the ride photos, but rain = chanterelle mushrooms!

And the rain has kept our forest green and non-burning, which is important.

We have a standing "come ride with the Usual Suspects" invitation on Sunday mornings, and several lovely green bean riders have joined us recently.

Fiddle's return to soundness is slow-but-steady.

It helps to have friends along to help.

In which Twelve is gone, but the stories about her will live forever

I am sorry to report the recent demise of Chicken Twelve and some of our other feathered friends.

While most of us were away at camp, a varmint invaded the chicken pen in the orchard and made off with many of our valued hen friends.  Monica was able to save only three chickens, none of them, alas, were the beloved Silver Wyandottes.

We assume that Twelve, tough old bird that she was, put up a good fight.

Monica painted a portrait of Twelve stretching towards blueberries, but she felt that the usual background of grass and leaves would be inadequate to express the complexity of Twelve's life.  She asked me to tell "Twelve Stories about Twelve", and incorporated them all into the portrait as only an artist who understands the deep nature of a transcendent hen could do.

So long, Twelve, and thanks for all the ... stories.  You were a good chicken.

In which the Usual Suspects star in a LUMBERJANE ADVENTURE

The Usual Suspects aren't afraid to try new stuff,  especially if the project will be difficult and dirty.

Although Jim and I have been building trails since we took the AERC Trail Master class in 2006, the Suspects have mostly not been part of that.
This year, that all changed.  
The Suspects came to camp early for the express purpose of becoming Lumberjanes.

We started by creating a new trail on a recently-logged sidehill. 

The soil here is dry and sandy, with minimal roots and rocks--a great place to get comfortable with trail tools like the Pulaski and the McLeod.

Running on a trail gives immediate feedback about where the tread feels solid and "right" underfoot.

Here's video from a trail test in 2010, featuring Madeline, Jill, Autumn, Ryan, Cassidy, and at a few others (including Bailey the dog).  We have used this trail in every Renegade event since we built it, without needing any mending or modifications.

Silliness while running a trail is optional, but appare…