In which un-marking a trail goes quicker than building (or riding) it!
I have written many times about the effort that goes into building and preparing a trail for an endurance ride. There are links HERE (2010) HERE (2013) and HERE (2015).
But so far, I haven't written about the process of taking a ride apart after the event. So, here ya go.
|Trail crew: Aarene and Jim and Jim and Erin and Roo and Foxie|
The citizens in Spokane are very protective of the excellent trail system at Riverside State Park. I don't blame them--it's a beautiful park.
HOWEVER, when people take it upon themselves to TAKE DOWN THE RIBBONS THE DAY BEFORE A RIDE they cross the line from "helpful citizens" to "deliberate saboteurs."
And seriously, it's not needed.
|Santa Jim un-marks the trail at Mt Spokane/Riverside|
Fifteen minutes after the last riders cleared the northernmost loops at the Mt Spokane/Riverside ride last weekend, Santa Jim and I began taking the markers down.
The signs we post at trailheads and major trail intersections say that all ribbons, lime marks, manure and water tanks will be removed by two days after the event...but that's an exaggeration.
|Post, ribbon and lime mark the trail on ride morning|
When we're at Riverside Park, we pull the majority of the ribbons, drain and stack the tanks,
|Noon: the trail markings are gone|
scuff out the white lime, and even kick the manure off the trail--all before the sun sets on ride day.
|Manure is kicked off the trail and scattered. Coyotes and other|
scavengers will clear it completely within a few days.
Since Jim and I didn't bring horses to ride while pulling ribbons, we borrowed a quad.
|A quad makes an excellent ladder to reach ribbons on|
We carry a rake with us, and use it to scrape and scatter the white lime marks.
|Arrow: now you see it...|
|...now you don't.|
As long as we're there, we pick up trash and pack it out.
ready to be used at the next event.
So, there it is: the quickest and easiest and fastest volunteer job available at an endurance ride.
You should try it sometime!