In which a call for help is made and answered and there's another call

My parents raised me to follow their lead as "pillars of the community."


I can't help but answer.

Duana said "Look wet and tired for the picture."
She didn't say "Look shorter than all the other humans" but I did that, too.

So there we were, no foolin', on the first of April in the pouring rain, with tools and skills and friends and stuff.

Du and Jason load up safety gear and trail tools

Patty has skillz as a squire to get our noble menfolks
into these nifty weedeater harnesses.

Theoretically we should ask the lawyer (Duana) to be the esquire
instead of the veterinarian (Patty).  But this worked out fine.

And off we went, over the beaver dam, up the hill to the t-junction with the red trail (left) and the white trail (right).  Patty and Jason and Du took the red, and Jim and I headed out the white trail.

Jim and I learned many years ago (the hard way) not to wear work boots to trail parties in the Swampland in April.  We wear tall rubber barn boots instead.

You can see the narrow trail ahead of Jim:
that narrow bit that looks like a creek.

This early in the Spring, the invading brush is almost all thorny.  I didn't get a good picture of the wild rose vines rosa acicularis, also known as "prickly wild rose."  They grow knee-high and grab your clothes and you need sharp tools to cut them down at ground level.

I did snap shots of:

the pain of a thousand teeny stingers

salmonberry rubus spectabilis - tall, brittle branches with tiny needles on the stems

and of course
the Big Bad Ouch

Himalayan blackberry rubus armeniacus, sturdy vines with devilish claws.  
I'm convinced that the Himalayan blackberry bushes are at least partly carnivorous.

We cleared the foreground area of the picture and then
I snapped the shot.

If we didn't know there was a trail under all that brush, we'd never have known there was a trail under all that brush, srsly.

The trail was mud in spots and underwater in other spots--even though nobody had walked on them for months or more, because the brush had covered them over.  Not an ideal route.  But when you live in a Swamp, you work with what you have, and most of that is wet.

Finally, the Golden Spike was in sight.

Linda came up the white trail from the other end, and met us in the middle.

Jim's post-work outfit is a wonder to behold:

Green Man!

And the truck looked pretty similar:

Brown Truck!

We were already soaked to the skin.  Might as well wash the truck, right?

Farm truck bath: once a year, whether it needs it or not.

At the lunch break, Scott told us that the new parking lot project still needs money.

Lunch is always a celebration

This lot would provide REALLY GOOD PARKING for horse rigs accessing the trails at Scouten Loop, instead of catch-as-catch-can spots along the road we've been using for years.  What a good idea!

Local folks:  here's your chance.

Don't just "like" my trail work photos on FB 
and say "Thanks for your service."  

I mean, I like praise and thanks as much as anyone.

But this project needs MONEY, TIME, AND EQUIPMENT.

Checks can be sent to
Pilchuck Recreation Association, P.O. Box 2962, Arlington WA  98223

If you have heavy equipment and/or skills to run these things, or if you want to donate materials such as gravel or rocks, please contact
Scott Bauer,  (360) 435-6923

Of course, you can always specify that you want your donations to go directly towards the parking lot project, or into the "general trail fund" which buys gas and maintenance for weedeaters, blades for the pulaskis, and sandwiches for the volunteers.

Or, you know, you can put on your tall rubber boots next time we call a work party.  We can always use more pillars of the community!


  1. I was there and worked with Barbara Woo and Tina and Janice on a trail we dubbed "the wonder
    woman trail" but you never got a picture of us.


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