Didn't realize it'd been so long since I wrote an update for the blog. Lots of reasons/excuses, primarily centering around work, family and (ugh) road biking. Remind me to never sign up for 1000 miles worth of road bike tour in a summer again.
Now that THAT ordeal is over, I've finally had a chance to spend some quality time in the Rubies. This isn't a bad thing as we are currently in the throes of a SPECTACULAR fall. We'll see if it lasts through the snow forecast for Wednesday... can't we just keep the pretty leaves for a little while longer?
The Great Basin Institute kids have left for the summer, and a horrific mess snakes up the hillside in their wake. Their supervisor should be ashamed of himself for the gross mismanagement that has made a shambles of the Secret-Lamoille Trail Project. There are ten switchbacks on the trail so far, and not a one of them meets the minimum specifications for an equestrian or mountain bike trail. None of them are remotely sustainable and three of them are patently unsafe. The benching is so narrow in some places that the "trail" is literally falling down the mountain, and horses are forced to walk on the trail's critical edge, exacerbating the problem. The three sets of steps that the kids wasted their time constructing are not only needless and unsustainable, but unusable by two of the trail's three target user groups.
Here's the one that really pisses me off, though:
Remember this photo from last winter?
Here's another shot taken from the same spot:
That was one of the prettiest viewpoints on the entire trail.
Here's what the butchers left in their wake:
They killed five trees - completely needlessly, since Greg's original design had the switchback placed well before the trail reached the trees. They ruined the framing for the spectacular view, turned the great shady sitting rock that was right there into the trail base. They just tossed the dead trees off to the side to rot.
Do these people even use trails???? You have to wonder why they're here, unless it's to use power tools that somebody else is paying for.
The people from the state forest service office are finally coming out to have a look at this shambles, and I can only hope that big, big changes are in store. Certainly the very first thing that should happen is that the incompetent hack running the show should be fired and replaced by somebody willing and able to provide direct, continual, on-the-ground supervision to the kids doing the work - somebody who not only knows how to build a sustainable mountain bike trail, but somebody who actually cares about building a good one.