Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Family and Time

Homework, bike ride, maybe walk downtown, dinner, bath, bed.

Calls out of town.

Here’s that picture of my Tin Man Legs. They are growing on me. I heard there is some kind of acid treatment that’ll give them a little seasoning.

Monday night’s casual ride at Munson was good. I saw a first time Munson rider do a superman over the bars. I never saw what he hit. He truly bit the dirt, sand was caked around his mouth like sugar from a Krispy Kreme Doughnut.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Tin Man Legs

Around each corner, I remember a different story, time seems measured by the happenings between events at Munson.

I think I still have an Neon Orange hammer head shirt.

We'll get to that corner when we can and you know I'll call you for help.

I agree the humps we put in are too big, the right idea but still to big.

The trees lining the trail do a good job but I am certainly open to other suggestions. Please post some new ideas, anyone, someone. How can we narrow the trail to it's original width and hold materials in place?

Except in a few circumstances I don't think rerouting the trail is a good idea. In another 20 years or sooner, we'd have the same problem and need to move the trail again and it would not likely get moved back to where it came from. Agree or disagree, let me know.

You've all probably seen the tin man legs on the directional signs at the Tall Pines Short Cut intersections. The McCues, me and the kids replace some of the fire damaged legs some months back. With the permission of the Forest Service I put those on to keep the fire off. At first I really disliked the look, on my last ride out though, I kind of started to like them. How about my camouflage efforts, kind of weak I know. What do ya'll think?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A little history.

About 19 years ago Mike McCue, Joel Byrd, JB Ritter and I started work on the Munson Hills Trail. We spent about a year in those woods, wandering, mapping, riding, walking and designing. Many others helped along the way, including some folks at the US Forest Service. I remember John Cameron, Steve? and Ron Smith. I am sure there were more.

Check out the Challenge Cost - Share Agreement from 1991 and Design Narrative from 1990. Some interesting details come up. Mike McCue is listed as FOTL Club. We had a bridge in the plans for crossing Munson Slough. Joel Byrd wrote the complete Design Narrative, does anyone have a copy? What I have posted seems to be a reply to what Joel wrote. It does however refer to levels of difficulty and interpretive plans. There must have been a maintenance component.

Our intention, as I remember it, was to get more people in the woods and on bikes. I knew we reached that goal the day I saw a dad, on an old road with a baby seat and baby, riding along the trail. He stopped to lift the bike over a log, I caught up, he looked over smiled and said how cool he thought the trail was. It felt good to see someone enjoying what I had helped create. It was not uncommon to see beach cruisers, BMX bikes and old road bikes on the trail, mountain bikes had just began to catch on. All kinds of riders were discovering the trail.

Doug Alderson spent a lot of time on the trail designing an interpretive tour to tie into the mural at what was then the Munson Hills Trailhead, where the information kiosk is now. The mural was hand painted by T.S. Elliot (I'm not sure about the T.S.) Doug finished the tour information but it never seemed to make it to the trail system. The original mural can be found at the Forest Service Office in Crawfordville. They removed the original hand painted canvas mural and replaced it with the current one. They were concerned the original might get damaged. A good decision, what they installed has lasted 15 plus years, the original is still in great condition. I never meet the artist but his work has educated a lot of trail users.

We did regular maintenance for many years after Munson was created. Some of that in the form of organized work parties, some of it was done by users taking care of their trail. Munson Hill was one of our first run in with sand. Water bars, sections of telephone poles, was our first try, conveyor belt sandwiched between 2x6's, our second try. These were intended to slow down the water. Neither worked particularly well for water but did slow down the riders. The third and lasting effort consisted of pickup truck loads of pine bark and road base lime rock. The lime rock was used as humps, like the new ones you see on the trail now. In between the humps we put loads and loads of pine bark. The bark was intended to absorb the water flowing down the hill and eventually deteriorate and blend with the sand. We also lined the trail with logs to hold in the materials and narrow the trail back to its original width. Walk up Munson Hill next time you are on the trail, you'll see the work I did there about 15 years ago.

My regular maintenance efforts faded over the past 10 years or so, kids, careers, life just kind of changed things. New efforts are afoot though. With those new efforts and all the users now enjoying the trail, disagreements on how things should get done to the trail have arisen. With the permission and help of Forest Service personnel I have been doing bits of work here and there. The most obvious work are the humps, pine straw and trees used to line the trail. For the most part this work has been well received. Unfortunately someone in disagreement with the use of trees to line the trail has begun to tear out some of the previous work. If you see these people please ask them to contact the Forest Service or me directly (544.5040) or through this blog. The Forest Service and I want input from all users. The Forest Service has requested I/we stop doing any further work until a trail "Operating Plan" is complete. It should be done in about 4 weeks.

Please take the time to post your comments on this blog. Tell me what you like, don't like and what you want to see done to the trail.

I can't get the Challenge Cost - Share Agreement and Design Narrative to post so click on these if you want to see them.