It was trail work in the nick of time

Sunday, 06-Apr 2014 @ 10:27pm

Sorry about this post lacking detail, but I just lost a very long blog that included bridge destruction by the trail saboteur, a tree falling onto others and creating massive, domino-effect damage across Happy Valley Trail, how the developing falline shortcut was closed before it became a real problem, how the lads did lots of serious saw work and bridge re-construction with the fallen and cut lumbar, about lots of digging to drain the entrance to the new bridge repair (luckily only 100m below the tree fall), about removing lantana and cat's claw vine to improve sightlines and getting caught in a storm while trying to finish off lots of minor problems on the way back to the carpark.  

Unfortunately, now you will have to work out how we solved 3 problems in one place (fallen trees, vandalised bridge and a terrible erosion issue), where the bridge was destroyed.  The pics are of differing quality because they were taken over a few days in various weather conditions (and late evening).  It was a very heavy and successful burst of work over 2 afternoons and 2 days. Had this not been done, then there was going to be serious impact on Happy Valley Trail.  

These emergency repairs have to be done fast, or the consequences can take far longer to resolve (if ever possible).  Thanks to Roy, Doug, Jason and Ash for a lot of hard work.  

I am too tired to start the detailed blog again.  Use your imagination to work out how the deadfall ended up as a new trail section, starting with the shortcut closure

Remember the last pic when you look at how the riding line(s) changed.  

For us though, first was the bridge repair

After building the first drain at the top, it was time to go home on Saturday evening.  We wanted night riders and runners to see things had changed, so we used dark organic debris harvested from muck blocking the the creek to create visible contrast before we returned this morning to finish our work

Today Ash and I finished the job.  We started with this

and ended with this

which included a big drain dug into the trail above the new bridge.  The diggings were turned ito a large blob of mixed clay and organic layers that should regenerate and stabilise fast

Leaving the area today it still looked like a bomb had gone off where all the trees fell, but nature will reclaim what it put here in the first place

However, this is what it looked like on Wednesday afternoon, so everything is relative

On the way home we did a number of other jobs.  Here's one of them before we got caught out and doused by a fast-approaching storm that included lightning hits within 200m.  Lightning, metal tools, water flowing into your boots and a wheelbarrow are not an encouraging combination.  I've been too close to lightning before.  Close encounters of the third kind are not nice.  I don't want to be probed again...

These last pics are of some drainage modifications we almost regret doing after getting scared because we got caught by the storm

So, another bit of unplanned emergency work has been started and done on Happy Valley.  This should be the last job (other than simple reviews) before we start on the bottom of Three Hills Singletrack and the Casuarina Loop.  

Also, people are now asking us how to help with trail work.  Please check the contact page on this website.  It has a phone contact number.  Please call Ashley if you are available.  Short notice is no problem.  We work all the time and prefer one or two energetic volunteers to help, rather than lots of inexperienced people standing about not knowing what to do. 

Happy trails

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