Scoutmaster Musings - Trail Built

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Trail Built
Wow, that was hot! We had 95 degree days swinging pulaskis, mattocks, and rakes. The scouts put in 10 hours of work and completed about 600 feet of trail out of 2.4 million feet in the entire trail. So, we did our .025% of the trail. :-)

We drove to the trailhead and hiked in about 1/2 mile, following blue painted blazes on trees along a barely discernable trail and carrying our tools, water, and lunch food. The mosquitos and flies were thick, the humidity was high, and it was hot!

We were shown where the existing trail headed straight up a steep hill and the need to reroute the trail along the side of the hill to keep within the grade guidelines. Then, we spend the next two days cutting out brush, digging out rocks and stumps, and creating a trail tread from scratch. It was slow, hard work but we completed the reroute and cleared another few hundred feet of overgrowth.

The trip itself was a great time. After working until 1:00pm, we got to wash off in the cool, very clear waters of Bad Medicine Lake at the High Pines resort run by Ray Vlasak. Ray works in the Laurentian Lakes chapter of the North Country Scenic Trail Association, taking charge of completing and maintaining the trail in the area west of Itasca State Park.

In the evenings, with no planned program and tired bodies, we tried a lot of dutch oven recipes from Dutch Oven Dude and relaxed with a campfire.

This turned out to be a wonderful experience for a small group of mature scouts ready to work. The tools are heavy and smaller scouts would probably not accomplish much. I'm hoping to do this again in future years as a team-building trip before summer camp for the troop leaders.

Scout On
Posted: 10:42 07-15-2007 157
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