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  1. #1
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    New Sedona Aerie Trail in Jeopardy

    Thanks to the help of the mountain biking communities of Prescott, Phoenix and Sedona the new very scenic Aerie Forest Service approved trail is over 75% complete and the current constructed trail is ready to ride by advanced intermediate riders.

    Since the trail is currently an out and back it should not be ridden by riders who are NOT upset by doing an out and back rather than a loop. That being said the trail is constructed with more of an uphill component in the west bound direction, so the east bound back direction at this point is very fun to ride and can be hooked up with the Cookscomb, Dawa, Rupp, AZ Cypress and OK trails to make a longer enjoyable advanced intermediate ride.

    As a side note this trail makes for a nice family ride and hike senerio. If you have family members who like to hike you can be dropped off at the Deadman's/Boynton Canyon Trailhead and you can ride to the Doe Mountain trail where you can hook-up with your family members to do the Doe Mountain hike. You might consider bringing a lock cable along to lock your bike to a tree while you hike up the Doe Mountain trail with you family or friends. There is decent cell reception in the Doe Mountain area to coordinate your meeting spot for the hike.

    This is a link to the GPS Track and a video link of how the trail rides at this point:
    http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=772184

    TD
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails New Sedona Aerie Trail in Jeopardy-aerie-trail-8-22-2010.jpg  

    Last edited by traildoc; 08-24-2010 at 10:59 PM.

  2. #2
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    Went out today with a Sedona volunteer and got quite a bit of trail built. I think we must be 85% thru the building process and I hope to be finished by next Monday. If anyone is looking for an advance intermediate loop let me know.

    I am trying to encourage good riders to try out the trail as an out and back to get it packed in. It rides really good in the packed in sections and the trail built over the last week is a little slow due to a less packed condition.

    Hopefully we will get some rain to help with the compaction process.

    TD

  3. #3
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    Tomorrow afternoon works for me. If my tires can help, count me in. Kudos to TraiDoc for getting all the work done and rounding up volunteers in the summer heat. Props, Gold Star and Bravo!!

    Trail rating for The Aarie and Tea Cup coming soon (insert 'The Critic'):
    If lovin you is wrong, I don't wanna be right

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    Awesome Doc! Thank you so much for all your hard work. What you thinking about the Thunder Mountain trail? Last time I rode it I vowed to never ride it again due to massive suckage. It's a broken link in the Sedona network puzzle if you ask me. I'm actually getting stoked for the late fall/ Sedona season to start and ride there again.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by zul
    Tomorrow afternoon works for me. If my tires can help, count me in. Kudos to TraiDoc for getting all the work done and rounding up volunteers in the summer heat. Props, Gold Star and Bravo!!

    Trail rating for The Aarie and Tea Cup coming soon (insert 'The Critic'):
    zul:

    Thanks for stepping it up and volunteering. I am doing the MBH Wednesday ride in the morning and will be free in the afternoon. You have several options to consider.

    1. Meet me at my house in the afternoon and we can drive out to the Deadman's Boynton Canyon parking lot where I can drop you of and you can ride the trail to the worksite which would take about 30 minutes or:

    2. We just drive out and start working.

    Let me know when you will get to my house?

    TD
    Last edited by traildoc; 08-24-2010 at 10:16 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by raisingarizona
    Awesome Doc! Thank you so much for all your hard work. What you thinking about the Thunder Mountain trail? Last time I rode it I vowed to never ride it again due to massive suckage. It's a broken link in the Sedona network puzzle if you ask me. I'm actually getting stoked for the late fall/ Sedona season to start and ride there again.

    We rode it the other day and no one made the climb.

    It would be nice to send CREC out there and let them fix that stupid fall line section. The FS wants CREC to come out and work on the new Aerie trail. They think I have done a terrible job in building the trail. It makes me laugh that they think the trail is unsustainable before it even rains. They want to do major rock work and reroute sections of the trail. Talk about wasting taxpayers dollars on something that doesn't need to be done no wonder the country is going bankrupt.

    I am trying to get the FS to wait on the Aerie redue project which is scheduled for Oct 13 to the 18th and let mother nature show us where the problem aeras are. It will be interesting if they back-off or not. I told the muck e mucks to go work on other projects like the Thunder Mountain erosion nightmare. I don't know if they are capable of doing the right thing, we will see.

    I could come up with a dozen Sedona spots that they could try and fix, but I am not sure they are willing to change course at this point. It would be nice to get 60 minutes out there and let the nation know what is going on with their tax dollars.

    I am not resentful I am just in disbelief. Maybe I am not really in disbelief, I was told that something like this might happen and it has.

    I have tried my best to build a really nice trail for advanced intermediate riders to enjoy for hundreds of years for very little cost. Unlike many Sedona trails there are no surprise spots to stop the flow of an advanced intermediate rider. The trail is a nice hiking trail by inexperienced hikers and has great views, I don't know what CREC is going to do to improve that hiking experience.

    I am hoping that a lot of riders and hikers come out and check out the trail and give the FS their candid thoughts as to where the trail has issues. If I have created a sub-standard work product it should be communicated to the FS and have me be terminated from ever working on future projects.

    If anyone wants to check it out let me know and I would be happy to show them the ride.

    TD
    Last edited by traildoc; 08-24-2010 at 10:57 PM.

  7. #7
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    I'll be out there on Thursday morning. Btw, who ever taught the crec crew to use half buried upright stone to act as a waterbar (as in Munds Wagon up by Merry go Round, and Broken Arrow) really ought to be educated in how dangerous and unsustainable that practice is. It sounds like they have given you a ration of their mind on Aerie, maybe we should evaluate their work out in the field?
    There is a big difference between ripping and skidding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chalkpaw
    I'll be out there on Thursday morning. Btw, who ever taught the crec crew to use half buried upright stone to act as a waterbar (as in Munds Wagon up by Merry go Round, and Broken Arrow) really ought to be educated in how dangerous and unsustainable that practice is. It sounds like they have given you a ration of their mind on Aerie, maybe we should evaluate their work out in the field?
    No doubt Chalkpaw. I think the more we mountain bikers become involved with trail days and new projects we may start to see a swing in techniques? I hope so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chalkpaw
    I'll be out there on Thursday morning. Btw, who ever taught the crec crew to use half buried upright stone to act as a waterbar (as in Munds Wagon up by Merry go Round, and Broken Arrow) really ought to be educated in how dangerous and unsustainable that practice is. It sounds like they have given you a ration of their mind on Aerie, maybe we should evaluate their work out in the field?


    When I helped start CREC, back in 1997, I was the first mountain biker to supervise trail crews. We had to change the way everyone did trail construction and maintenance. Past crews were run by hikers and didn't take into consideration the needs of bikers. Consequently, turns had too tight a radious, site lines were too short and didn't allow for fast moving bikes, and waterbars were a joke, as you discovered. Only novice trail crews and volunteer groups would get away with that style of waterbar.

    Now I'm working with A.C.E., the other conservation corps in Northern Arizona. Without mountain bikers on the crews, or supervising the crews, a lot of the nuance in a mountain biking trail is lost, and you end up with a hiking trail that has no rhythm or flow for riders.

    There are some politics at work that I hope to write about in the near future, that result in inferior trail crews getting paid to do work that other crews could do that would be more pleasing to mountain bikers. We could just say, oh, that's life, or maybe hold the FS more accountable and make demands for how they manage our lands. I like that Doc is fighting the good fight despite the obstacles.


    last three...

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    Last edited by The Prodigal Son; 08-25-2010 at 08:11 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by traildoc
    We rode it the other day and no one made the climb.

    It would be nice to send CREC out there and let them fix that stupid fall line section. The FS wants CREC to come out and work on the new Aerie trail. They think I have done a terrible job in building the trail. It makes me laugh that they think the trail is unsustainable before it even rains. They want to do major rock work and reroute sections of the trail. Talk about wasting taxpayers dollars on something that doesn't need to be done no wonder the country is going bankrupt.

    I am trying to get the FS to wait on the Aerie redue project which is scheduled for Oct 13 to the 18th and let mother nature show us where the problem aeras are. It will be interesting if they back-off or not. I told the muck e mucks to go work on other projects like the Thunder Mountain erosion nightmare. I don't know if they are capable of doing the right thing, we will see.

    I could come up with a dozen Sedona spots that they could try and fix, but I am not sure they are willing to change course at this point. It would be nice to get 60 minutes out there and let the nation know what is going on with their tax dollars.

    I am not resentful I am just in disbelief. Maybe I am not really in disbelief, I was told that something like this might happen and it has.

    I have tried my best to build a really nice trail for advanced intermediate riders to enjoy for hundreds of years for very little cost. Unlike many Sedona trails there are no surprise spots to stop the flow of an advanced intermediate rider. The trail is a nice hiking trail by inexperienced hikers and has great views, I don't know what CREC is going to do to improve that hiking experience.

    I am hoping that a lot of riders and hikers come out and check out the trail and give the FS their candid thoughts as to where the trail has issues. If I have created a sub-standard work product it should be communicated to the FS and have me be terminated from ever working on future projects.

    If anyone wants to check it out let me know and I would be happy to show them the ride.

    TD
    Doc,

    I know it's posted somehwere here, but give me Jennifer Burns email address so I can let her know what a wonderful new trail we have over yonder.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by traildoc
    We rode it the other day and no one made the climb.

    It would be nice to send CREC out there and let them fix that stupid fall line section. The FS wants CREC to come out and work on the new Aerie trail. They think I have done a terrible job in building the trail. It makes me laugh that they think the trail is unsustainable before it even rains. They want to do major rock work and reroute sections of the trail. Talk about wasting taxpayers dollars on something that doesn't need to be done no wonder the country is going bankrupt.

    I am trying to get the FS to wait on the Aerie redue project which is scheduled for Oct 13 to the 18th and let mother nature show us where the problem aeras are. It will be interesting if they back-off or not. I told the muck e mucks to go work on other projects like the Thunder Mountain erosion nightmare. I don't know if they are capable of doing the right thing, we will see.

    I could come up with a dozen Sedona spots that they could try and fix, but I am not sure they are willing to change course at this point. It would be nice to get 60 minutes out there and let the nation know what is going on with their tax dollars.

    I am not resentful I am just in disbelief. Maybe I am not really in disbelief, I was told that something like this might happen and it has.

    I have tried my best to build a really nice trail for advanced intermediate riders to enjoy for hundreds of years for very little cost. Unlike many Sedona trails there are no surprise spots to stop the flow of an advanced intermediate rider. The trail is a nice hiking trail by inexperienced hikers and has great views, I don't know what CREC is going to do to improve that hiking experience.

    I am hoping that a lot of riders and hikers come out and check out the trail and give the FS their candid thoughts as to where the trail has issues. If I have created a sub-standard work product it should be communicated to the FS and have me be terminated from ever working on future projects.

    If anyone wants to check it out let me know and I would be happy to show them the ride.

    TD
    What are the specific complaints about the trail? Does the CREC build trails for all users (even MTB?). Does the CREC just need something to do?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhxChem
    What are the specific complaints about the trail? Does the CREC build trails for all users (even MTB?). Does the CREC just need something to do?
    There were several concerns expressed:

    1. The existing alignment is routed through some washes and needs to be re-routed.

    The Sedona locals have been riding washes for years and the washes are still there years later. I hope the FS doesn't think that they are trying to save some spiecy of fish downstream.

    2. The trail doesn't have a total bench and therefore the outside edge is considered unstable.

    I believe the soft edge will firm up with hiking and and biking on it. It always has before and it will in the future.

    3. A number of large rocks that were removed from the trail alignment and were placed next to the outside edge of trail. Apparently those rocks would have been dealt with differently if the FS had built the trail.

    I am not sure how differently yet, but I will find out when they are done with their redue project.

    4. The trail was routed through the center of three large juniper trees and there is concern that cutting some live and dead branches to make the alignment unique will be detrimental to the well being of the huge trees.

    IMHO I don't believe the trimmed branches will cause any damage to the three huge trees. Time will tell if their concern was justified and their trying to re-route the trail out of the trees will be forgotten (FTGs) by the trail routing crew.

    5. The rock walls that were built to support the trail in steep terrain spots are considered to be of inferior construction and don't hold up to FS manual standards.

    I don't agree that the walls will be a problem down the line.

    6. The wash crossing constrution techniques were not done according to the FS manual standard and therefore it is assumed they will not survive periods of very high rainfall.

    I agree with this obsevation, but in the past if a wash crossing didn't survive it would be rebuilt to survive the next time. It's not like the crossing would be left unrideable and never repaired to last a million years the next time.

    I personally would like this project to be left as is for a period of at least one year then re-evaluated to see if the above concerns are valid then fix them if necessary. Seems like a much more cost effective approach in these fiscally trying times.

    TD

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    Maybe I missed it, what part of the trail is in jeopardy?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ_AlanS
    Maybe I missed it, what part of the trail is in jeopardy?
    The lower section has the supposed wash issues and the upper section has the other issues.

    TD

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    Quote Originally Posted by Apexit
    Doc,

    I know it's posted somehwere here, but give me Jennifer Burns email address so I can let her know what a wonderful new trail we have over yonder.
    ape:

    Thanks for sending an email to Jennifer Burns regarding your user experience on the new Aerie trail. Her email address is: jmburns@fs.fed.us

    TD

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    Quote Originally Posted by traildoc
    The lower section has the supposed wash issues and the upper section has the other issues.

    TD
    Are we still talking about the Aerie Trail? What will it take to resolve the issues so that it can be completed?

  17. #17
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    Doc not to be negative but if I was given the go -ahead from the fs for the contruction of a new trail . I for one would do it by their standards no matter the effort or time it took to complete. Just me . Not saying what has been done won't work or survive. Just saying since it wasn't done to their standards it can not be offically added to nventory therefore at this time its just like many of the other social trails. But since its new they need to act accordingly in a timely manner.

    Maybe you can get out there and bring some of that said stuff up to their standards. You have over a month.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ_AlanS
    Are we still talking about the Aerie Trail? What will it take to resolve the issues so that it can be completed?
    I don't know exactly what it will take, but I will be providing updates as time goes on and will let you know how it was resolved. This is a learning process at this point.

    I am trying to get the FS to see a different way of building a sustainable trail. Maybe they will change some of their standards and maybe they won't. If they were to leave the trail alone for a year or more and see what happens, I might learn that my trail building style is amaturistic, and I need to get into another line of getting some exercise.

    I know my building style isn't close to being perfect, but it is definitely pretty darn efficent, and so far the people who have hiked and ridden it say it is a nice addition to the current Sedona trail system.

    It has taken NINE years to get to this point. I can't see the harm in giving it another year to see if the trail holds up.

    There is a downside though, if the trail holds up w/o FS and CREC intervention and it is a BIG success, what then?

    TD

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    Quote Originally Posted by clockwork
    Doc not to be negative but if I was given the go -ahead from the fs for the contruction of a new trail . I for one would do it by their standards no matter the effort or time it took to complete. Just me . Not saying what has been done won't work or survive. Just saying since it wasn't done to their standards it can not be offically added to nventory therefore at this time its just like many of the other social trails. But since its new they need to act accordingly in a timely manner.

    Maybe you can get out there and bring some of that said stuff up to their standards. You have over a month.
    cw:

    I am curious, what are the most hours you personally have put into anyone trail project? Do you ever work on projects you don't believe in? Can you give me an example of one of those projects and what you thought was stupid when you were completing it?

    TD

  20. #20
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    most time into one project hmmm...... 4 years for one not legit (rouge) ,rest is legit: Annually for 3 years up till this year up in globe working with the globe forest service doing maintance every year, Trail work with the forest service on pass mountain, trailwork on the hawes trailsystem with the forest service. With most projects I tend to play a good role bringing some good knowledge with me. When on legit trail opps I work by the book or within the boundries established by the forest service prior to any work.

    you want an example of something I built I thought was dumb or not properly thought out ? I can give you many but none on the legit side of things sorry. Actually now that I think of it the man in charge of the project had us putting waterbars in with med sized rocks upright. Not the best solution but hey I was happy to be giving back even if I didn;t agree with the method .
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by traildoc
    I don't know exactly what it will take, but I will be providing updates as time goes on and will let you know how it was resolved. This is a learning process at this point.

    I am trying to get the FS to see a different way of building a sustainable trail. Maybe they will change some of their standards and maybe they won't. If they were to leave the trail alone for a year or more and see what happens, I might learn that my trail building style is amaturistic, and I need to get into another line of getting some exercise.

    I know my building style isn't close to being perfect, but it is definitely pretty darn efficent, and so far the people who have hiked and ridden it say it is a nice addition to the current Sedona trail system.

    It has taken NINE years to get to this point. I can't see the harm in giving it another year to see if the trail holds up.

    There is a downside though, if the trail holds up w/o FS and CREC intervention and it is a BIG success, what then?

    TD

    Change their standards to meet your? Not likely. Sorry there is no substitute for a full properly sloped bench. Yup partial bench works but also leads to maintance before a full bench would.I know from experience and so do they.

    I would be safe to say that more than 60% of trail users would not be courteous enough and stay on the soild portion of the bench while the outside settles and hardens. Hell it was hard to get people to stay off our fresh partial bench cuts out at the spot which see's less traffic than the area you are working in .It also takes time a 1 foot deep edge fill can take 3-6 months to harden through and thorugh if your lucky and thats if you get some good deep soaking rainstorms that are light but long.

    I wish you the best of luck but waiting to see the damage after a year in a place like sedona would be irresponsible on anyones part. Almost all of the partial benches have worked out fine and are solid but they are skinny in comparison to FS trail tread specs.


    here you go buddy maybe you can find your solutions in here.

    http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/...232806/toc.htm
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by clockwork
    Change their standards to meet your? Not likely. Sorry there is no substitute for a full properly sloped bench. Yup partial bench works but also leads to maintance before a full bench would.I know from experience and so do they.

    I would be safe to say that more than 60% of trail users would not be courteous enough and stay on the soild portion of the bench while the outside settles and hardens. Hell it was hard to get people to stay off our fresh partial bench cuts out at the spot which see's less traffic than the area you are working in .It also takes time a 1 foot deep edge fill can take 3-6 months to harden through and thorugh if your lucky and thats if you get some good deep soaking rainstorms that are light but long.

    I wish you the best of luck but waiting to see the damage after a year in a place like sedona would be irresponsible on anyones part. Almost all of the partial benches have worked out fine and are solid but they are skinny in comparison to FS trail tread specs.
    cw:

    Thanks for the benching information, kinda like being back in my first IMBA class.

    Have you watched the video of the mountain bikers riding the trail?
    http://www.vimeo.com/14354775

    Much of the trail has no bench and the except for a few spots no more than a 3 to 4" fill which up until recently had an optimum amount of moisture in it to get a 95% compaction result per the ASTM 1557 standard.by riding bikes on it.



    TD

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    Quote Originally Posted by clockwork
    Change their standards to meet your? Not likely. Sorry there is no substitute for a full properly sloped bench. Yup partial bench works but also leads to maintance before a full bench would.I know from experience and so do they.

    I would be safe to say that more than 60% of trail users would not be courteous enough and stay on the soild portion of the bench while the outside settles and hardens. Hell it was hard to get people to stay off our fresh partial bench cuts out at the spot which see's less traffic than the area you are working in .It also takes time a 1 foot deep edge fill can take 3-6 months to harden through and thorugh if your lucky and thats if you get some good deep soaking rainstorms that are light but long.

    I wish you the best of luck but waiting to see the damage after a year in a place like sedona would be irresponsible on anyones part. Almost all of the partial benches have worked out fine and are solid but they are skinny in comparison to FS trail tread specs.


    here you go buddy maybe you can find your solutions in here.

    http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/...232806/toc.htm
    One last qustion, what is the degree of a properly sloped bench and with the trails that you have personally been involved in, do they still all have that properly sloped bench, and if not what is done about it? What you talking about sounds good in the classroom, but unless your trail bed is concrete it seems a little unrealistic to maintain at your proper degree of outslope.

    TD

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    Can't tell you the proper degree. But what was used as the standard was that one was suppose to beable to stand/walk on the tread without feeling "any" side ways roll in the ankle . I know sounds abit much but all areas that have proper outslope have held up very well and water has drained of the side not down the trail . Although I orginally thought more outslope would run water off quicker. but it comes down to having the hiker in mind when building trails. This was in the Globe ranger district. Most of this was on sixshooter and a portion of rebench on telephone trail. A properly outsloped trail will only need creep removed once every 3-5 years depending on the grade above the bench.

    The main thing here is this is a new FS trail ?Correct? This isn't a social trail with a few problems they are adopting into the inventory. With that said it just has to meet their standards as a multi use trail. Did you flag said route? Have it approved route that is? Did they express their concerns with trail design or proper water shed? If not shame on their part .

    . As far as desert stuff our work at the spot that has proper outslope has held up extreamly well no issues at all or maintaince. Areas that were outsloped too much were eventually fixed by adding material to the outside edge decreasing the amount of outslope as not to have side erroison from quicker moving water. Areas that had too much inslope erode the inside of the trail creating an inner water channel. Some of those areas were fixed and erroison came to a hault. Other areas not addressed have just about washed away and have been reclaimed by nature but in an ugly way.

    I did watch the video and I see alot of the same issues sorry . Its fine if I look at it through riders eyes ..
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  25. #25
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    That's my question "who flagged the trail"? I saw all the blue tape/ribbons, so if the FS flagged it then location should not be an issue......if TD flagged it, then the FS should have reviewed it first and made comments about small wash crossings prior to using any shovels. "measure twice, cut once". The way I see it, the FS is the foreman and TD along with the volunteers are the crew. Ultimately the FS is responsible for the crew and maybe a little more direction/supervision should have been spent up front so no reworking would be required later. FS knew TD was working, maybe they didn't know how fast he can work so they didn't send a rep onsite until it was too late? Maybe FS had a few too many furloughs? Now we can blame the mortgage brokers, banks and our current administration

    Overall, the trail is nicely done. It has two different personalities split between the lower and upper elevations. The lower is a very fast, rollercoaster type trail when riding in the downhill direction. The upper more rocky, more narrow, with great views.

    Thanks TD and crew.

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