After putting in six hours of "trail build day"preparation during the week with Chris, I must admit I was slow to drag my sorry carcase out of bed at 5am. Not helping my cause was the fact that I had assisted a mate with a particularly large bottle of red wine the night before. My wife keeps delighting in quoting me on the night as saying "it would be irresponsible of me to make Jon drink that all by himself !" Geez, I'm a good mate. I really took one for the team Friday night and was glad I wasn't operating any heavy machinery Saturday morning!
We finally have access to the forest for one of our vehicles and it was a godsend not to have to carry all of our tools the 1 kilometre up the hill to where we are working. Yes, we needed all of our energy to push wheel barrows loaded with rock the last 400 metres or so! I was a lather of sweat after the first five minutes and progressed from here to being totally drenched before we had finished for the morning. Man was it humid!
As expected, the digging was tough. The steepness of the side slope necessitates a wide bench to ride on, which means mucho soil to be removed. In various spots on the low side of significant trees, retaining walls had to be build. This equals hauling more rock in the heat. Hard yakka for all concerned.
Now, my trail pixies who had taken 40 000 photographs last week were having a sleep in today, so the photographic documentation of the morning is somewhat scant. Here is all I managed to snap.
Now, while there may be no evidence of anyone actually working in the above photos, rest assured that everyone that came along put in a mighty effort. Jeff was just testing the line for us in that last photo. It always helps to have a bike on hand while building so as to get the flow of a certain section just right.
Anyway, the guys (there were no girls this week) punched out about 80 to 100 metres of trail. That leaves this 30 metres for next week, before we reach the gully crossing in the top right corner.
We will be through the crossing and climbing up the opposite hillside next week. This may require the use of a jackhammer to persuade some rock we ran into to play nicely, but just quietly, I am all for some powered assistance at this point!
Sunday morning dawned bright and shiny after light rain Saturday night and a quick ride up the trail revealed a nicely bedded down trail. We couldn't have planned the rain any better!
Sunday afternoon and it was off to Underwood Park to let the kids loose on their mountain bikes for a few laps of the track. We ended up with four kids and about six adults lapping, despite the heat and humidity. A wall of thunderstorms approaching from the west put a pleasantly cool end to the afternoon, with the kids bundled into the car and sent home, while Chris and I did some mad, single speed spinning through Daisy Hill forest to beat the rain home by about five minutes! No wonder my legs felt trashed today on my road ride!
All in all, a very productive and fun weekend.
The trail, so far........