Sunday, February 3, 2013

Dirty Digging

Well yes, it is that time of the year again. Time to begin another marathon trail building effort.

Last year we completed the Wallum Froglet trail after much sweating and straining and carting of about 6 tonnes of rock half a kilometre uphill. Suffice to say it was a massive undertaking and a steep learning curve in trail building, planning and management.

This time around we have very similar terrain that is steep and challenging. The difference is that we are starting from the top of the hill and working our way down the slope toward an existing trail. This will make for much less physical effort required from us volunteers and actually does beg the question "why didn't we work downhill last year?"........

Saturday morning dawned cool and calm after thunderstorms on Friday night. Perfect trail building conditions with the hilltop shrouded in cloud.

The massive amount of rain we had last weekend, topped off by the rain Friday night kept the soil soft and easy to dig. This made progress relatively quick for the morning.

While we had plenty of experienced regulars we also had a good number of first time trail builders. Well, first time to our trail building, as they seemed to have a pretty good idea of what to do. This assisted with the rapid progress we made for the morning.

One major positive this year is that things feel more organised. They may not actually be, but it feels as if they are. This may be purely down to our increasing experience or the attendees increasing experience or just how smoothly Day 1 went.

Or it may be because we had steak AND salad, as well as the usual sausage sizzle after we had finished digging for the day. Totally upmarket!

The small amount of trail is open for riders to visit and experience. Hopefully this will entice others to come along and help out with the build in the coming weeks.

Floody took an awesome panorama photo with his magical iPhone and it gives a great feel for what our little piece of bush looks like.
I am looking forward to next weeks progress as we will be getting closer to the really interesting terrain. Bring it on!
Cheers and thanks for reading.


  1. Great pics mate...would offer to help, but you know us kiwis..fully booked at the moment!

    1. Hmmm....I though by offering a FREE sausage half of New Zealand would be over here! ;)

  2. "why didn't we work downhill last year?"........

    Well thats you get when your incharge of things.

    1. Ahh, but I wasn't in charge. I just talk a lot so sometimes it appears that way.

    2. "I just talk a lot so sometimes it appears that way."

      I see, so thats why it took so long to build the trail. Too many Chief's and not enough indians.

  3. Great pics. I am glad you had a lot of people turn out to help with the building. Of course feeding them at the end that is always an incentive.

    I am surprised with all the rain the soil wasn't too muddy to shovel. We have really heavy clay here and it is like thick concrete to try and shovel after a lot of rain and sticks to everything. You can walk on it and have 4-5 inches of it stuck to the bottom of your boots.

    1. The food is the best bit!
      As for the soil, it is nice and loamy at the top of the hill with with quite a bit of rock. Where it is clay, yes, it is hard going. We will need the jackhammer this year as there are some large slabs of rock that have to be built over/through. Should be an amazing trail once done and a smaller effort than last year.


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