A Summer of Stewardship

About the time the leaves fall from the trees and the first snow or two has hit the mountains, I am again astounded at how fast the year has passed. Granted I’m looking forward to ski season and the slower pace of the fall and winter months, but where did the year go?

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Oh wait! We went skiing last weekend for the first time this year. Exciting!

I didn’t get to any big thru-hikes this year (Sad), but I did get to do quite a bit of hiking, some paddling, a good amount of rafting, a lot of car camping, completed one short thru-hike, and lead a bunch of stewardship trips on the Oregon Desert Trail.

Ok, not too bad of a year I guess.

Kirk and I took 5 days to hike the 40-mile Timberline Trail (5 days!). We dillied and dallied our way around Mt. Hood. Took naps and got late starts to the days. It was wonderful.

We also circumnavigated Broken Top with my good pal Cindy (my Appalachian Trail hiking partner) and her friend Peter.

But the majority of my time was spent leading trail work trips with volunteers. So rewarding. Here’s a quick photo journey into those trips this year.

Fremont National Recreation Trail (and ODT) Work

Steens Mountain Wilderness Trail (and ODT) Work in Big Indian Gorge

Steens Mountain Wilderness Trail (and ODT alternate) Work in Little Blitzen Gorge

Fremont National Recreation Trail (and ODT) Work for National Public Lands Day

I also joined the Oregon Timber Trail (a long-distance bike route in Oregon that has been developing about the same time as the Oregon Desert Trail) for two trail work projects in the Fremont-Winema National Forest on sections that diverge from ODT route in the area.

Oh, and did some hiking and scouting for trails in the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

It’s pretty rewarding to be able to put these hours into improving our trails. I may not have hiked as much as I would have liked (is anything less than 1,000 miles on a long trail a year satisfying? not really), but doing so much trail work comes pretty close.

 

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