Monday, November 02, 2009

pulling up stakes

last week i went out to catamount to do some trail work.

the trails are closed, but not if you're working.

pulling up stakes

they'd just hosted two cyclocross races and a collegiate mountain bike race, so there were a lot of trail markings that needed to be pulled in.

fall races are mostly on the hillside or in the meadow, so once they're mown they have to be taped off which means a bajiliion stakes get hammered into the ground and hung with flagging tape to mark the course.

in other places the course is marked by lots of those little flags you stick into the grass.

the thing is that when the races are over, someone has to go out and take down all the tape, pick up all the little flags, and pull up the stakes. the pack basket only hold so much tape no matter how hard you jam it in there, so it takes me seven trips back and forth to the barn, which isn't much of a bother since the weather is nice and i need the exercise anyway.

i gather the stakes in piles, leaving them on trails that are easy to get to by four-wheeler, and i mark each pile with one upright stake and a streamer of tape. little flags, if present, are put neatly under a few of the stakes, to keep them from blowing away in case there's a storm.

besides the happiness of getting exercise and being useful, i am also wildly attracted to the idea that if i finish all the prep work in time, i will get to drive the four-wheeler to haul in the stakes, which are heavy.


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