HAFTA hits a new low

05/13/2017

The lowest spot on Boundary Trail B that is! 😀

The stormy spring clouds FINALLY decided to briefly part and so our crew gathered in the Mohawk lot to make hay while the sun shone. We chose Mohawk Racetrack even though we would be working closer to 4th line and 10 sideroad as setting up at the latter would result in an untenable position given the ferocity of the flies. The fact is we were barely safe at the Mohawk track – ” Black flies! Black flies! Whatcha gonna do?”

Roundabouts quarter to ten our taste for donuts and coffee had expired, so we staged ourselves in the netting, bandannas, sprayed ourselves down with that deet, packed into the vehicles and peeled right up to 4th line and 10 sideroad. After arriving at the “deployment zone” we noticed there was another group of cars! More volunteers? Nope. A group of people calling themselves the edible hikers (or was that oedipal) were heading into the AF. Either way conditions would be a big surprise for them as a distinct lack of bug netting was noticed. Some people even had shorts on! LOL

After parking our cars HAFTA piled out and hiked to site. It quickly became apparent that trails are still quite flooded in areas as we had to backtrack around a section on Boundary Part A. Once our crew got to site on Boundary Part B the setting of armouring rock began as storms were forecast for shortly after 1pm and we had much to get accomplished.

Like the Romans discovered long before us, armouring or paving with natural rock is slow work. It will last forever, but it’s slow. Part of the chore is digging into the mud to find some sort of bottom for the rocks to rest on. If you don’t find bottom the rocks sink and settle in useless ways. The real bottom of a mud patch depends on how many people have hiked and ridden through it. Given sufficient traffic some mud patches become deep enough to swallow ATVs and tractors – A word of warning when approaching a new mud patch is to not take its depth for granted. Thankfully nothing so dramatic had occurred on the trail here or at least not yet!

In the past people had taken short-cuts in dealing with the mud by placing logs into the pit. That works for a while, but that solution is less than ideal as the typical logs placed are of such small diameter they’re more like branches. When those logs decompose they create humus which only deepens the mud pit.

Once the rotting wood cribbing/corduroy was removed we began to source rocks near the trail. Curt was disappointed there was not much in the way of amphibians around, but a few giant earth worms were discovered!

There were in fact three stretches of mud to repair and one sink hole just a bit further West.

Despite our best precautions the flies did take their pound of flesh, but that is life in the AF during spring. If you just sit around waiting for perfect conditions then nothing will happen – All in all the day turned out great and we completed our task!

Many thanks to the members who came out and gave back today, these are your trails! The club is going to buy some more spare bug netting so everybody who wants it can have access to it. Of course that won’t stop the ones that crawl up your pant legs – Please pass the calamine 🙂

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