What a great day. We all (28 of us) met up at the Yellow Gap area to start some dirty, dirty on Laurel Mountain. The report was about 30 trees down and a few trail "events". It was my joy to work on one such "event". Below is a great picture of Valerie Naylor getting ready for war. The group in front of her car is everyone amassing for the workday and Mike Brown and Mark Almond getting the work plan together.
I will tell you when you have a great turn out for a workday like this, you get a lot accomplished and also have time to do some fun stuff along the way. Our main goal was to resolve the issue presented when a large Chestnut oak took a bit of trail with it as it fell. I had the idea of cutting the stump low and trying to wench it back into place, but as we arrived I knew that probably wouldn't work. As is always my way we gave it a shot first then moved on to the more labor intensive, and turns out more fun job of extracting rock and creating a retaining wall and fill slope to cross the root ball disaster.
With a few come-alongs and an immense amount of manpower we wrestled boulders into place. The crew was a rowdy savage bunch, perfect for this kind of work. the majority of the stones moved weighed close to a ton, literally 2,000 pounds. The stones seemed to fall into place in a destined sort of way they dropped out of the root ball and almost in to the perfect place.
The final picture, is the final product. Next time you are on Laurel Check it out. This was no small feat, but the joy is the fact that in a few years it will mearly be a part of the Laurel Mountain experience, assimilated into the joy and pleasure that this trail can give you. Props to Mark and Mike, great job guys.