Friday, December 11, 2009

Footwear for Trail Planning

We spend a lot of time in the field planning trail routes before we schedule work parties. We walked the route of our Northwest Passage last weekend and it was wet. It had rained a lot, more rain and snow was in the forecast, and the property that we were walking is wet with a lot of thorns. So an early e-mail went out reminding people to bring their boots and briar-resistant pants. Some people got the message, and showed up with a variety of pac-boots, gore-tex, rubber boots, but ONE person chose alternative footwear; golf shoes. Truth be told, he did think about going home when he found he had just sneakers, but chose to tough it out with the waterproof shoes he had in his trunk. He never takes his golf gear out of the car until the snow is 2 feet deep.

We thrashed around along the powerlines, through briar patches, past hayfields, over barbed wire fences, and along stone walls looking for the best routes. The trail will head northward from the Turkey Trot Trail at Shelton Lakes. It is already cleared up to Independence Drive.

Here we are emerging from some of the powerlines into one of the meadows. The trail will follow the edge of the meadow to avoid conflicts with farming in the summer.

We passed a former farm pond, which is probably an attractive frog pond in the spring. We also saw a really striking grove of large pin oaks that we'll have to route the trail through.

There are some nice views of nearby hills from the edges of farm fields.

At the end of the walk our footwear was muddy and our feet somewhat dry. We managed to get back to the cars as the rain was starting. Note that one pair of shoes is cleaner than all the others. Now that is a sign of executive ability.

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