Hello Fasterskier readers. I hope you enjoyed the summer. Mine was pretty good. The Vermont weather was fantastic and I hope the great summer translates into a mindblowing snowy winter. Before the snow flies there is a lot of work to do on the trails to make them ready for grooming and more importantly, skiing.
Just about once each month during the summer I’d walk the trails with the kids and see what work needed to be completed. There was no plan to expand the trails this season so we just picked up branches and enjoyed the walks. A few windstorms and heavy rain events knocked over a few trees leaving them hanging as Widow Makers or blocking the trails. The grasses and other vegetative matter has grown taller than a newly minted fourth grader and needs to be cut.
The bridge we worked so hard to install last season has held up great and is inundated by Maidenhair Ferns The tree companies clearing branches from the powerlines needed a place to dump chips so we snagged a few loads for distribution into hollows and uneven terrain. Much easier to move lightweight chips than move earth with a shovel and definitely less cash expensive compared to renting or hiring and excavator to level things a bit. The chips should add a bit of organic matter to the muck, decompose and build decent soil to support growing grass. Mowing sucks but making a pass twice a year with the scythe is actually good exercise and enjoyable.
The grass seed we spread in the spring has grown into a decent carpet and after the autumnal mowing we’ll put down a bit of limestone to sweeten the soil a bit since a good percentage of the trails run through conifer laden woods and tend to have acid soils. Adding chips will acidify things too and the limestone will help counter the effect of the chips. The spot or in this case meandering treatment will give the grass a better shot at remaining strong and hold the trails together and with luck, help cover the small rocks and other base destroying detritus scattered about.
In addition to trail work there is rebuilding the roller and welding up a new leveling drag. These two tasks should have been completed during the summer when I had more time. I had a professor in college who’d assign a term paper on Monday with it due on Friday. Students complained and his response: “Even with the semester to do it most of you won’t start until the due date is two days away so I’m saving you the stress of worrying about it.” Term papers and trail work suddenly feel connected.
One motivator for getting started now and not waiting for the first snow to begin the work is keeping up with the blog. I appreciate the comments and feedback from the readers. If there is anything you’re curious about please ask. This will be the third season of the at home trail network and I’m really excited to see what the season brings.