Aug 3, 2014

A couple of weekends ago I rode through the Gandy Dancer Bypass with the chainsaw on the front of my bike.  I noticed that the little boardwalk just south of the State Line Creek hard crossing was really too short (you had to ride through the mud to get onto it).  When I placed it there I kinda figured that this might happen as it was not built for that spot, it was built for a spot around the corner on an obsoleted segment of trail.  During the week I built another 7 foot long boardwalk in my garage to add to the old short one.

The first order of business on Saturday was to mow the clearcut in the Gandy Dancer Bypass with the DR Brushcutter.  The first step was to tow that Brushcutter out there with the ATV and trailer.  I use a super secret access trail that used to be part of the Enduro a llllooooonnnngg time ago to get out there.   It was nice and early in the morning and cool outside when I started.  This “mow job” is even longer than the one I did the previous weekend in the Harlis Bypass.  The good news is that this newer Brushcutter did it easily on one tank of gas.  The old V-twin one would run out on me on this loop.  Somewhere out there I bent the mechanism that puts allows you go in and out of the locking differential mode.  The Brushcutter was acting kinda wacky, sometimes having a locking diff, sometimes not.  I looked underneath it and could see the bent up parts.  Oh well, it was still manageable with a bit more muscle power required on my part.

In order to get the boardwalk out to the State Line Creek crossing, I figured that I might “utilize” another old Enduro Trail segment.  It is one that I had been checking out over the years but knew was blocked by a big old downed pine tree that I never bothered to clear.  This trail segment lead out to the clearcut where it became completely obscured by new popple growth.  I wasn’t sure how to go to the existing trail from it.   I ended up walking a bit past the end of the trail that I could navigate, and then turned my GPS on to track my walk back to the ATV.  I left the GPS tracking while I mowed so, when I was done I could see how close the beginning of my little hike on the old trail was to the existing OHM trail.  It was really close!

After mowing the Bypass and loading up the Brushcutter on the trailer, I rode back to the old trail intersection and headed up this other old Enduro Trail segment towards the clearcut.  I cut out the big pine tree and cleared some of the other debris from the old segment.  When I got to the clearcut, I used the GPS to walk through the thick stuff right to the existing OHM trail.  Now I knew exactly what I needed to clear.  I unloaded the Brushcutter, fired it up and knocked popples down until I got about 10 feet from the OHM trail.  I had my route to drag the boardwalk to the Creek crossing.

I loaded up the Brushcutter and rode the ATV back to the truck.  I pulled the boardwalk out of my trailer and hitched it up to the ATV with this little device I made with some scrap wood and a trailer hitch coupler.   I also loaded up the digging tools and, back down the trail I went.  The drag went well until I got into a tight-ish popple section.  There was a 30 yard long section where I had to cut down one 3″ tree just to get the ATV through.  For that I unhitched the boardwalk and hand dragged it through until things opened back up.  Once I got to the site (which was nice and dry now), it was just a matter of moving the old boardwalk up and out of the way and leveling the spot with the digging tools.    After both boardwalks were in place, I capped off the job by adding edge boards to the old boardwalk.

I ran into Roy as I was loading my truck and he told me that there was a gang staying at the Forsberg cabin, so I headed there for the night.  Onto Sunday….

Sunday was another mowing day, this time in Dave Anderson’s Section.  This was sort of uneventful as I have been mowing the same segments in there for several years.  I also mowed the little singletrack trail that runs around the north end of the Gravel Pit Parking Lot on the Net Lake Road.  I just have a soft spot for that little trail that has not been part of the Enduro for several years.  It needs its share of maintenance every year to keep it open, that’s for sure.