July 6 & 7, 2013

A very long time ago Roy Fleming built a boardwalk that crossed a slot in a very old beaver dam.  This was part of the original routing of the Harlis Bypass.  I noticed this spring that the boardwalk beams had collapsed and it was blocking the flow, which made a short crossing into a long one.  I got out my trusty tape measure and made a plan.

On Saturday morning I went to Menards and purchased the lumber and hardware for two 8′ x 40″ boardwalks.  Since the decking on Roy’s boardwalk was still good, I also bought new 8′ beams and edge boards so that I could fluff up the old boardwalk.  This would result in 24′ of boardwalk for the spot.

The same day I cut the lumber and built the two new boardwalks in my garage at home.   With the new boardwalks, the lumber, my ATV and tools all loaded up I headed up to the Nemadji.  I started work there at 5:00pm and the first task was to drag one boardwalk to the site.  I knew that there was an abandon logging road that I could co-opt to shorten the haul but I had seemed to remember that there was a swamp or two on the way from the Bearhunter to the singletrack.  I walked it first and found a dry way through and was rewarded with an easy haul.  I then chipped the rotten timbers from the old boardwalk decking and made a pile.  The decking all had nice long nails sticking out of it.  I hauled in the second boardwalk and called it a night.  The bartender at the Duquette Tavern took pity on me and made up a burger and fries even though the grill was closed by the time I got there.

It rained Saturday night and Sunday dawned cool and foggy.  I was the only customer in the Tavern for breakfast and was reminded that we need to put up a poster for the Enduro so the folks in Duquette know the date.

I started work by loading the boardwalk rebuild kit onto the ATV and heading to the spot again.  I took some extra time to clear the face slappers from the singletrack on the way.  After pulling all of the nails out of all of the old deck boards, I reconstructed the old boardwalk.  Turns out it was 12′ long originally so I ended up with some extra boards.

Setting the boardwalks with a bunch of digging and shifting finished up the job.  It looked pretty darn good when I left.  The rain from the night before was flowing through the spot and it all seemed to be working as I had hoped.

To finish the day I needed to route, flag and GPS two new trail segments that connect the old, obsolete bridge site (see July 3) back south to the Bearhunter.  This is a reroute of the “Enduro Only” trail between the Harlis Bypass and the Congo.

Chris Palmer got this started on the east side of the creek the last weekend in June.  He did a great job of routing (for a rookie!).  The west side segment I did myself.   It was pretty brushy on that side and my Silky Zubat got a workout.   You had to cut brush otherwise it would have been tough to follow that pink flagging.  I submitted the new plan for that rerouting plan to the DNR on July 8th.  Hopefully we’ll get the go-ahead before the Enduro.

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