Reports of vicious sunflowers attacking innocent bikers on the trails at the Aqueduct trail system outside of Mancos were made to MTG's Chair during the Mancos Brewfest. So, the "Sunflower Brigade", Howard, Erin, Andy & Don from Mancos Trails Group went out on August 24 sufficiently armed to attack the enemy. We can now report that the Aqueduct trails are flowing smoothly again. Most of the sunflowers and other woody weeds that were overhanging the trails in numerous locations have been removed. Fewer handlebar grabs, scrapes and bruises mean the riding is fun again.
Just before the monsoon rains began in mid-August, five MTG volunteers backpacked up into the La Platas to set up a spike camp in upper Bear Creek Basin. It was a nearly three mile hike to camp, but it was worth it! Despite rain in the forecast, there wasn’t much rain and the wildflowers were spectacular!
Over the next two days, we got a lot of trail work done and the Sharkstooth Trail is looking good! We put in six new grade reversals/drains on the West headwall and switchbacks of upper Bear Creek Basin. We also conducted maintenance on about 30 existing drainage structures over three miles between the two passes, and mitigated a small landslide across the trail.
Overall our 2023 spike camp was a big success! We all had a lot of fun, enjoyed great camaraderie, and got some important work done, all in one of the most scenic areas in SW Colorado. Thanks, MTG volunteers! Special thanks goes to Robert Meyer for organizing this special volunteer event.
Also a big shout out goes to the Dolores Ranger District (DRD) for funding the Southwest Conservation Corps (SCC) crews during the summer of 2021. Several crews spent over two weeks camped in Upper Bear Creek Basin. They installed a couple dozen rock lined drain structures, rerouted the trail away from wetlands, and built the trail up onto a causeway through another wetland. All these improvements set MTG trail adopters up to be able to take care of this scenic segment with relative ease. Thanks DRD and SCC!
This summer MTG began hosting afternoon/evening work sessions one Monday and Wednesday on the Blue Jay Trail at Chicken Creek. They've provided a new opportunity to give back to the trails you love so much, and so far it’s been a huge success.
Thanks to everyone who has been coming to these sessions! So far we've gotten a lot done thanks to 150 volunteer hours! All the fords of the ditches were mucked out and rocks re-laid. All were rideable as of July 26th. We completed initial construction of 28 new drainage features on the Blue Jay Trail. The past work day we constructed a short trail realignment at the lower rollover cattle guard.
There’s still a chance to come out and join us! September sessions are slated for Monday 9/11 and Wednesday 9/27. We will revisit all the new drainages and tune them up for Fall. Most need to be widened and deepened somewhat.
Bring your normal PPE: closed toed shoes, long pants, eye protection, sun protection, snacks and lots of water