The day started very promisingly with light rain in the Portal area and a magnificent double rainbow. Would the day bring the return of the monsoon?
For the first time, we joined forces with Wild Arizona to work on the trails. Luke from Wild Arizona arranged for us to meet at the Silver Peak Trailhead at 7am. Many of the hiking clubs’ regular contributors to the working sessions were unavailable as they were traveling in Europe, Central America, or the US. We expected a lower than usual turnout, but were pleasantly surprised by the turnout. A total of 12 embarked on the trip to the high country.
After carpooling first to Rustler Park then further up the Long Park Road to just below the Bootlegger Saddle, we got an orientation in safety practices with saws, clippers, and hoes.
The mean and median ages of the working crew was substantially lower than what we are used to as the volunteers ages ranged from 9, 11, 15, and 17 to the 70’s.
We hiked to the Crest Trail at Bootlegger Saddle and started to work going south towards Fly Saddle where the trails from Centella Point, Round Park, Long Park, and Fly Peak meet.
We sawed and pruned trees, as well as cleared vegetation as needed. The above picture is before our work and below is after.
We improved the trail tread as well.
At the new Walter’s Pass, we stabilized the rerouting of the trail by building rock support.
It was a true team effort.
It was a very hot day in Portal but quite pleasant high in the mountains where a slight breeze and some cloud cover provided welcome relief. Unfortunately, the early promise of rain fizzled out. Despite that it was a good day in the high country. Thanks to Wild Arizona for facilitating the work.
Report and pictures by Eskild Petersen