Ear to the ground:

"We have a saying at our house: if you're gonna be stupid, you gotta be tough."
– Local father of three discussing tough-love approach to child rearing

On the road again

It’s been only a few weeks since the epic rains of September decimated Horse Gulch Road and parts of many local trails, but Trails 2000 and legions of volunteers have been getting after it.

Since two back-to-back storms dropped nearly 4 inches of rain on the area, skies cleared long enough to allow crews to shore up damaged parts on Telegraph, Meadow, Sale Barn, lower Colorado Trail, Rim Trail and Big Canyon.

Animas Mountain also endured significant run off. However, the grade of the trail is so steep that, ideally, a complete re-route may be needed.

On the up side, trails in Overend, Twin Buttes, and Dalla are all reportedly in excellent shape.

Stepping in to help with maintenance have been student crews from Animas High, DHS’ cross country team and Timberline Academy. There have also been scores of local riders pitching in to get the trails back in riding shape during what it typically the premiere fat-tire season in Durango.

“It’s fabulous. People are really stepping up to the plate,” Trails 2000 Executive Director Mary Monroe-Brown said. “In some ways, the rains were a blessing in disguise.”

Work will continue this week, from 3 - 6 p.m. Thursday, on Mike’s Trail – parts of which suffered severe rutting. However, as a testament to previous efforts, work done on rerouting parts on lower Mike’s a few years back withstood the deluge. “The section we fixed held,” said Monroe-Brown.

Members of the FLC Cycling Team will transport tools to the Stacy’s-Mike’s junction on Thursday, which is where volunteers should report for duty.

Up next after Mike’s is more work on the Meadow Loop. Meanwhile, City and County crews are expected to get to work on the Horse Gulch Road in the next two or three weeks.

Obviously, the road will entail more heavy lifting than pulaskis and mere mortal lower backs can handle. “They’ll be bringing in heavy equipment to fill in where the road caved in,” she said, adding that the first 1,200 feet of the road suffered the heaviest damage. In addition, crews will “deberm” the drainage (as the road sits lower than the creek), fill in ruts and put in a layer of gravel fill on top.

And as long as volunteers keep showing up and Old Man Winter stays at bay, work will continue.

“We have a priority list,” said Monroe-Brown. “We hope to have the most serious stuff wrapped up before the snow flies.”

For trail conditions and trailwork schedules, go to: www.trails2000.org.