Weeknotes 18: Parkwood springs dig

16/01/2023

Saturday.

Just back from a solo dig session at Parkwood Springs. I worked on an unnamed track which has been there for awhile running down through the old ski village, so it’s pretty neglected, pretty abandoned, and ends pretty abruptly on the old ski slope. Has obviously been built by machine I guess in the past because it’s quite wide and well built but it’s worn out pretty badly, and filled up with sticks and leaves. It doesn’t seem to get a lot of use.

The main thing I did was clear the first three or four turns, and then I built two little jumps into the berms, I also tried out as a technique that Claire Narraway (from Earthwatch) talked to me about, which was building log and stick piles for insects. So everything, all the sort of fallen tree debris that I collected I put into big stacks at the side of the trail with fallen tree branches. I also stacked up a  bunch of Birch logs from a fallen tree that had been burned, I guess in the summer when they had lots of fires. The tree was maybe six inches diameter. I dragged that into position and tried to use that as a kind of sketch for a new turn on the landing into a turn so I’m hoping this stack can do two jobs.

Going out digging was probably a bit of a bad idea because I’ve got a sprained ankle, but I was feeling pretty restless in the house and had a bit of an itch to get out, so not being able to ride I figured I had run out of excuses. Bella was asking for a walk too, so two jobs one stone. Very happy when I got out —  really windy, blasting up the hill, but a beautiful blue sky, it really does something, paying attention to the small muddy track in the woods — I came back quite refreshed.

Collected a bag of rubbish — found  quite a few cans, found lots of glass bottles, and a plastic cider bottle filled with tissues which was disgusting. I’ve tried to document so that I can report to Trash Free Trails, but I found it quite tricky because it was hard to know when to stop, or how to how much to carry on because there’s just so much rubbish in that area. There are lots of disposable barbecues that have been chucked down into the bushes (super easy to see how all the fires started in the summer) so if I departed from the trail I’d have spent hours collecting rubbish. So think that needs a separate session, just collecting rubbish. 

Sunday

I carried on working my way down the same trail on Sunday and cleared the brambles that were growing into the track. Rebuilt two take-offs and a landing, and re-surfaced and packed a couple of berms. Got down to a super boggy section where the drainage wasn’t working. Found that there was a pipe in there but buried too low. Dug that out and dropped it down a few inches. This was seriously hard work, the ground was soaked and really rough with rocks and bits of old brick (maybe this section was near the old brick factory, or perhaps just contains some of the old rubbish from the old ski village?) not to mentioned getting skewered by the brambles.  Made me realise I need to get a pick-axe (or Mattock?) and maybe a trail tool.

On a methods note, I’m trying to keep quick and rough notes just using dictation (I’m using Apple Notes and Google Keep interchangeably). Notes works a little better with my workflow, but I think Keep’s voice recognition is probably better.

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