Saturday, June 21, 2008

I haven't really spent a lot of time discussing the finer points of my work. This is mainly because it would be all complaints and I am trying to keep things on the positive side. However, I would like to mention that three out of my four days at work this past week were quite satisfying. We had to hike three miles into the work site and build abutments for a bridge on Juneau Creek. There was an awesome waterfall right down stream from where we were working. The contractor that built the bridge over river left sketchy gravel approachs with steep slopes on both sides of the bridge (see "almost" before and after pictures). The first picture is not actually a before picture. We had already put in some of the lumber. Imagine that it is not there and that there is a scary slope down to the river! A lot of bikers use this trail and the potential to slide down the side of the approach is fairly high. We hauled in a couple trailer loads of lumber with the ATVs and constructed wooden walls to hold the gravel in and then hauled load after load of gravel from a borrow pit about a half a mile away to fill in the gaps. I must say that the ATVs make our work much easier, though they have a huge impact on the trail and are a pain to back up with trailers. Turning around on the trails is also an issue. We often just bowl over trail riparian area and break off branches and squash vegetation. This is why we encountered the USFS cabins crew with a llama train. They have a very light impact on the trail and are the prefered mode of transportation on muddy trails. Also, since the trail was muddy we got see a lot of animal tracks including moose, black bear and brown bear (see picture of HUGE prints!!).

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