I started this over a month ago. I don’t know where the time has gone, but this is long overdue. Just pretend the trail work day in King Range just happened last weekend as you read this…
I don’t know where to start. I got goosebumps more than once last weekend. Our trail work party was unprecedented, and will be hard to follow. The bar is set in the stratosphere. Where to start.
Let’s start with the weather. Early in the week, forecasts were calling for a significant amount of rain; we got it, and the timing could not have been better. The heavy rains on Tuesday and Wednesday made for uncomfortable conditions, but the machines chugged on under the command of master trail builder Joey Kline.
Thursday the heavy rain tapered off to scattered showers, and a handful of volunteers managed to get in several hours of trail work. Already a significant amount of work had been done. BLM folks had prepared for a small army of trail workers, and I was only hoping we could fulfill their expectations.
By Friday the weather was warm and sunny, and the raw, freshly cut trail was ripe for shaping. Volunteers started rolling in mid morning while a few of us were setting everything up in the campground. By around nine o’clock Friday night, the campground was almost full with trail volunteers. My fears of a small turnout were gone.
Saturday morning I was wakened by cars rumbling up King Peak Road into Tolkan campground much earlier than I expected. You all just kept rolling in. I’m sitting here with a silly grin on my face thinking about it.
Over fifty of you were there to help finish cutting the missing link in what Joey Kline affectionately calls “Pacific Rim Trail” on Saturday. The post trail work party at Tolkan campground was classic Humboldt County. We had great food, great beer, great friends, and great homegrown music.
Sunday was the bonus round. It was asking a lot, and I wasn’t expecting many to show up. I was feeling pretty dogged by Sunday morning myself, but a dozen or so of us went out and shaped at least a half dozen berms, and cleaned the tread in between them in just a few short hours.
Yes, legs wobbling and grinning a huge grin is how I left King Range Monday afternoon. I returned to my life back in Blue Lake on Monday night around ten o’clock. I still get a warm and fuzzy feeling thinking about last weekend; I’m sure I will for many years to come.
Thank you. Thank you to Geoff Huber, and the local businesses who matched his contributions for some incredible drawing prizes; Humboldt Undergrown Bicycle Repair who contributed to the $250 prize, to Adventure’s Edge who contributed to the $500 prize, and to Revolution Bicycle Repair who contributed to the $1000 prize. As the barbecue wound down, we drew names from a jar. The winner of the $250 was Cathy Crandell; the $500 prize went to Tom Phillips, and the $1000 went to Carolyn Richter.
Thank you to KMUD for getting a bunch of Lagunitas beer donated for the event and for helping promote the event. Thank you to Mad River Brewing Company for donating a keg of their award winning Steelhead Extra Pale Ale. And thank you to Chautauqua Natural Foods in Garberville for the goodies they provided for the trail workers.
Thank you to Justin Graves and all who helped put together the awesome promotional video. I believe it went a long way to encourage people to come out and help.
A HUGE thank you to Gary and his crew at the Whitethorn BLM office. They’re the most awesome land management team a mountain biker could ever hope for.
A HUGER thank you to IMBA Trail Solutions’ Joey Kline. Joey worked through the wet weather and cut the trail through some of the roughest terrain King Range has to offer, and that’s saying a lot. And, beyond his superhuman trail building skills, when Joey reached the contractually allotted time, he continued to work using his vacation time. Joey, you are awesome! Thank you.
Finally, but most important, thank you to all who showed up and put forth such an amazing effort to see this project come to fruition. You all ROCK!