Trail work, Perry Hill, 05/18/08

The work crew gets ready to begin.

"Bowling Alone" (title of a book defining this concept) -- the idea that American society is fragmented, made up of alienated, disconnected individuals, that there is no sense of community any more.

Although I tend to agree with the prevalence of this concept (we seem to live in an era of cheap, meaningless networks of electronic 'friends' & 'contacts') there's still some hope I guess. This past Sunday was a trail work day on the Perry Hill mountain bike trail network in Waterbury and a record 16 people showed up to put in some hours getting the trails ready for the season.

I did a trail work session last summer as well, it was a fairly minor task accomplished in few hours, helping putting in some bends on a trail that went up hill to minimize erosion. This year's project, however, involves completely re-routing one mile of trail off of private property -- a very involved task that will absorb many man hours over the course of the early summer. Building a legitimate, sustainable mountain bike trail involves removing trees and saplings, building bridges and drainages, and removing the top layer of loam on the forest floor down to the base layer of soil... it's a pretty involved and complex job.

Taking a break a few hours later. Not shown in this photo: Clouds of black flies.

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