CATS move in to new play area, May 24, 2018, City of Loveland Natural Area

We left Boise to head over to Rossum Drive – North end to work on a trail system that has been outlined by the City of Loveland as a loop nature trail off of the main trail system next to Rt 34. Not sure of all the names at the moment, but we will be informed later. Roughly .3 mile loop at 3 foot wide needs to be laid in with crusher fines and have some causeways built to bring up the trail out of water depression areas. We were given this assignment earlier this year and planned on just one whack prior to NTD, but after walking the site with Jonathan Huey and recording the stone structures needed – we made this a two night whack. Glad we did as the first night, we just got going on building some nice causeways – three that is. What a night to remember. Our crews pushed on through hot, sticky and then the rains off and on as we prevailed and worked pass the mild showers. The sun and shade afterwards made the place delightful to witness up to about 7 pm or so – then the skitos get you. We had a light crew tonight – but managed to put in some good work. Dean, Denny, Brandon, and Andy worked on a neat turning causeway near the river. Got it done too! Connie, Leigh, Scott and I worked on a causeway by a tree. It was a deep depression area that needed the trail to come up to height. We performed heaps of digging out finished wood, plywood and other sorted stuff from the flood of 2013 that still remains buried in the silted ground. This whole area is a reminder of the wrath water can make on the land.

We were accompanied by our friends that came out in abundance after the rain – toads. So many toads that we were careful where we stepped, placed tools or even rolled the wheel barrow. Cute little ones and so many toads; where do they all hide? Leigh worked on his rubble wall or mono-wall structure down a piece from us and that turned out real nice. We finished the great wet night and then headed over to the Wapiti to pay a visit and hoist a beer or two.                                     

Members: Navy Bob, the Connie, Scott, Leigh, the Dean, Denny, Andy

Hours:   5  (overtime with no pay)

RESULTS:   Good start at rock projects needed for this trail, one 6’ causeway almost built, one 37’ causeway built, one 6’ rubble wall, pole saw tree clearing corridor performed


·       Worked through different venues of weather

·       Hot – then cool

·       Connie is back and so we have breaks now

·       Working in the woods – all shade

·       Scott went to get all three wheel barrows from Boise – thanks

·       Sausages from Scott

·       Dark beer (later)

·       Andy came in on a bike

·       Saw lots of hikers using our other trail built – Hidden Hogback Trail

·       Corridor clearing – fun to take down some limbs in the way

·       Duff removal – (how is that fun?)

·       Naturalizing area – Connie’s several specialties

·       Baby toads all over the place – easy to catch and hold – then eat (just kidding)

·       Back at Wapiti – now the dark beer

·       Nice bunch of CATers working hard out there


·       Crush is heavier after rains – dud?

·       Skitos – short for misquitos

·       Poison Ivy in certain places


Did I mention about being behind on reports especially if you fly out the next morning on vacation. I don’t look at a computer on vacation or play with a hand-held computer (cell phone) either, so this is it. Sorry. Anyway, we are ambitious and take on things that need to be done, especially trails. With this new trail – (not named yet) built soon, we will have two trails done this year and another one in the works for later in late June. Rossum Drive – North (meaning the north end as we have a project on the south end too) is a neat trail and we are happy to assist. My only concern is flooding at the stage of the 2013 flood will ruin all the work we have done. Let’s hope this river behaves and we will not see that happen in our remaining lifetimes. Speaking of lifetimes and our work; I mention to folks about our work and how it will outlast us. I hope this is not a morbid sort of analogy for our work. It just seems to me that the proper placement of stones that you cannot lift by yourself (aka – wee-wee rocks) will stay there if not for a natural calamity as we mentioned earlier. Notice I said proper placement too. We just don’t throw stones on the ground and tell them to stay; they are not dogs. We dig out spots for stone and ask them nicely to stay in place. We are after all – rock whisperers. Our work will be there for generations to enjoy. Think of the CCC and their rock work. Are we not enjoying their diligent work all these years later? Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah Mountains of Virginia has some of the most beautiful stone walls built by paid men who needed a job. We may never be able to compete with these unsung heroes from the past, but we sure do a good job with what we have on hand.

On the trail,

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Bob Johnson
Field Director - CATS


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