CATS Break in New Trail, June 21, 2018, City of Loveland Natural Area

Members of CATS officially started whacking trail at Lake Bodecker Loveland this evening and it was hot. We decided to work close to the swamp early before the skitos decided to come out and find us. There was a mild breeze and distant thunderstorms that kept the event workable. Though the storms came up on us and actually passed right overhead, we kept working. Cutting in a three foot trail in established field grass is rather tough work. We can all attest to that! Once we got the rhythm of trail cutting, the crew started busting out trail and playing jump frog. Kathleen was everywhere with the camera and snapped some delightful photos. Cutting out flat trail is not the most exciting trail experience but having so many pleasant members around makes it fun and productive. We took an evening break (called in by Connie) at the lake under the cliff side. There was some shade there and a bit of a slight wind off the lake. This new trail will be over a half mile in length and provide the citizens with a loop trail to enjoy the lake and field. This trail should be a welcome addition to all the trails over at Mariana Butte as the neighbors can add this loop to their daily walk. The city is planning on steps coming down off 1st St and a small bridge over the existing water canal there. Our job is to cut in good trail and maintain 3’ width. I think we can accommodate that request!

Members: Navy Bob, Connie, Dean, Ben Walter(new), Leigh, Andy, Kathleen and Ben Ziff, Scott
Hours:   4.5

RESULTS:   375 feet of new soft surface finished trail – 3’ wide

·       Cool – not hot  (the start of the second hour)
·       No skitos – till the ending bit
·       Food items to share – pineapple and homemade cookies (thanks Kathleen and Andy’s wife)
·       For some – close to home work
·       Thunderstorm passed over – always a safety concern
·       Alicia (daughter of Ziff’s) came out for a surprise visit
·       Two married couples working on the trail (no fighting)
·       Deer walked on to project site
·       Sounds of nature – bullfrog, Bob’s whining
·       Little toads
·       “Ben and I were here!”
·       Always fun getting together
·       Work can let go your brain for a while – meaning you can relax and just not focus on anything else except trail work
·       Bob’s complete run down on his detox dietary restrictions and how he is starving to death
·       Hot at the start
·       Grass too hard to cut with picks
·       Cactus wounds
I bet you do not know the original name for CATS? We were originally called – “Coalition of Addicted Trailbuilders Society” caused it sounded rather neat, like “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”. We wanted something catchy and unusual to attract folks to join us on our quest. Because coalition and society were too close to the same meaning; I was urged to change the name to Colorado. So there you have it. We are focused in Colorado but not limited to our talents going elsewhere. All history now as we move forward in time. Eleven years have transpired since we started this trail club. Yikes – we must be getting older? Precious moments of time well spent. That is how I prefer to remember my trail days with CATS. People ask “do you ever go back and review your trail work – like hiking it?” That is funny because Connie and I are always whacking trail and not finding the time to go back and enjoy the fruits of our labor. This I recommend to all CATS members. Go back and enjoy the trails we whack. I remember trail structures and happy faces of members that built them. I can picture moments in time when we were under stress to get ‘it’ done. I can remember my golf cart bucket tipping over with an overload of tools. I remember a smashed fingertip and ER visit. Memories are what make us human and lament times gone by but at the same time makes us feel good about living. I remember we had to borrow tools all the time. Now, we are blessed with a van full of them. Get it together Bob – back to the present. My diet is almost over and I can drink beer again and eat real food. I promise not to be so grumpy this Thursdayas I will have been eating half a cow by then. Remember – we are starting at 4 pm this Thursday as the temperature is slated hit 100°F. Light fitting clothing, Havelock’s recommended, sunblock, bug spray and lots of water to be brought out by our trail volunteers. Please bring a hamburger for me. 

On the trail,

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Bob Johnson
Field Director - CATS


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