Betsy Blog

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Love Your Mother

Mt. Saint Helen's Earth Day 2007

We headed out early early in the morning of Sunday, April 22 to join the Washington Trail Association (WTA) for Earth Day trail maintenance at Mt. St. Helen's.

Look Out- He's Got an Axe! and a shovel and some sheers.

Gett'n Diggy With It!
I enjoyed the demolition of the trail. Swinging my big heavy tools, chopping out solid hunks of soil. I really got in touch with the earth on Earth Day.

After about 1.5 hours of work, we saw progress, but progress in the wrong direction. Birdy and I both felt that our efforts should have been used on different projects. We weren't pleased with the idea of widening the trail, it looked perfectly fine to begin with. The volunteer staff for WTA didn't really know what she was doing, it didn't seem that out of the 20 people out that day no one really knew what was going on.
Lack of planning and direction on their part. Bummer for us, we thought we were going out to do some good, I feel that we sort of did some good by volunteering, but what we actually did was make a nice scenic trail look twice as wide in one small section.
It was our first time with WTA, now we have a better understanding on what should be going into trial maintenance, we'll do better next time.

The most exciting part of our trip was on the way back home. When we jumped into the truck at the trial head parking lot we saw our gas light was on, yup our tank was EMPTY. Earlier in the morning on our way to the mountain I noticed our gas was getting low. Someone decided we didn't need to stop and fill up for gas because he didn't want to be late for the WTA trail safety talk. Always ready for a Birddog adventure.

We had about 25 miles to the nearest gas station, or that's what we thought. Birddog remembered our drive was mostly up hill, so we could just roll all the way back down. Around every corner and every long stretch along the mountain I kept reminding him that I'd be waiting for him in the truck while he walked for gas. We were both nervous. We tried turning off the engine on a big downhill, NOT RECOMMENDED.

We thought we could save some gas fumes, instead the steering wheel got stiff and the brakes barely worked. Forget that idea. At mile 25 our minds lifted, but around the corner was a barn, not a gas station. At least we were near civilization, we could hop on a horse and ride bare back to the Pump'n'Go. I don't know how, but we ended up going about 30 miles after our tank read Empty. I think the Mountain Gods did appreciate our attempts to save the land!


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