Home Improvement Project – Tecolote Canyon #2
As soon as I found out Carrie and I were going to be moving in to our new place above Tecolote Canyon #2 I was beyond excited about having the ability to run trails right from my door. Carrie and I have been using the trail regularly and I’m starting to really feel like it’s my second home. I’m learning all the twists and turns, the dips, and small wash outs that require a less than gracious hurdle technique. It’s not overly long but when I combine it with canyons 1 and 3 I can get some good mileage with very little road. Not only that but once I start running longer and mountain biking, I’ll be able to connect up with Marian Bear Park and Rose Canyon with only a couple miles of road between the two trail heads. Needless to say, I’m loving it.
Unfortunately, just like the new coat of paint our apartment needed to make it feel more like home, the canyon needs a little work too. The city is doing a great re-vegetation project that is really improving the majority of the canyon. The only problem is my favorite sections have been overlooked. The majority of the work has been done along the wider double-track portions of trail leaving the nice single-track to become pretty over grown in some places. After a number of shirtless runs and coming home looking more like I spent the morning in an S&M dungeon as opposed to on the trails it was time to do something about it.
In an effort to give back to what I am now considering my home trails, I stopped by Home Depot for a pair of pruning trimmers and headed down the hill to clean things up a little and hopefully make for a nicer trail. There is still some work that needs to be done but I did what I could with the trimmers. Here are a few before and after pictures, hopefully I was able to create a little nicer trail for the others that use it.
There were a number of other sections but I got distracted working and didn’t take any more pictures of what I was clearing away. The next project I want to undertake in the canyon is finding a way to improve the section in the next pictures. It’s a wide washed out trench. It’s too wide to jump and it’s too steep on each side to run in and out of. There is a section that goes off to the right and goes to an “easier” path over it but even that is really washed out and not a good alternative, especially on a bike.
The plan is to build a simple but effective bridge across the gap. Something that will allow people to get across easily, not contribute to any more erosion, and be a solution that can last a long time. I’ve already emailed the ranger to make sure it’s not a problem to do the work in there, but we have a good relationship with him because of the successful events we’ve put on in Marian Bear and Tecolote through Dirt Devil Racing. If anyone has suggestions on a simple but strong bridge design that could be done by one or two people and not be overly expensive, I’d love to hear it. Right now I’m just thinking a couple 2x4s side by side with a support system.
A couple hours of manual labor and my delicate hands already hate me!