Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Volunteers Work Is Never Done…

We broke away from two weeks on Yellow and ventured out onto the Violet Trail the other day for a little exploring.  It was time for a change and boy did we get one!  The Yellow Trail has a very open feeling akin to riding through the woods on a well maintained road.  It provides some really nice, pleasant rides.  The Violet is a more naturally beautiful trail.  It is very twisty, has lots of sharp turns and a tighter feeling to it which makes the riding a little more adventurous.

2012-11-15 Ocala (6)
This trail is denser than others and you feel closer to nature.
2012-11-15 Ocala (8)
It has a lot of areas where the trees arch over leaving ‘tunnels’ to ride through.
The Violet was extra adventurous on this particular day because the three inner sections haven’t seen work in quite some time.  Usually that means that the closed in feeling is just a little more close with branches and such whipping you at all levels as you ride.  And, yes, we were getting whipped good.  But on this particular day there were extra challenges.
2012-11-15 Ocala (26) We may be driving off road vehicles but even they cannot go over this.
Sand pines are super tall, skinny (by most tree standards), shallow rooted little boogers.  They are also growing in soft Florida sugar-sand.  So, if you blink or exhale in the wrong direction in this forest, listen for the tell-tale ‘crack’ and then cover your head because something is coming down.
2012-11-15 Ocala (2)Clearing trails is why we are here.
Our chainsaw course is not scheduled until December, however.  So…
2012-11-15 Ocala (16)
For now, handsaws are where it’s at!
This means that we had to make some choices because…
2012-11-15 Ocala (27)
we weren’t about to cut THIS by hand!
We marked trees that were too big for us on our map so that the currently certified chainsaw crew could head out to them quickly.  Seven other trees however did not escape their fate on this day and we did not escape a full-body workout.
2012-11-15 Ocala (20)Before – Trail Blocked2012-11-15 Ocala (17)During – Hi Ho, Hi Ho
2012-11-15 Ocala (25)After – Trail Cleared
 2012-11-15 Ocala (28) 2012-11-15 Ocala (31)
Before – After

2012-10-30 Ocala (23)Before.
 2012-11-15 Ocala (23)

It is a lot of work and by the time we get back to the van in the evening we are exhausted.  But if you tried to get a word in edge-wise you’d have no luck at all because we are also rambling on excitedly about our next venture into the woods.

Well, time to rest up for next week.  Have a good one and

2012-11-15 Ocala (11)
take the time to shift your focus now and then…