A Day On New Salem

By Mark & Chris Schumacher

Saturday, February 16th, 2008, started out as a nice sunny day when my wife Chris and I went to the Pittsfield VFW for a little breakfast and the first Two Rivers Jeep Club run and work day of 2008.  Little did we know that by signing up for the detail on the New Salem run that we had indentured ourselves to the slave drivers known as Doug and Don Maxheimer.  Doug, being the trail guide for the New Salem trail, intended to see that the trails were cleaned up after the bad winter that had already hit the Pittsfield area.  Don simply set a standard for working that was hard to keep up with. 

After a great breakfast, with four other Jeeps in tow and Charlie Ater riding with us, we headed out to the trails.  Seems Charlie's Jeep was eating fusible links and he had to drive his pickup to the event.  We found that Mother Nature had not been nice to the area and that there was lots of fallen timber to deal with.  Luckily several of the seasoned TRJC members (insert older here) had taken chain saws along and three of them with saws went merrily to work.  We put in a pretty good morning and besides cleaning up after Mother Nature we helped Doug make a new loop on the trail. 

Around noon Doug granted us a reprieve and everyone got to enjoy the lunch that they had bought with them while sitting in 52 degree sunshine.  After dinner it was more of the same, clearing the trail and cutting another new loop for the trail.  An hour or so after lunch the sky got cloudy and the temperature changed but everyone was having a pretty good time and no one slowed down, not even when it started raining a little.  Well, the little bit of rain and warm temperatures had some effect on the trail during the day.  By afternoon the surface had thawed slightly and became somewhat slick in areas such as hillsides. 

A couple of Jeeps had to winch themselves up hill, one had to winch back onto the trail in the second new loop, and one ended up with a crushed quarter panel.  No one complained and everyone seemed to have a good time.  The worst part of the day was that in the late afternoon we found a lot more downed timber than we had dealt with all day, so we realized that we would be pretty busy at the next work day.  All in all it was a great day and I think everyone had a good time. 

Next work day I'm going to get to Doug's Jeep and take the batteries out of his cattle prod before we hit the trails though. 

Created: 03 Mar 2008