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6th Trail Builder - Lake Shore - 02 May 2009

By Chad

Fri., May 1, 2009 12:00 P.M .- It remains drizzly and dreary outside. Will the rain ever end? This is going to put a damper on trail building tomorrow. Rain remains in the forecast.

Sat., May 2, 2009 5:30 A.M.- What do I do? I’m torn between helping with church clean-up day and trail building.

7:00 A.M. - I made the decision to go to the church clean-up.

9:00 A.M. - Frannie, Danielle and I spent the few hours removing leaves from under bushes, pulling weeds, trimming bushes, and spreading mulch. The sun came out and the temperature is rising…this is turning out to be a good day.

12:00 P.M. - We hopped into the truck and headed back to Winchester. Called Doug Watret on the way to see if he might be able to spare a crew. He would see what he could do.

12:30 P.M. - Arrived at home, aired up tires and loaded Larry Laredo on the trailer. Danielle and Frannie hopped into Tillie TJ and we were off to Pike County to see what we could do on Lakeshore Drive to get ready for the Safari. On the way to the trail, passed a group of men riding their horses- Danielle said she would like to be on her horse riding with them.

1:00 P.M. - Arrive at trailer parking area, unloaded Larry and Frannie took off her doors (the sun is still out). Called Doug to check status. Carey LeVoy and kids, Sean Hartman and Jake Watret, Jim and Angel Linseth, and Dave Boomer were on their way to help us out. While waiting on them to arrive, a gentleman comes along on his four-wheeler. Come to find out he is a local landowner whose land is adjacent to land we currently have permission to run on. Chatted with him until the rest of the crew arrived, doesn’t hurt to keep the door open for future options.

1:30 P.M. - The others arrived. We headed to one of the landowners house. About a month ago, while clearing a new section of trail, we came across a cedar tree down across the creek. A club member that was with us said that he liked to work with wood and would like to have a log. I told him that he could have one, but he had to do something for the landowner. At the recovery training, he arrived with a cedar bowl he had made for the landowner using the cedar log from her land. He happened to be with us, so I told the story to the landowner and Boomer presented her with the beautiful bowl he had made. She graciously accepted the bowl and was anxious to display it in her home. What a good feeling to be able to thank our landowners through the talents of our club members. We spoke about a new section of trail we wanted to explore. The landowner said that it would be fine to see what we could do with this section.

2:00 P.M. - We hopped into the creek and headed to the area in need of investigating, but had to stop along the way. The rain that had fallen over the last several days, left a beautiful waterfall in the creek, what a breathtaking view! It’s hard to believe that such things exist in central Illinois. We arrived at the new area. Everyone started hiking up the creek. We immediately came across a small “cave” in a rock ledge. Without hesitation, the crew cleared a path next to it in no time. We then continued on, finding many interesting features that would be awesome additions to the trail. After a while we came to a fence row indicating a property line. We didn’t know if it was a landowner that we already had permission to run on their land in another area or if it was the man we met earlier in the afternoon. We continued hiking to see what we could find. We found a good exit from this area that would tie in nicely with the rest of the trail. We headed back to the Jeeps to investigate the lay of the land according to the plat map. In the meantime, Cory had called after work and would be heading to the trail in Zar’roc the ZJ.

3:30 P.M. - I discovered that the land in question belonged to the landowner we already have permission to run on. I headed back to the truck to get the phone number to call the landowner and sent the rest of the crew to run part of the existing trail while they waited for me to return. Cory arrived as I was getting ready to head back, so he tried the section next to the cave to see how well a ZJ fit. He then followed them up a hill climb. Apparently he got stuck, guess we should actually put the new tires on the Jeep. By the time they had winched Cory up the hill, using the proper techniques that had been learned in the recovery course, I had returned with permission to cut the next section of trail. This day keeps getting better and better!

4:00 P.M. - The crew hiked down the creek clearing the trail quickly, we really had a great crew with us! Everyone was willing to stay to see what the trail would be like once it was cleared.

4:45 P.M. - Time to drive the trail. We had cleared a really cool rock area to go around part of the creek. At this section, we found the name for this portion of the trail---“Let’s get loud.” Cory had some trouble in going up this rocky section (about those tires..). In trying to back down and try again, he ended up with the exhaust system wrapped around the rear axle. We had to make a quick trail removal and Cory was soooo upset that he finally got dad to take the quiet muffler off (yeah right, he was grinning from ear to ear). There is also a bypass for this area of the trail for those with less than desirable tires. There were not any further issues and this section is just beautiful, I can’t wait to run it at the Safari!

5:15 P.M. - We exited the trail and made our way back to the trailer and to pick up Tillie’s doors. The men riding the horses earlier in the day happened to ride by again, this time stopping. Of course, horse girl Danielle had to go over and engage them in conversation. This ended up with three of the guys hopping off their horses and letting the kids have a little ride on the horses. While the children took turns riding, the grown-ups visited with these local gentlemen. Come to find out, they are the “Pike County Possum Ropers” and were out on a ride for a bachelor party for one of the fellows. What a great end to a wonderful day! The kids were smiling, the adults were smiling, the trail was ready for the Safari, the weather was still sunny and warm and Pike County has some very hospitable residents! This is what it is all about!

5:45 P.M. - Well, the Possum Ropers had to get back to the bachelor party…I do not think their evening was over yet. We were all of to Pittsfield to grab some dinner since we had worked up a good appetite. The entire crew from Lakeshore met up with Charlie Ater and Doug Watret at Maya’s Mexican Restaurant in Pittsfield for some delicious food and great stories about the day. The kids were tired and hungry, some more tired than hungry, but I think they all had a good day. They were just rethinking their wet pants from walking in the creek as they were sitting in the air conditioned restaurant. Thank you to all of our crew that has helped get Lakeshore back up and going again, I look forward to sharing the trail with others at the events. And thanks to all of those willing to stay late to allow us to be in two places on the same day! We had a GREAT day and hope everyone else did as well. I would also like to extend a very special thank you to the landowners, without them this type of experience would not be possible for us enjoy!

Created: 04 Jul 2009