Guest post by volunteer Russ Plaeger, photos by Gabriel Amadeus.
We worked hard, got a lot done, rode together, made new friends, shared stories, ate good food and went home satisfied that we had given back to the trails we love to ride! Wow; what a great weekend! I've been on lots of trail work trips and this was one of the best I've been on. Logistics and everything else came together without a hitch. A big thanks go to Nathan (OTTA), Kevin (US Forest Service) and the other organizers for the great work they did to make the weekend fun and successful!
I'm an experienced trail maintainer but a novice rider yet I was welcomed by the rest of the group who were much more experienced riders. They gave me tips to improve my riding skills and encouraged me to ride the part of the trail that I could safely handle. I felt like I belonged and was able to contribute my trail skills to the group.
The views from the ridge are spectacular and many wildflowers were blooming. The trail section we worked is also a good example of the mosaic of burned and unburned forest within an area that was affected by a forest fire. There were obvious signs of woodpeckers feeding on the insects that have colonized some of the standing dead trees.
I strongly encourage you to volunteer for a Timber Trail stewardship event! No prior trail work experience is needed; the leaders will show you what to do and help you learn how to maintain a trail. It's very rewarding to see what you can accomplish when working together with other riders. Your efforts will improve the Oregon Timber Trail for everyone to enjoy!
Russ Plaeger has been working to conserve and restore natural areas in Oregon and Washington for decades with the US Forest Service, Bark, and the Sandy River Basin Watershed Council. He’s a lifelong trails advocate and recently picked up his first mountain bike and has been having a blast. He first picked up a Pulaski to do trail work in Maine in 1972. Russ is an Assistant Crew Leader for Trailkeepers of Oregon (TKO). TKO is another rad way to give back to trails and learn new skills.