As I stared deep into the tangled mass, I wondered if I had been miraculously shrunk down and what I was looking at was really the inside of a massive bird’s nest. That’s certainly what it looked like from my perspective: huge knots of wood and thick vine heaped at short intervals all along the path, taller and much wider than I am, it could only be that I was caught in a maze much like Alice. However, my Wonderland was just the Pfeifer Loop Trail. On Saturday I was out for a run and tried to get off the pavement and onto the dirt. I ducked in to Pfeifer Loop only to find my path blocked every 20-30 feet. A short post on Facebook got the response that at least one group was planning to work on the trail the following day. So on Sunday a crew of six folks armed with handsaws and limb loppers met at the Arkansas Outside Mobile Office at Cook’s Landing. We ran into a small crew working with a chainsaw as we walked. Moving ahead of the chainsaw crew we worked on several entanglements.
Some of the heaps were small, a few were very large and a couple of them required special skills and special tools.
Most of us had not realized the enormity of the work to be done. After 3 hours of hard labor, hunger was beginning to steal the energy of some of the crew, we decided that the rest of the work would have to wait for another day or another crew.
It’s been almost two weeks since Snowpocaplypse 2012 descended upon Central Arkansas on Christmas Day. Trees all over the area have paid the price. Neighborhood streets were impassable due to fallen trees and limbs; roofs have been damaged; power, cable and telephone lines were brought low by the collapsing forests. Now that power has been restored and most residents have cleared their homes of the detritus, we’ve all begun to venture back out to the trails for our runs and rides. But it won’t be easy. Most if not all of the trails will need to be cleared and cleaned before they are truly rideable. Runners can dodge some of the debris but the sooner the trails are cleaned up the better it will be for everyone. Crews have been out clearing the trails. If you want to help, please remember to get permission from the property owners or in the case of our city and state parks, ask the superintendents of the area, before you start working on your own. Because of liability issues, some landowners may not want civilian work crews clearing this kind of damage.
Keep an eye on our Facebook page. If you are organizing a work party, let us know we’ll try to get you more help. If you’re looking to be part of a work party, watch for times and places. Be a good trail fairy, work it like a boss, and earn some of that sought after trail Karma.