by Jim Grover
We had around 20 folks show at Uwharrie for a great day of trail work on Saturday, March 3rd. Many thanks to those who braved the threatened rain and made the trip. We never really did get wet. After a light shower while Ed Ed Sutton of Trail Dynamics gave instruction for the work to be done, it stopped, and didn't bother the party again. We were comfortable working in t-shirts the entire time--really perfect weather. We were able to get a lot done without fighting the elements, and for that we're glad. Improving drainage and armoring a couple tread were on the menu, and we accomplished what we set out to do, and more.
The trail was wet from an overnight downpour, so we could see all the little spots that could use some drainage work in addition to what was already flagged. We got all the drainage work done that had been flagged, but we still need to get crush on site for several sections near the second stream on Keyauwee. We also opened up three times the number of drains that we had flagged. Two of the three major armoring projects were tackled and accomplished: the middle and the top of the steep climb after the second stream (clockwise).
The guys and gals of the armoring crew moved a lot of rock with the help of Ed's machines, ending up with about 35 linear feet of rock work. That was A LOT of rocks! It was muddy work, but well worth it.
We'll schedule another work day in April or May to get crush on site and take care of the tough low spots between the first and second stream, and finish the rock work. Once that work is done, Keyauwee will be virtually bomb proof. If you haven't heard, this trail drains as well as anything in the area. Except for the bad spots we are fixing, it was rideable Saturday morning after at least two hours of heavy rain the night before. A few folks gave it a ride after the work party, and most of the trail was perfect by then.
Thanks again to all who helped with the work party, volunteers and sponsors alike. Saturday. Props to Ed Sutton for leading the charge and bringing all of his equipment. Thanks to his buddy Dave Henderson, who lives near Uwharrie, and helped sponsor the work day, and wants to sponsor future trail work days. Also thanks to Patrick Clapp of Sun & Ski Sports for their sponsorship, water bottles, snacks, and hands on help. All appreciated the REALLY GOOD pizza that ZPi Pizza of Albemarle provided for lunch. And we want to thank Justin and Paige Beard of Beard Bikes in Uwharrie for all of their support.
Now is a good time to get to Uwharrie, while the leaves are down, and you can get good views of the lake and surrounding mountains. While you're riding, you can easily see the potential for new, exciting trail at Uwharrie. Every time I crest the top of Keyauwee on the fire road and look North, I drool over the landscape that holds such potential for gravity and other types of purpose-built trail. We've got the natural resource, a very amenable land manager in the U.S. Forest Service, a surrounding community that wants it to happen, and lots of friends and resources to git-er-done.
Uwharrie is a bit of a drive for many of us, but we KNOW the distance is worth it to ride this great property, and our willingness to drive there to work will pay many dividends.