Our first ever Backcountry Service trip was a great success! The best part, according to most, was the incredible food. Thanks to the Backcountry Horsemen and Kevin Balciar, we ate like kings and queens. My son’s comment was: “We eat better here than we do at home, Mom!” (Sadly, there is some truth to that, especially this time of year!;)
Other highlights included learning to build a Tyrolian Traverse to cross the raging Pecos River for our commute to work each day. Afterward, we discovered there was a log bridge which was quite handy, but it was nice to have learned this skill and fun to zip across the river to work in the morning.
We spent our first day out there getting settled, enjoying the beauty around us, building the traverse and playing games such as Eagle Eye and Ninja. The boys worked together to build a fire, which was difficult at first, but they got better as the days progressed. They became skilled at building with damp wood, and finding dry wood when most of the wood was damp.
On Days 2 and 3 we got to work on the trails. Pete Prince from the Santa Fe Fat Tire Society, led us in the trail work, which involved finding and rolling large boulders into place to create high spots on the trail to prevent erosion. We built water bars and trimmed trees and shrubs to accommodate the wide and tall load of equestrian traffic. It was hard work, but we were blessed with some nice cool days and clouds, ample food and water, and a spirited hard-working group.
We hiked to Cave Creek after work on the third day. It was a beautiful walk with so many wildflowers in bloom and the Pecos River raging. On the way back the rain started to fall and we were blessed with a wonderful thunderstorm shortly after we arrived back to our tents. A perfect moment to relax in our tents and enjoy the fruits of our labor.
Our evenings were spent around the fire where we made up stories during a story circle, played games, ate s’mores, and shared appreciations.
We are so grateful to Pete, Kevin and the Backcountry Horsemen for making this trip possible and so delicious. Thank you to the kids who came and worked hard to improve our trails. They have learned some new skills, and no doubt, a newfound appreciation for our trails.