~ submitted by Matthew Lettington
May 25th, 2019
Our first work party for the Mount Benson project was a huge success! Six people made the hour-long hike up to the project site. As a large group we cleared the old logs out of the normally boggy section and dug a few holes for the concrete footings used for the walkway.
With the prep work done, 3 of us moved to a lower area, leaving the other half of the group to do the technical work of laying and assembling the raised walkway. The second group moved below the eroding band to tackle the clogged watercourse on the south side of the trail, clear windfall, and make plans for future work.
I’m happy to report that thanks in large part to Wendy the watercourse is very nearly clear of debris. This means when the rains return (if ever) it will flow down the watercourse without flooding back onto the trail. Jay, worked tirelessly on the hiking route. Anywhere a stick, log or large rocks lay across the path, Jay cleared it. Further, many instances of windfall were added to braided sections of the trail in hopes of directing hikers on a single route instead of eight different ones.
By the end of the day, I was happy to learn that John, Ken and Dean had completed the entire raised walkway! Originally I thought it would take two days to complete.
Our next work day will focus on removing more debris from the trail, hauling more windfall into braided sections and defining the best single path. We will move materials from the lower section to the eroding bank, and haul gravel from the roadbed to fill in areas that have previously been washed away.