Someone’s been building an unauthorized reroute on one of our local, close-in trails. The Forest Service has been alerted to the work, so hopefully they have been able to put a stop to it.
I hope they are able to find out who was doing it, and that the perpetrator has to help with the repairs, at the very least.
To anyone considering doing unauthorized trail work – don’t do it. You may think you are doing your fellow trail users a favor, but believe me, any chipping away at the difficulty of any trail is not welcomed. If it’s not your land, always ask permission before doing any digging, or any trail building, or before you try to modifying the trails in any way.
Elsewhere on the forest, someone has been smoothing out technical spots and removing or modifying challenging, embedded rocks. This dilutes the character of the trails. Such homogenizing is not welcomed. Not one little bit!
What is it? Do people want the trails to all be the same? No! We don’t want that. Leave them alone!
Don’t put up signs or place painted-rocks trailside either. Leave the messaging to the people who manage the land. Someone recently put up a sign indicating that rattlesnakes had been sighted on a local trail. Maybe someone did see a rattlesnake, or maybe they didn’t. Who’s to say?
We want to hear from you if you have an encounter with wildlife or if you have concerns about a trail. But instead of picking up a tool or putting up your own sign, contact the authorities with your concerns. They will follow-up on what you report and take any needed action. If you don’t know who to contact, or you want to bounce an idea off someone connected to the trails and their management, give me a shout. We can discuss the situation, and if you want to follow-up with things I can point you toward the appropriate land manager.
I don’t want to be a doubter, but I do wonder if the person who put up the sign alerting people to the danger of rattlesnakes actually saw a rattlesnake. Maybe they saw a bull snake, or some other species of snake. Or maybe they were providing a contrived message, perhaps trying to drive traffic away from a favored area? I want to think it’s the former, or at least that the sign-installer thought they saw a rattlesnake. But an unofficial, homemade-sign? That just leaves me wondering.
I haven’t come across many more of the painted rocks that someone, or some group of people, was dropping on the trails. For a while, they seemed to be popping-up like dandelions. “Smell the sage” or “Be Well” or whatever! If the rock droppers have stopped, I’m pleased, because you can’t improve on my experience, by telling me to improve on my experience.
This morning Laurie and I beat the heat with an early morning bike ride. On our return descent a hiker’s dog ran up the hillside to check us out, with the owner trying unsuccessfully to call it back. I passed the area first, with Laurie coming to the dog a little later. It was chasing us for a bit, with the hiker yelling up to us, “HE DOESN”T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE!”
Well, that comment got me thinking. I thought, perhaps that person is a newcomer, without a leash, out for a walk with their untrained dog. What if Laurie and I were a couple of deer, bounding away? Would it be okay with the owner that their untrained, off-leash dog was chasing a couple of deer? Oh, it’s just chasing those deer because it doesn’t know what they are. No problem, right?
Come on people!