Thanks to volunteer Wendy Marcus for sharing this brief piece about her experience at Bridgeport Trails Day…
“We’ve had a house at Twin Lakes for three years, but this is the first time I’ve had the pleasure of helping out Friends of the Inyo with Bridgeport Trails Day (June 30, 2018). I brought along my friend Beth, and we got to work with Astra Lincoln and Dylan Welcome (and Dylan’s mom’s dog, Lady Jane!) and three other volunteers on the Upper Twin Lake Trail, clearing trees from the path as we came across them, improving creek crossings, and trimming brush to make the trail more visible and passable. Talk about immediate gratification!
It was so satisfying to take care of the trails as efficiently as we did. There’s strength in numbers! But it was also a great learning experience: we heard about the proper use and care of a crosscut saw, along with some of its history. We witnessed techniques for securing a log across a creek and roughing up the top surface with an ax for better traction. Julia Runcie, Friends of the Inyo’s Stewardship Director, even showed me her stomping method for testing a log’s sturdiness. (I think I’ll leave that trick to her and other experienced folks!)
There’s one added bonus to this most excellent outing: last year I slipped and fell while attempting a creek crossing and have suffered a humbling crisis of confidence since then. But I was able to cross the creeks more assuredly where we fortified the log paths. I still scooted on my butt over a big log crossing that was significantly elevated above the water, but I did so with less fear than usual. I am very appreciative of this positive development, and I couldn’t have gotten there without Friends of the Inyo, so thank you very much.
After this great adventure, I got to speak with Alex Ertaud, Friends of the Inyo’s Communications and Outreach Manager, at the street fair in Bridgeport on July Fourth. I truly appreciate all the work everyone does in this terrific organization.
A week after Bridgeport Trails Day, my husband and I were hiking on our favorite local trail, Cattle Creek, out of Lower Twin Lake, and I decided to carry on the spirit from my Friends of the Inyo experience. So I brought along a pair of big pruning shears and trimmed overgrown sage and mountain whitethorn (Ceanothus cordulatus) along the trail, up to the bench. It was a good start to what I now see as a regular part of my hiking life. I’m hooked!”