City trail volunteers focused on maintenance needs on the far west side of La Tierra Trails on four work days in November.
A group of six volunteers joined Tim Rogers to address approaches to the arroyo crossing north of the Pipeline Rd. at Junction 16 on Nov. 4. This involved cutting a new bench on the south side of the arroyo and putting in a short re-route on the north side. Both measures served to replace or retire severely gullied, fall-line drops into the arroyo. Admittedly we lengthened the sandy arroyo crossing as well as the overall trail distance, but we hope most users are happy with the changes.
Four more volunteers and Charlie O’Leary continued north and east of this location on Nov. 12, stopping to focus on problem spots near junctions 14, 13, and 15 (another arroyo crossing just north of the Pipeline Rd.). Next workday in La Tierra we hope to get to the gullied approach to the whoop-dee-doos, the technical trail on either side of Junction 20.
On Nov. 20, five volunteers, including two new participants, joined Tim Rogers to address the westbound approach to the “whoop-dee-doos,” a popular section of technical trail on either side of Junction 20. This approach has developed into a gully several hundred feet in length ending at a dramatic, steep and potentially hazardous head-cut just a few feet from the first drop.
We filled in the head-cut and nearby gully with dead piñons and rocks before heading up the trail to put in some rock-based humps next to nicks to essentially drain storm water over and off of the trail. Given the flat terrain this was a challenging task, we tried to make the grade reversals into fairly long features rather than short, abrupt speed humps. We may need to return to touch one or two of these features up some time.
On Nov. 25 volunteer returned to La Tierra Trails one last time to protect a stretch of the abandoned Chili Line rail bed that has been closed to motorcycles and ATVs. Work involved placing dead piñon trees in areas where motorized users have gained access to the rail bed in the past. We will work with the City Parks Dept. in 2016 to see how public access can be provided to this historic resource in a manner that allows users to learn about, experience, and celebrate Santa Fe’s past, an approach that should not be limited to the area immediately around our historic plaza!