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July 5, 2011 at 1:09 pm #1130
Have you noticed how many hike and snip trips there are on the schedule? This is because our new trail co-ordinator, Natasha, devised this ingenious tactic of approaching several hike leaders to see if they would accept adding a snipping component to the hike trip. She would then come to the meeting place with a bunch of tools. She is so enthusiastic about this that I am told she has called on Parks BC, the Western Wilderness Committee, the Bowen Island Conservation Society, and what not. So much so that she was quoted in the newspaper recently (Vancouver Sun, July 2nd, page A10) as representing the North Shore Hikers, a “volunteer organization that does trail maintenance work”. Not entirely accurate, but good publicity for the club. Well done, Natasha!
Mt. Gardner trails are trails that the NSH has assumed responsibility for maintaining, and so it was on this particular occasion. Dennis led the hike, and Natasha led the snip. Eleven people in all, several carrying tools for lopping or for sawing. Actually two saws, from my observation, a big one that stayed in Dennis’ pack the whole time, and a 12 inch version, which I borrowed from Natasha. More on this later. Loppers of varying sizes too, from a hand held version to a whopper of a extendible lopper, enthusiastically purchased by Roy (on sale he was careful to add) from Lee Valley. I think it must have allowed Roy to extend his reach to branches 12 feet above the ground.
The trail was in pretty good condition when we were there, but it is in even better condition now. Mostly the loppers came out, but occasionally we had to saw things, and some of what we sawed would have been better served with the bigger saw. However, Dennis would only lop, not saw, and he would not bring his saw out. With the result that sometimes I had to saw something with fine wood grains flying in front of me. This caused me to cough and sneeze (thanks a bunch, D).
A surprise appearance on this trip was made by Art A, age 79. Why so? Art used to build trails with the great Halvor Lunden. Halvor built trails which tens of thousands of hikers annually access and enjoy year round: the network of Buntzen Lake trails, Mt. Gardner, High Falls Creek, many North Shore trails and others, some now no longer used. Art told us stories about Halvor. The impression I got was that if Halvor was the knight, Art was his knave, because Art had to carry the chain saw and do as he was told, while Halvor decided how, when and where the trails were to be built. One of the neat things about Art’s appearance is that he doesn’t come on hikes anymore, because of a bad hip, but he came because of Dennis. Dennis was very solicitous with him. It was very nice to see, this friendship. Also they are both very witty, so the hike was made more enjoyable because of that.
Many thanks to our co-leaders for taking the time out for doing this.
Present on this hike: Dennis, Natasha, Art, Kate, Roy, Inge, Victoria, Miyoko, Heather, a lady from Ontario who is going to move to Finland for a year, and me.
Pictures can be found in the NSH photo gallery under Photos by Gillian, Mt. Gardner
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