Da Pines

Alice, Franco, and I spent another day in the Estivant Pines today. The weather was perfect. Perfect temperature, blue sky, and enough wind to confound many of the bugs. We had several goals, all of which we achieved. The first was to finish putting the sign back together at the Bertha Memorial at the high point of the Memorial Loop Trail.

vandal.jpgTo give you some idea of the mental acuity of the folks that vandalized the signs, here is what they scratched on one of our map signs before they tore it off its posts and threw it into the woods, then removing and breaking one of the posts. We brought along the necessary tools to fix the sign with longer screws this time. Hopefully the updated sign will be more bonehead proof.

bertha.jpgHere is a picture of Franco and I assessing the damage. I believe in accepting all advice that is given in the spirit of cooperation and good naturedness. The last thing we did after putting this sign back together so people can figure out where they are, was to screw a board between the two posts near the bottom. I’ve heard this makes it harder for vandals to pull out the posts, because they have to take both out at once, or figure out some way to remove the board. I sound a little bummed, and maybe I am. We have lots of important work to do up there in the limited time we have, and it is a shame to have to repair what never should have been broken in the first place. I’ll get over it.

board.jpgNext we decided to choose 3 good 12′ boards to serve as stringers for a bridge we have to rebuild across a creek. The bridge that is currently in use has seen constant use for about 30 years, but it is now becoming dangerous. The creek is low now, but in the spring it can roar through there, so we feel it is time to fix it up. On my way down to the site with one of the boards, I leaned it up against one of the big pines to give some sense of scale. This is a 12′ 2×8, and it looks like a toothpick next to this tree.

This trip we took several breaks, and also took time to talk to several of the groups of hikers. We met some very nice people, and enjoyed every interaction we had. We even met one family today that we also talked to last Sunday. They remembered Franco and each seemed delighted to see the other again.

On our way home we stopped at the Peterson Fish Market on Quincey Hill and had one of their fish dinners. We had worked hard all day and were looking forward to a nice supper, and a nice one we got. One of the members of the family came out and talked to us a bit. She said it is a family operation where everyone has a job. I think today must have been one of those days you are destined to have nice conversations.

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