Contributed by Alex Moot
The Conservancy’s sister organization the Chocorua Mountain Club (CMC) had a great turnout and perfect weather at its recent spring trail clearing day over Mother’s Day weekend. The CMC was founded in 1908.
Approximately 25 volunteers (see below) and two USDA Forest Service professionals rendezvoused in the Wheeler field early on the morning of Saturday, May 9th. As usual, there was a wide range of ages and levels of experience.
Participants had a wonderful time reconnecting with fellow outdoor enthusiasts, seeing how the mountain fared over the winter, and having fun while doing something good.
After some helpful safety tips from Cristin Bailey of the USDA Forest Service, the CMC leadership (Kate Lanou, Pete Lewis and Joanne Kelley) divided the volunteers into teams, and assigned each team one of the trails on Mt Chocorua or Mt Paugus that the CMC ‘adopts’ for the White Mountain National Forest: Hammond Trail, Weetamoo Trail, Brook Trail, Beeline Trails, Old Paugus Trail, and Whitten Brook Trail.
Participants prepared the trails for the increased summer traffic by clearing away blow downs, cleaning out water bars to control erosion, and lots of clipping of spring growth.
Some participants opted for flatter ground and helped rake out the rock-lined drainage swales between the “Island” and Route 16, or headed to one of the trails on conservation land owned or maintained by the Conservancy: Bickford Heights; Old Mail Road; Heron Pond Loop; Middle Trail; Watkins Way; Hunters Trail; and Highland Trail.
In the evening, everyone gathered at the Balch house and celebrated a hard day’s work with fellow CMC volunteers over drinks and a potluck dinner.
After a wonderful dinner, participants squeezed into the living room for the CMC’s annual meeting to share trail reports, hear the Treasurer’s Report, and elect officers for next year. Attendees unanimously re-elected Pete Lewis, Joanne Kelly and Kate Lanou as Co-Presidents for 2015-16.
Trail Clearing Volunteers: This year’s trail clearing crew included: Kate Lanou; Greg Lanou and his son Jacob; Steve Lanou; Pete Lewis and Joanne Kelly, and Joanne’s son Keeler Lapham; Tim Twitchell and his daughter Emily and son Stephen; Townsend Zwart and his son Pieter; John Wheeler; Dwight and Barbara Baldwin and their son Tim; Penny Wheeler-Abbott and her daughter Lydia; John Watkins; Howard and Nancy Mathews; Sandy and Peggy Rubel; Laura Cannon; and Alex Moot.
Other Volunteers: Many thanks to the hard working kitchen staff who organized and prepared the wonderful potluck dinner for trail crew participants: Neely Lanou, Peg Wheeler, Mary Watkins, and a few others.
Mark Your Calendars Now: Next year’s CMC’s annual spring Trail Clearing Day will be on Saturday, May 14, 2016 (Mother Day’s weekend). As always, participants should plan to meet at 8:30am in the Wheeler Field.