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Volunteers complete trail work in Pagosa Country

An interesting and worthwhile project took place Aug. 18-26 on the Continental Divide Trail north of Wolf Creek Pass Lobo Outlook.

A diverse group of 21 volunteers lead by the very able and energetic Brinkley Messick of Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado worked every day and camped at 11,000 feet.

The project was a joint effort of the VOC and the Rio Grande National Forest. Over two miles of trail was rerouted where eroded, or shored up with logs and large stones in slide areas. I understand that the Forest Service must rely on such volunteers to keep the trails open due to budget restrictions.

The volunteers were ages 17 to 74, and from Minnesota, Texas and California. One young woman, recently returned from Afghanistan, is now in college at Denver. One was a recent cancer survivor getting his mountain legs and lungs back. Nine volunteers were from Pagosa Springs, many recruited by Ivo Brieven, one of the leaders of the Pagosa Area Trail Club. On any day, up to 12 volunteers were on the trail, sawing, digging and carrying logs and stones.

Great fun — and whenever we got tired, we just straightened up and gazed across the tops of mountains for many miles.

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