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2014-2015 Season

Trail building is over for the 2014-2015 season. I hope you are all as pleased with what we accomplished as I am.

I calculate that we put in over 500 hours of work on the Preserve and the Lake Overlook Trail. We completed maintenance on the Lake Overlook trail, the Andrews/Kinsey trail, the Western Loop trail, the alternate trail to the future trailhead, the Sonoran trail, and also created a new helicopter emergency landing zone on the Andrews/Kinsey trail.

The social aspect of being together during trail building and after trail building is also important. We started with the dedication of the Andrews/Kinsey Trail, had a doughnut day, enjoyed a get together send off for Roy and Bev Kinsey, and ended with a get together with the Commission and Conservancy at Bill Myers house.

It has been great work, great fun and a big help to the community.


So, what is on for next season? Stay tuned..............................

April 25, 2015: At the Helicopter Emergency Landing Zone near the end of our property on the Andrews/Kinsey trail:

John and Tom

Joe stopping for a drink

Lee, John, Tom and Joe

The finished product

Gene, Walt, Dr John, and Stan were working on the alternate trail to the trail head.
Gene, Walt, Dr John, Joe, John, Stan, Lee and Tom

April 4, 2015: We had a very productive day last Saturday. Not the easiest, it was constant work, but we accomplished what we set out to do. That lousy, rocky, uphill by Landing Zone 4 has been rerouted to the other side of the landing zone. It is still an uphill climb, but spread out over a longer distance, and smoother. Hopefully, the weather will be kind to us over time on this reroute.

The weather was great, a slight wind and not getting too hot. The six of us completed the work, looked back, and were proud of what we did as we watched a group of mountain bikers initiate the new section.

Lee, Gene, Steve, Walt and Joe

Gene, friend Steve, 3 bikers, Joe, Walt

What a motley crew!! Joe, Steve, Gene, Walt, Lee

Old trail on the left, new one on the right

March 14, 2015: We made it to the end of the Sonoran Trail, but we still have the nasty section of the trail going up past LZ-4 to finish.

Lee, Gene, Rockbar Rich, Walt

That is a long, hilly 1.7 miles of trail to maintain.
Walt, Ron, Lee, Gene

Yes, that was a long 1.7 hike back to the start after working 2 1/2 hours.
Ron, Walt, Gene, Lee

March 7, 2015: It's a long hike in to where the maintenance begins on the Sonoran trail, but we keep making good progress.
On a sad note, the keeper of the tools will need to have his pay docked. Following trail building this past Sat, Norm and I visited sites of our previous tool caches. Low and behold, the tools that I thought might be lost, are now accounted for.
A thank you goes out to Dr Roger Nelson. There was a large amount of buffelgrass up on the Lake Overlook Trail near the benches. Roger identified it and was aware of the need of getting rid of it. He and a friend pulled it all out by the roots. THANKS!!! Although not the same exact area, here are before and after pictures:
And a thank you also to our trailblazers this past Sat:

Bill and Tom

Dr. John

Walt...working hard

Jim & Jerry...hardly working

Jim, Norm, Dr John, Walt, regular John, Bill, Jerry, Tom and Lee

February 21, 2015: SEVEN feet of snow in Boston in just 3 weeks!

120 year record lows in the Washington, DC area!

70 degrees and partly sunny in Fountain Hills Preserve.

Ain't we lucky, or should I say ain't we smart for living here.

Eight of us had another great day working in the Preserve. Glad to have new blazers Gene and Larry join us. Thanks for helping out and thanks to all trail blazers for their work. We are about half done with maintenance of the Sonoran trail. It's a good hike in to where we are working, but the trail is looking good.

Gene, Bill M, and Walt

Bill, Walt, Ron, Gene and Norm

My phone's camera (or possibly its operator) doesn't always work well: The Ghost of Norm

Larry and Lee clearing the Helicopter pad

Gene, Walt, Bill M, Norm, Lee, Larry, Ron

And I sneaked in the picture...

February 7, 2015: Great weather for trail building again. Everyone worked, but no one was overworked, and we got to Landing Zone #3 due to the combined work of all 15 of us. But there are 7 landing zones, so we still have a ways to go.

This coming Sat, will be trail work as usual, meet at 8 at the end of Eagle Ridge Drive. I have an out of town commitment, but Bill Jaeger, another member of the Board of Directors of the Sonoran Conservancy, will be giving directions.

Did I finally get my helicopter ride to check out our potential placement of the emergency landing zones on the Andrews/Kinsey trail, you ask? No, the copter was down for some maintenance. At least I am glad I wasn't UP when they decided it needed to be down for maintenance.

Paul and DJ trimming away

Silhouette of Ron

Ken and Steve taking a break

Bob working hard

DJ, Norm, and Paul (Is that a Korean dance Norm?)

Lee, Ray, Paul, and John

Bob and Ron in the trenches

Bill and Jerry after tool gathering

Tom, Ray, Bill, Paul, DJ, Bob, Lee, John, Ron, Norm, Walt, Ken, Jerry

January 24, 2015: The great, or should I say gate, lockout. The day they changed the lock on the Adero Canyon gate. We were there honey, honest we were.

Faithful crew!

January 17, 2015: Isn't Arizona great! You just couldn't beat being out in the Preserve this past Saturday. Working on trail maintenance for a while and then just stopping to look around, enjoying the beauty of the long distance views. Ten on us started working on the Sonoran trail, and so far it is looking great. Following work, we got together for donuts and coffee at Bashas.

Stan and Brian

John and Norm

Joe, Walt, Bryan and John up top

Bryan, Joe, Walt, John, Stan, Lee and Ken

Walt, Bryan, Ken, Lee, John - the first, Dr John, Joe, Stan and Norm

Refill with sugar and Caffeine

Bill with the pick I broke, working so hard!
Actually, I am trying to emulate my mentor Roy, who broke two rakes on the job...

January 10, 2015: With the large number of volunteers present, we finished the maintenance of the Western Loop Trail yesterday. Our main focus was to eliminate the loose rocks which might cause a person to slip. The 1.2 mile trail is still classified as moderate to difficult.

It was interesting that while working on the trail, there were three groups of hikers that came up the trail, one group of 20, and then another large group that we saw hiking the Andrews/Kinsey trail. I can just imagine what traffic our trails are going to get once the trailhead is completed.

We had two new volunteers join us: Bob Faucher and Vito Papag. Thanks guys!

Phil and new trailblazer Vito

Phil, Walt and new trailblazer Bob

Movin' on up

Group of 20 hikers that passed us

Left to Right: Phil, Jerry1, Walt, Norm, Jerry2, Dr John, Bill, John, Bob and Tom
Kneeling: Lee, Vito, and Stan.

12-27-2014: 32 degrees out and still trail blazing!

8 of us braved the cold weather, many shedding a layer or two before the end of the day.

We finished the maintenance of our portion of the Andrews/Kinsey trail today (and some of Scottsdales). The trail is in great shape. Any one that has ever done some work on the trail should be proud of the shape it is in now.

In addition, Norm and I went back out on Monday and cleaned up the wash areas above the trail.

Suggestion: Next time you hike the A/K trail, don't just look down the canyon. With the shape that the trail is in, you don't have to look down at your footing either. So, look up the mountain side and look up the washes also. That is a real neat sight.

John and Walt eliminating a berm
Steve, DJ and Walt looking for Gold

Jim, John and Bill J
Jim, Norm, the Four Peaks, Walt, Steve, Bill, DJ,
John and the Fountain

12-20-2014: Great day, good weather, great crew, and a lot accomplished. 14 of us.

Fixing the tread where a wash crosses.
John M (hidden), Lee and Jim J

Bill J
Norm and Dr John (I didn't yell cheese)
Tom B and new recruit Walt
Tom and Jerry (seriously)
Stan and Ken (I did yell cheese)
Another new recruit Craig (what a fine name!)
More than 7 making their way home
I love these pictures, everyone looking like it was so much fun!

December 2014: We finished this year's maintenance on the Lake Overlook trail. Great day, even with 80% humidity. MCO's president strongly hopes to start construction on the Adero Canyon development in January. He has also indicated a time frame of 22 months for completion. Within that time he hopes to coordinate with the town and their construction of the trail head at the beginning of our Preserve with both being completed within that 22 months. When construction begins, the canyon will most probably be fenced off for safety. Accordingly, I want to do the necessary maintenance on the Andrews-Kinsey trail before we possibly lose access to that end of the Preserve. I also want to clear an area for at least one helicopter emergency landing pad. Hikers and bikers will still have access to the Preserve from Scottsdale and from the Eagle's Nest entrance.

Jim and Dr. John

Joe and Jerry


Commissioner Ken and Jerry2


Roy and Commissioner Tom

Joe and Jerry's pristine work!

Ken, Roy, John, Stan, Jim, Jerry2, Jerry1, Joe, Tom, Norm

Another great job by the Trailblazers!

The central and east side of the Lake Overlook trail have had their yearly maintenance and are in very good shape. We have one more work day to do maintenance on the west end of the trail, from the Panorama entrance near Saguaro up to LaMontana. This will be done on Dec 6th, 2014.

The crew really had their noses to the grind stone this week--all with heads down working hard:
John M, DJ, and Lee
Norm and Dr. John
Oops, they even caught me working!
Smiling Stan, happy to be out here and able.
I even caught Mary Ellen walking the trail.
A great group on a pretty morning in good young Fountain Hills.

November 15, 2014 - We had a small crew today, but accomplished a lot on the Lake Overlook trail. (It must have been the influence of master mentor Roy.) We really did a job on that first down hill switchback going North from the La Montana trail crossing. Stan is not in the pictures because he went on ahead and did some repair work on the benches on the East side of the trail.

I do believe that this could be a picture of the trailblazers from the 40's.
Norm, Roy, and DJ John getting rid of the rocks
And Roy did it again, 2nd time with a broken rake. Bev, how do you keep him from working too hard?

Trailblazers Photo Archives

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