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2016-2017 Season
Most recent workday is always at the top of this page

*** Click on images to enlarge ***

April 29, 2017 Last trail building for this season. We did our best to remove those rocks from the Lake Overlook Trail that are trippers.

Dan and Al burying a water pipe crossing the trail

Bob and Paul picking out the trippers and filling its hole.

Tom and Bill also picking and filling.

Lee and pretty in pink Sue adding water outlets along the ridge of the trail.

Dr John, Jerry, Chuck picking and filling

Jim putting finishing touches on last Saturdays work.

Chuck, Al, Bob, Jerry, Bill, Dr John, Paul, Sue, Lee, Tom, Al, Jude

April 22, 2017 I think we all looked at the task ahead this morning and sort of said "hmmmmm, this will probably take a couple of Saturdays." And then we buzzed right through like professionals.

Sue and Lee

Dan, Tommy, Doug
Hey Doug, you will have to teach us that lopper move with your right hand.

Tommy and Jude

Jim and John doing some armoring work.

This looks a bit fishy to me.
Paul, Walt, Bill, Dr John








(That might have been a real nice after picture if Bill had just told me to keep my finger out of the way.)

What a crew!
Dan, Bill, John, Doug, Sue, Brice, Tommy, Jude, Jim, Dr John, Lee, Paul, Walt, Bob

April 15, 2017 We completed a maintenance on the Andrews/Kinsey trail, the Overlook trail, and the Easy Overlook trail Saturday. The Western loop trail also had its loose rocks kicked aside on Friday and is in good shape. The Upper Sonoran trail and the Western Loop bike trail will be worked on next season. That leaves the Lake Overlook trail, and the plan is to work on that the next two Saturdays.

The yellow flowers have begun to fade but Jeff's bright yellow T-shirt made up for them.

Walt and Tommy headed for the next spot on the Overlook trail.

Hey check and Bob, look up, picture time.

Paul and Jude, after putting finishing touches on the A/K trail.

Always working John and always smiling Stan.

New recruit Dan and my Canyon partner Bill J.

The whole group. But I missed getting a video of their rain dance that was performed under that rain gauge in the background.

April 1, 2017 Hard work today, but the results were exemplary, as always. It was supposed to be a cool day, but we warmed it up real quick. Most of the work was pick work breaking down the berms that had built up on the edges of the trail.

Chuck, doing some clearing work on the emergency helicopter landing pad

Jim & John breaking down the berm so that water will run off the edge and not down the middle of the trail.

Stan and Walt with Jeff behind and friend Mark in the background.

Paul, John and Bob breaking down the berm on either side of this wash.

Now this looks like a lot of real heavy work. Alan, Stan, Gary

OOPS, I think I clicked on 0 instead of 3:
Stan, JohnH, Jim, Mark, JohnM, Alan, Bob, Walt, Paul, Gary, Jeff, Chuck

March 25, 2017 Instead of the usual photos showing our volunteers and our progress for the week, Paul Garvey offered to put together a video of our Trail Builders Hike, and post hike pizza gathering. This was in celebration of our completing the Lower Sonoran Trail.

March 18, 2017 We completed the trail to the North entrance!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!! It took fourteen of us to complete the work today, and a fine job we did!

Gary worked down from the top which is the trail entrance from the McDowell Mountain Park side.

Walt and Ron taking it from rough grade to smooth walking surface.

The lopper twins Paul and Jude creating an emergency helicopter landing pad.

Stan pulling down dirt for fill for the wash armoring.

Bob and Jim creating an award winning armored wash crossing.

Stan sweeping the dirt off of the rock steps leading down to the wash armoring. (Now that is what I call real fine tuning.)

Tommy and John M were creating the first emergency helicopter landing pad. Bill J John H and Norm were doing the same for the second pad. And here are the rest of us: Walt, Jim, Bob, Ron, Stan, Gary, Paul, Jude (and I won't repeat what Bob yelled to make us smile this time)
How about a couple of before/after pictures:





March 11, 2017 Alllllllllllllllllllllmost finished. Nineteen of us tried hard but decided to leave enough for one more day. Starting at 7:30, and my calling for a little cloud cover, helped to keep us from getting too hot.

This rock/bolder was a doooozy, right in the way. Walt and Bob moved it aside!

John M and Ron hard a work.

Suran, Tommy, Tamper AL

John S and AL (with his tamper near at hand).

Jude and Paul, after finishing their clearing duties.

Chuck, Tom, DJ, John M

JohnH, Tommy, Paul, Walt, Jude, Chuck, Bob, Al, Richard,Tom, Ron, DJ, BillJ, JohnS, Suran, JohnM, Gary

And now for Donuts ---
Thanks Ron & Pam (sorry I got you with your eyes closed)

March 4, 2017 Eighteen of us worked on the new trail (Lower Sonoran trail?) Saturday. The weather was just right, providing us with some overcast skies, and the rocks have sprouted, just like the grass and flowers, right in the middle of our path. A little bird told me that some of you surreptitiously enjoy finding the rocks, working hard at removing them and then complaining about all the hard work removing them. All of this in place of asking Bill if you could go around, over, or under the rock. Howsumever, we did have a great day and accomplished a lot! We WILL finish the trail in the next week or two. After finishing the trail to the Park, we still have to clear some areas for emergency landing pads for a helicopter.

This is the second time that Lee has talked Sue into coming with him to trail build. The rest of the crew voted on the fact that Lee owes Sue a nice dinner out.

The Sonoran desert really is an enjoyable, pretty place. Cliff, John

The gang spreads out and each knows what he/she is doing.
Paul, Walt and Bob, Bill, DJ, Ron, Young Jeff, Warren

Bill, DJ - (Were they both avoiding that patch of rocks between them)

Walt and Bob didn't avoid the rock pile (but why are they smiling?)

DJ in the lead with the rock bar. Warren, Ron, John, Cliff

Paul and Jude always leading the way clearing the brush.
They are smiling because it is almost quitting time.

Walt, Warren, Cliff, Ron, Lee, Paul, John, Jeff, DJ, Jude, Bob, Sue, Bill
(Instead of saying "Smile", I said "Rock", and they all smiled.)





February 25, 2017 A great group of 17 trailblazers were on hand last Saturday. The second crossover was completed and work was started on the end of the trail leading to the junction with McDowell Mountain Park.

Chuck, JohnS, Jeff, Gary, Ron, JohnM, Jude, Al, Sue, Lee, Tom, Jim, Cliff, Walt, Warren, Bob, (Paul taking the picture)

This crossover meets the Upper Sonoran trail at emergency landing zone 6.
Jeff, Bob, JohnM

Before, working toward the end - John S, JohnM, Tom, Jeff

...and after from the opposite direction (The Palo Verde in the precious pic that is below JohnM is the same tree here)

Working away... (JohnM in his normal hard working position)
Walt, Jude, Tommy, Cliff, John M

Sue (thanks for joining us), Gary, Chuck

Look at the views that hikers are going to have!
Lee, Sue, Ron, Warren, Walt

February 11, 2017 Thirteen trail builders worked on the North Crossover this past Saturday. Since I was on temporary leave of absence, Jim Grajck led the group, which as you can see, performed admirably.
(Photos courtesy of Paul Garvey)

Jim cutting in the path of the trail and Jude clearing the way.

Tom, Walt, JohnM, Jeff, BillJ

JohnH and Jerry. That is the present Sonoran trail at the top of the picture.

JohnM, BillJ, JohnH, Jerry, Jim ---All working hard, even without me there to crack the whip.

WOW, and speaking about working hard: JohnH, Tom, Bill, Jeff, Bob

Lead the way back to the cars Jude...

And a nice before.../font>

...and after

Jeff with drone, Chuck, Warren, JohnM, Bob, Jude, Jim, Tom, Jerry, Bill, JohnH, Walt. Thanks All, Well done!

February 4, 2017 Once again, I think we all did a great job yesterday, considering that there were some very difficult areas in which we had to build. Also difficult was the short area in which we had to work. We were not able to spread out as usual. The positive was that we did a good job and also had some time to talk with others.\
Next Saturday, 2/11/17, we will meet at Golden Eagle parking lot at 8:00, as usual. The plan is to develop the second cross over trail between the two Sonoran trails. This will be to the North of the water tower. It will be a longer path and there will not be the bolder fields of yesterday's build.

Tom, Warren, Al, Bill D, Jerry

Ron, and from the top: Larry, Cliff, John H, John S, and Paul

Jeff and Chuck working on a grade reversal for water drainage

From Al at the bottom to Ron at the top, that was the length of this crossover built today

Moving this "iceberg bolder" to the side took quite a while, and as said, those at the top had time to enjoy talking among themselves today.

It is difficult to see the drop off following the foreground bush in this before picture although you can get some idea from the previous picture looking from the opposite direction.

...and the after picture including today's group of 19 - Walt, Jeff, Chuck, Al, Jim, (oops, hidden Bill D), Warren, Larry, Jerry, TomA, TomB, Ron, JohnS, JohnH, Jude, Cliff, Paul




The white line is the present Sonoran trail,
the red is our trail and the black squiggles are where the crossovers will be:

I'll tell you. Leave some volunteers alone and tell them to use there head and you never know what will happen. Well, I went up to the new overlook that John H, John S, and (alright, fess up, who was the third person?) worked on, and look what I found- a nice little cul-de-sac right at the top of the knob. Wow, is that ever a neat idea. I love it:

January 21, 2017 Twenty of us worked hard through a difficult rock mine field, and although it was cold to begin the morning, it warmed up and was beautiful.

The East group was to meet the West group (or was it North and South) and finish the length of the new trail, (except for the two connecting ends) like the Continental Railroad laborers met. It actually did work out quite well, (didn't it?) So below is my attempt to finalize this meeting by forcing Bill and Jude to shake hands at the point that the two groups met. So it's not a golden spike, so what!

John H, Chuck, Paul, Norm, Brice, John S, Cliff, Larry, Bill J, Jude, John M, Walt, Al, Tom, Warren, DJ, Gary, Ron, Bob
(Phony hand shake)

Jude, Gary, Larry, DJ
(For Pete's sake Bill, don't you know better that to take pictures looking directly into the Sun?
Actually it is rather interesting.)

The field of rocks was a challenge.
I don't think that even the rock bar worked on this rock.
John M, Warren, Ron, Paul

There will be some very nice panoramic views from our trail.
Cliff, Bob, John S, Walt

Big Al tamping down the trail and raking it smooth.

Brice, Chuck, and Norm planning how water is to run off of the trail

Sledge man DJ. If we can't get under that rock, chip off the top of it!

And we all enjoyed the donnuts and camaraderie at Bashas afterward.

January 14, 2017 Nineteen of us completed another section of the East Loop Sonoran Trail this past Saturday, 1/14/17. The constant great quality work done by all of you has become the norm, but I want you to know that I see it as constantly and completely outstanding.
Norm and Hyunki started a maintenance of the present trail and were beyond my searching camera.
John M, John S, and Jerry started the build up to a view point on the top of a hill.

McDowell Mountains have a lot of rocks that we have to deal with. (Shame on me, I ended a sentence with a preposition.) Gary and Jim at the picture's top moving rock and Brice and Bill J at the bottom building a rock base for banking a turn.

Lee and Ron moving a rock from the trail.

Jim on the lower left and Al on the right with his magic tamper right behind him

Chuck building a grade reversal for water run off, contributing to trail sustainability.

Warren, Cliff and Lee working the trail

Jude and Paul coming back after clearing the brush from the coming trail.

X marks the spot --- around the bend, around the next wash and up the hill to the end of the Promenade trail.

Today's crew: Gary Lorenz, Jim Grajck, John McCurdy, John Sheely, Jerry Butler, Jude Martin, Paul Garvy, Ron Rich, Bill Jaeger, Lee Umscheid, Brice Moorman, Hyunki Thorp, Norm Thorp, Al Lorenz, Cliff King, Warren Whitton, Walt Mailwald, Chuck Brush
Before and after pics taken on 1/14/17

This is showing the beginning of the side trail up to the new overlook knob BEFORE

...and AFTER

Around the bend following the latest wash BEFORE

...and AFTER

And on up the hill BEFORE

...and AFTER

January 7, 2017 We are making constant progress with quality work. And with the minimum wage having gone up, we had more able bodies on hand today. Twenty one (21) of us worked on an area which I consider very difficult. Of interest, this included 3 Bill's and 3 Johns.

Paul's panorama picture is great...

...and another of Paul's shots
Bob, Norm, Larry, JohnM, BillJ, BillC, BillM, JohnS, Jeff

Jude and Paul clearing the way

John S and Walt navigating our way through a rock field

Walt's son Jeff giving us his usual hard work

John M and Bill J really leaning into their work

Jerry and Dr John raking on the finishing touch

Brothers Gary and Al eliminating the deer hoof prints after a herd used the trail

Chuck and Jim inserting necessary grade reversals to help guide rain water off the trail

Stan eliminating those rocks that might wash down on the trail next year

Larry and Bob giving a hair cut to an iceberg rock in the middle of the tread

Another shot of the crew working the side of a ridge

A satisfied, smiling crew at the end of a good day's work: Jeff, Jude, Al, Norm, Walt, JohnM, Cliff, JohnS, DJ, BillJ, Jim, Paul, Gary, Stan, Bob, Chuck, BillM, Larry

OOPS, we missed Jerry & Dr John: Paul, Jeff, Chuck, Bob, JohnM, Larry, Al, Gary, Jim, BillJ, Jude, Cliff, JohnS, Dr John, Jerry, Stan, BillM, DJ, Norm, Walt
Before and after pics taken on 1/7/17
Coming down the most recent hill BEfORE...
...and after
The last wash is in site BEfORE...
...and after
The last turn before the wash BEfORE...
...and after
Just before crossing the wash BEfORE...
...and after
At the crossing BEfORE...
...and after
Starting up the other side BEfORE...
...and after

December 17, 2016 It was a chilly, windy, and still beautiful Fountain Hills morning, but that outer layer of warmth came off after the first 15 minutes of working. Sixteen of us did another outstanding job. Although all of our names will not be on a plaque somewhere indicating our roll in building this trail, each of us will know that we have made our individual, important contribution.

I estimate that we have completed 4 tenths of a mile so far this season, You are a great crew and the Town is lucky to have you as volunteers! THANKS ALL!

Paul and Jude doing there usual job of taking out the brush in our path. Jude is a terror on those teddy bear chollas.

John McCurdy doing his normal hard job of making the initial cut in the top of the trail.

Early on, still bundled up: Lee, DJ, Brice, Detective Tom, Big Tom

Cutting in the trail tread: DJ, Brice, Lee

Big Al doing the fine tuning work, raking and tamping --- and happy to do it!

This is a great picture that speaks for itself...

And now it is time for that always enjoyable before and after section...

(and for us older folk: Its "The Shadow")


...and after
(and there is "The Shadow" again: "Who knows what......" remember the rest?)

How about one more, I'm starting to get good at this...

...and after

The lineup for the day: Tom B, Paul, Tom A, Al, Gary, Bob, Bill J, Brice, Jude, Warren,DJ, Lee, Walt, Gene, John

Also, a special thanks to the 7 that worked in the afternoon on the Lake Overlook Trail...

Annie: (not her best side)

Walt, Dr John, Stan

John H, (not shown Paul Garvy and I)

December 10, 2016 Aren't we luck to be living in Arizona! Yesterday it got up to 37 degrees in Washington DC, the Steelers vs the Bills game was played in snow, a plane ran off of the runway in Detroit due to snow, and we all took off our outer wrap before going up to build as it was going up to 70 degrees.
Seventeen of us worked yesterday and we continue to complete more than I anticipate each week.

This picture is at the beginning of the day, putting a finishing touch on last week's work

I sent Tommy with Jude to learn about lopping but I think things got a little hazy...

...and things continued to be a little fuzzy

Actually, when I focused correctly, I got a really great picture

Alan and John H

Tom B, John M, Jeff

Bill J, Warren, Bob

Brice, Stan, John T

Bill J, Walt, Chuck, DJ

And since everyone seems to enjoy Before and After pictures - before...

...and at least during, if not quite after...(look close, the trail is there)




...and not quite finished

A nine million dollar house in the background, upper left, and a 10 million dollar crew in the foreground.
Chuck, Warren, Stan, JohnT, Brice, Bill, Walt, DJ, Jude, Tom, JohnH, Bob, Jeff, Alan, Tommy, JohnM

A small token, but sincere thanks for all your work: Donut Day at Bashas

December 3, 2016 Great crew of 13 of us this morning. The weather was a bit cool when we started but warmed up into beautiful working weather and an enjoyable time to be in the Preserve. OK, it was difficult work but it will be a wonderful trail and it is great to be a part of building it.

Just look at those smiling faces:
Hyunki, Al, Norm, Stan

Vinnie, Gary, Phil, John

Their hard work makes this wash crossing look so easy:
Jim, Chuck,( and missing member Walt)

The only thing missing was a broom to sweep it off

Is she doing it right Paul?

OK, must be alright

Hard working group of volunteers: John, Phil, Al, Gary, Chuck, Jim, Paul, Jude

Here is a good shot, everyone working.

A before shot...

...and after.

A hats off to all: Al, Jim, John, Jude, Paul, Vinnie, Phil, Hyunki Norm, Gary, Stan, Chuck

November 26, 2016 The weather Fates are still with us. It was a nice overcast morning and 9 of us made good progress on the trail. The short, level entrance to the work site sure is a lot nicer than our previous climbs! .
We are progressing very nicely, and the trail is not only looking great, but it held up very well through the recent rain. Sustainability is a big goal and we are meeting it.

Jim and crew are almost finished with the difficult armoring over the wash: Chuck, Walt and Jim

Finding those important flat surface rocks for the wash crossing: Brice and Bob

Building a mini dam up the wash from our newly built crossing: Chuck and Walt

Mountain goat Walt, knocking down fill rocks from above

Chuck, not wanting to be left out of the mountain goat imitation: Walt and Chuck

This wash crossing is an engineering marvel and everyone spent time observing: Jim, Bob, Jude, Brice, Chuck, Walt

Finishing the approach down to the wash crossing: Brice, Jude, Bob

Lee, turning the corner leading up out of the wash

John leading the way up the side of the hill

Wonder woman Jude, working hard following a tough 10 mile hike yesterday

Before: starting up the hill after the big wash


Before: and around the next turn


OK, Yes, I admit, I am older than my car
Bob, me, Jude, Brice, Lee, Walt, John, Chuck

November 19, 2016 It probably was good that we had a week of rest, because work this past Saturday was on the difficult side. Well, for some of us at least:
In truth, it is great to be up there, work on the trail, take a break, look down over the town, and enjoy the fresh air.
12 of us worked for 3 1/2 hours on a day that was great weather for trail work. We smoothed over some of the work from last week, continued down through the wash, started a nice rock path through the main part of the wash, and started up the other side, with Ken and Jude clearing the way for the next part of the trail.

Brice and Bill J putting a finishing touch on the trail

Larry and Gary doing the same

John, Chuck, Tom and Walt starting the next uphill section

Master rock man Jim armoring through the wash

OOPS, caught, the boss is here, better get back to work

OK, that's more like it

Does there seem to be a disagreement here?
(no, just some good fun)

At the end of the work day, still looking good for elderly (not Jude) workers:
Chuck, Tom, Jude, Jim, Walt, John, Ken, Brice, Bill, Gary and Larry

November 5, 2016 Eighteen of us worked on our first work day of the 2016-2017 trail building season. We couldn't have asked for better weather and we got a lot done.

Jude, Justin (Paul's son) and Paul clearing for a new part of the trail

Jim roughing out the trail, John M & Bob refining and DJ putting on the finishing touch.

Walt and Alan fighting a big rock in the way, John H and Chuck doing rake work.

Alan, Tommy, Gary

Gary, Stan, Ken

Before and after - two different perspectives, but you can see by the saguaros

Before and after - two different perspectives, but you can see by the saguaros

OOPS, they weren't ready

This is better: Ken, Jude, Paul, Justin, Bob, DJ, John M, Allan, Tommy, Jim, Steve, John H, Al, Walt, Chuck

And isn't this a great picture that Paul took at the end, trudging back to our cars

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