Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Grooming Trails

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In response to a suggestion from George about making a trail groomer, I dug out a piece of goat fence and a pallet to see if something that simple might do the trick.IMG_iP1130e

Not wanting to leap all the way to the commitment of trying to navigate the 4-wheeler through the deep snow we now have, I decided to test it using my own two feet.

The results met my expectations. It can be done on foot, but it was a LOT of effort after the short amount of time when my muscles wore out. In the end I was spending more time stopped for a rest than I was moving forward toward my goal. Using the ATV will be much easier, but I will need to plan to hit the trails early and often in the snow season, to develop and maintain a packed base to drive over.

There are a few corners where it will be tricky to negotiate the dragged groomer around trees, and I will need to plot a route that doesn’t involve backing up, but I think I can come up with solutions.

The effort to drag a groomer behind the ATV is different, but not significantly less than the effort of hiking the trails several times on snowshoes. The main advantage of the ATV is that more ground can be covered in less time.

IMG_iP1128eHowever, since I enjoy snowshoe hiking, I find the extra time it takes to walk all our paths multiple times brings me a lot of pleasure.

The primary advantage of using snowshoes is ease of mobility. I can quickly and easily make intricate maneuvers to establish paths with sharp turns and short routes.

I expect the long-term version of winter trail maintenance will always involve a combination of the two. I envision establishing a perimeter circle that I can easily drive with the ATV, with a few options connecting the labyrinth and the back yard to a couple of the easy trails toward the barn.

In addition to that, I will snowshoe the routes from the house to the wood shed and Delilah’s kennel, and a few paths through the woods that are intentionally too narrow for machines to drive through.

We should be able to have the best of both versions.

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Written by johnwhays

February 7, 2016 at 8:55 am

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