Last weekend we had some ATVs on the rapidly melting trail, so I made a pair of signs (PDF, 13Kb) to mark it. I have my doubts as to whether these will have the desired effect, but I don’t really want to block the trail to all users, and this should be sufficient.
The signs read:
They’re just paper stapled to plywood, so eventually we’ll need to get something more weather proof. Maybe black text printed onto acetate, with a florescent file folder stapled underneath? Unfortunately, I have a feeling the most likely form of damage will come from humans, rather than the elements.
ATV trail damage
Went for a walk with the dogs on our property today and discovered some ATV’s ripped up the trail. I don’t think the damage is permanent, since the ground is still frozen, but it still makes me angry. I need to figure out a way to mark, and probably block, the trail for non-motorized uses. If the people who rode up there today are any indication, ATV riders are too fucking stupid to recognized a narrow, non-motorized trail when they see one. The photo doesn’t make it as obvious as it is in person, but their treads are entirely off the trail and in the vegetation along the sides.
It only takes one jackass to turn opinion against all ATV riders; let’s hope the rest of them show some respect.
We closed on a new piece of property last week and I’ve been exploring it on the ground and with Google Maps. There’s already a well-established non-motorized trail along two side of it, and based on the satellite imagery, it looks like there’s a partial trail approximately through the middle. I found it on the ground yesterday, and today I made an attempt at figuring out a way to connect the two trails. There’s still a foot of snow on the ground, so it’s wasn’t easy going, but I did snowshoe my way around. I’d hoped my snowshoe tracks would have hardened enough to walk it in boots this evening, but the snow had turned to sugar instead. Hopefully it’ll harden tonight when the temperature drops.
I’ve been on and off carrying my .22 rifle over the past couple months looking for grouse and snowshoe hare (hares?). I haven’t seen any grouse since I started carrying, but both last week and today I’ve seen hares. So far I’ve seen three on our property, and each time I saw them, I wasn’t carrying my rifle or my bow. The hare I saw this morning may have been laughing at me. Hares have a very clever strategy for eluding predators: when startled they run a short distance through the brush, freeze for ten to twenty seconds, then run again. For predators that are focused on movement, I think the momentary pause allows the hares to disappear due to their excellent camouflage. For a human hunter it’s a challenge because just as you get the animal in your sights, it bolts. And since you’re looking through your sights or scope, it’s much harder to pick them up after they’ve left the view. Anyway, the hare today was 20–30 feet away, in plain sight, and showed no sign that it considered me a threat. It kept right on eating alder shoots, preening, and at one point even got up on it’s hind legs and looked around. It would have been an easy target for my bow.
Had I been carrying it.
I took Nika out skijoring both days this weekend. She’s still doing really well, although she wasn’t pulling as hard on the way back as she did last weekend. We had a lot of wind on Friday and it blew debris all over the trail, so not only did that slow us down, but there’s a lot more distractions for Nika. Andrea took a few photos as we came back to the house. If you click on the images you can see larger versions. There’s a sled dog team behind me in the first photo.