One of the reasons I love my job at the National Forest Foundation is that it offers the opportunity to travel to amazing places on our National Forests. Last month, I visited Pikes Peak to help with a volunteer trail work weekend. This was part of a large two-day, two-site volunteer event that brought together some of Colorado's most active trail stewardship organizations, including Rocky Mountain Field Institute and Colorado Mountain Club.
These organizations mobilized their volunteer networks that span across Colorado's front range communities and mountain towns. Twenty five volunteers from RMFI and CMC came out to spend Saturday and Sunday restoring trails, camp and enjoy some time on the Pike National Forest.
When I spoke with the volunteers, they all expressed their appreciation for the recreational opportunities that Colorado's mountains and trail networks provide. They wanted to give back by spending their weekends supporting the trails they love for hiking, running and riding.
Over the course of the weekend the volunteers invested 400 hours installing rock check-steps, water bars and rolling dips to prevent erosion and halt trail deterioration. In addition to great work that was accomplished, this volunteer weekend was exemplary of the power of collaboration.
Collaboration was the only way to move a thousand pound rock needed for the check-steps and only by working together will we restore thousands of miles of trail on Colorado's iconic 14er's. Being a part of this collaborative effort on flanks of the most visited mountain in North America was a reminder that it is not just the places that make the traveling inspiring, it's also the people.