July 17-20: "I'm going to be late getting to Connecticut today," the trucker said... I'm still driving through Tennessee..."
As the crew of 5 arrived at Ridgefield, Connecticut's Ives Trail to begin work on a stretch of puncheon (aka timber bog bridging) this news came over the phone. This was quite unfortunate, because the aforementioned trucker driving through Tennessee was supposed to be in Connecticut... with our timber, which was apparently still sit
ting where we staged it in New York.
Someday's, Murphy's Law proves particularly unrelenting...
In a scramble to save the work day crew leader Artie Hidalgo came to the rescue. Not scheduled to be on this trip, he was thankfully still in NY and able to load and drive the timber to make the delivery before the day was out.
By no means an easy start to what would be a 4 day trip, when Artie arrived, things proceeded more smoothly, albeit not without struggle.
The lumber we were using was Black Locust, which for those that
have had to haul it by hand can attest, feels pretty close in weight to stone. (It's density is what gives it it's rot resistance, which makes it perfect for timber structures in wet areas.) That said, the crew of Rovers and local volunteers from the Ives Trail Coalition began the process of hand hauling the lumber piece by piece down
the slopes to the bottom of the valley where 80 linear feet of 24" wide puncheon was to be built.
Over the next 4 days circular saws and drills ran and the structure began to take form in three separate locations as it gently weaved it's way between the trees and surrounding rocks. The finished product will last a lifetime, and allow the ecosystem beneath it to continue to thrive without impact from foot traffic.