We were reminded on Saturday why we normally take December off for the volunteer work days! This one was a bit different though simply because it was our rescheduled work day from our November cancellation (if you remember, it was due to the wet weather). Anyhow, we had a breezy, cool and successful work day this month up the Dog Canyon trail.

We worked over a mile and a half distance of the Dog Canyon trail above the Oliver Lee State Park main building. We were extremely fortunate to have 19 volunteers! Eight of us were regulars but we were very happy (and fortunate) to welcome an addition 11 young(er) airmen from Holloman! All I got out of them were that they were cops from base (Security Forces or Security Police? I always get them mixed up) and that their Flight Chief “encouraged” their participate. Well, thank you Flight Chief, whoever you are, and sincerely — thanks all of you that came out. You were a huge help!

The trail was pretty steep and rocky in many places, but the view was great! We managed to make a whopping 61 trail and water bar repairs throughout the mile and a half of trail (we think it was actually 60 repairs but our board President felt no one would believe such an even number so we rounded up a bit — you’d think he used to write EPRs (performance reports) in the Air Force!)

The weather was pretty cool but everyone seemed dressed well for it. Some of us unfortunately worked a side of the mountain that caught most of the breeze but later in the work day the sun started to finally break through the clouds and warmed us up a bit.

Most of our volunteers for the day (to include the motley crew from Holloman!)

Jeremy Evans, the Forest Service employee that has been joining us over the last several months faithfully showed up again and brought all the tools we needed from the Cloudcroft station.

One interesting bit about this trail is that two of our volunteers (one of which is a Rails-to-Trails board member as well) Doug Holcomb and Glenn Fess actually BUILT this trail way, way back when they were younger and more physically fit men (was New Mexico even a STATE then? No one knows for sure)! I don’t know Glenn’s past experience first-hand with the trail but I know Doug is a veteran Forest Service employee and he told me about his early years working on the very trail we were repairing.

Again, we feel like it was a very successful work day and we really appreciate everyone that participated. We hope to see you all again next month!

Rails-to-Trails crew heading up the trail

Those buckets are about to get heavy once they’re filled with dirt!

Building a much needed water bar across the trail

Great volunteer spirits even in the cold!

View from the Dog Canyon trail

Great views from the trail even in the gloomy weather.

As always, we’ve got many more photos! Check them out on our official Flickr page!