Pictures by Mike Gentili and Larry Gomes
Story by Larry Gomes
A highly motivated crew of nine volunteers showed up on Saturday with one goal in mind: finish cutting the Cates Hill bypass trail. Many of the same crew members had worked on the trail last weekend and they wanted to finish the what they had started. This process was made easier by the fact that Matt Godbout, our excavator operator had said we could leave the smaller brush in the middle of the trail and he would get rid it. This was a huge time saver and allowed the crews to focus mainly on cutting and the throwers only had to get rid of the larger logs.
The crew was made up of Eric Johnson. John Higgins, Bob McCourt, Mike Gentili, Mike's grandson Josh, Richard and Hunter Dagesse, Dalton Binette and Assistant Trail Master Larry Gomes. The volunteers used Mike's house on Farley Road as a jumping off point. They then used ATV's to travel along some old logging roads to gain access to the new trail.
After they arrived, the group broke up into 5 teams and each team attacked the trail in a different location. Eric and John started down one of the old logging roads that was designated to be used for the trail and cut back overhanging brush on each side. They were assisted by Richard and Hunter who were stacking the larger logs for firewood and throwing off the larger size brush.
Mike worked with Josh on a wooded section with trees about 4" in diameter. Bob and Dalton worked on another heavily wooded section with a mix of small and medium size brush while Larry went to where the crews stopped last week and started working his way back towards the other crews.
By lunch time, Mike, Bob and Larry had finished the section of trail with the heaviest cutting. After lunch, the crews drove their ATV's over piles of brush in the trail to catch up with Eric and John, who had followed the logging road until it intersected with the existing snowmobile trail. They were making their way down the snowmobile trail cutting back the overhanging brush when the rest of the crew caught up with them.
With about a third of a mile to go, everyone picked a section and started the cutting back process. Dalton and Josh cleared the brush from the last quarter mile of trail so everyone could get their ATV's and the club trailer out of the woods.
Everything went very smoothly and by 3:30pm, the crews were ready to head out of the woods.
Here are some pictures from Saturday:
The crew arrives at the
entry point to the new bypass trail and gets their gear ready. In the
background is Mike Gentili and
his grandson Josh. John Higgins and Bob McCourt grab saws from the club trailer.
In the foreground is Richard Dagesse and his brother Hunter is in the background facing the camera.
Bob McCourt cuts through some heavy brush for the new trail.
This is the section of trail cut by Bob after the heavy wood was thrown aside.
This is the section of trail cut by Mike with a few larger pieces of wood still left to be cleared.
Mike takes a well deserved water break.
Josh working his way up the trail clearing the
larger pieces of wood.
Section of trail cut by Larry. Note the nice view of Percy Peaks in the background framed by the edges of the new trail.
Larry taking down the last few trees before
heading out to find Eric and John.
Reunited at the end of the day, the crew poses
for a group picture. From left to right is John, Eric, Bob, Mike and Josh.
The total route cut over the two Saturdays
totaled 1.25 miles
with about a third of that
distance going through heavy brush and young woodlands and two thirds following existing
trails or logging roads. Excavation work is scheduled to start next week and be
complete by the beginning of November.
This was a major project completed in a very short time. Our thanks go out to the many volunteers who worked tirelessly over two weekends to get this job done!
This new bypass trail will allow our club to groom the trails in the Cates Hill area in almost any snow conditions. Prior to this, our groomers needed 3 feet of snow before attempting to groom these trails.
This will be a big change for the riders who use this trail and we are sure it will quickly become a favorite run for our groomer operators as well..