Trail Training Ups and Downs


By: Drew Weinberger

Training pushed me to expand my knowledge and my will to work. As the seasons changed, so did we. At the beginning of training it was cold, snowy and miserable. All the coffee in the world couldn’t keep us going for eight hours at a time. Fortunately for us we had vercera on the mind to keep us up.

Ah yes, the WFR training was a fun time, never in my life have I felt so prepared to deal with an obnoxious doctor who thought he was smarter than me. By the end of WFR training we had warmed up, not physically (the winter was dragging on), but as a community. We were a community of people that had joined together and support each other to deny the fact that it was still snowy outside.

Going out to Middlesex Fells for Spring Hitch and Work Skills, I didn’t know what to expect, I had a lot of questions. How does a stone staircase work? How do I use a timber carry? Do the tents actually have any semblance of being waterproof? Is Tim secretly three kids in a trench coat? There were many things to learn, much I hadn’t even considered to be important to trails.

I learned that the only reason I have things to do is because water messes up trails. Erosion, mud, or just straight up a stream forming in the trail. The instructors kept saying something about getting the trail into the water or getting the water into the trail, or maybe it was the other way around. I learned that Lightly on the Land is our Bible, and should be worshiped as such.

I had a lot of successes and a lot of failures. One day I aligned and rebarred in four parts of a turnpike, and another day I got lost on the park trail. A lot of up and downs, a LOOOOOT of ups and downs. Through the thick thin we came together as a corps and collectively nailed down enough skills to head off onto conservation season.