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Category Archives: Story
Many people enjoy a back country fire and I am one of them. The Dobson Trail has many ‘official” and “un-official” fire pit areas and as more people discover the trail and hike it the more use these fire pits see. The most popular one is the first one in from Riverview at about the 600 meter mark. It has a built in fire ring and a grate that can pivot over the ring to place pots on. It also has a few tables and log benches around it.
This is a very popular spot for locals to come out in the evening and the weekends with friends and family to enjoy a fire in the woods. Because of the high volume of use the immediate area looks like tidal wave came through and washed everything with a 50 meter radius away leaving bare earth and nothing left to burn. Over the past 7 or 8 years it has gotten a lot more use and a lot worse but at least the local “teen nightlife” has not gone back and destroyed it or burnt a bunch of tires in the last 5 years or so. The trail maintenance folks do their best to have fire wood available when they know a specific group is going in but there is not always wood there to burn which causes people to scavenge and destroy the few tree in the immediate area. We tried to leave a splitting ax there for people to use but it quickly became a problem with people using it to destroy some of the nearby living trees and the posts that were installed to be used as a wind break with a few tarps when the senior and blind groups come in to enjoy the fire pit.
This fire pit is also in need of some TLC that I hope to tackle once it dries up and before the bugs are out.
Below are some tips on how to treat back country fire pits:
- keep it small
- use the provided fire pits
- use the provided wood or bring you own
- burn only wood found on the ground and no bigger than your wrist
- do not strip trees of bark or live branches
- travel as far as possible to collect wood to avoid clearing out the pit area
- time your fire to completely burn out before you leave
- keep the pit clean, no cans, bottle or garbage
- keep the whole area clean and safe.
- do not leave extra brush or wood near fire pit, pile it safely away or in the wood shed.
- Think how you would like to find it and leave it that way for others
- beware of loose dogs they can knock over people and snatch food from kids
Remember that many others and many families with young kids enjoy the fire pit so try to keep it clean, safe and set a good example for others. If you do see someone doing something wrong or destructive ask them to stop please. The trail is maintained by volunteers and we all see this trail as a community trail so lets all try to chip in and keep it clean and safe.
Today was the annual United Way volunteer day, with over 600 people volunteering to do work on various community activities, it is the largest one day volunteer group in Canada. The day started at 7:30 am at the Coverdale Rec center with a fantastic breakfast for all and a few speeches and thanks to the sponsors. Around 8:30 am we all left and went to the new parking lot to meet with our group of volunteers. To our great surprise we had two groups of 8 people each!
One group was from The Iriving Corporation and the other was from Exxon Mobil. They were a very happy and enthusiastic group of people prepared to work. We had a little talk explaining the Trail and the work we had planned for the day and then everyone grabbed a wheelbarrow, rake or shovel and we headed in to the first, main fire pit area. The work we wanted to complete was getting some heavier, large rocks down on the end of the loop trail where it comes out at the fire pit and then cover it over over with the finer stuff to make the trail nice and smooth. I would guess we moved well over 50 loads of the two types of rocks today and covered 50 meters of trail.
Some people also helped to clear brush away from the trail to make it cleaner and more appealing. We installed a new cable spindle table and fixed another while there as well. Lunch was provided for all from Subway which was delicious and George Mundle came out to make tea and coffee. I started a fire in the pit which gave us a nice atmosphere to sit around when having a drink or lunch, it also helped to keep some of the bugs away. Many people and dogs came by and told us what a wonderful trail and great job we were doing keeping this trail in tip top shape, not bad for a bunch of volunteers.
There was a camera crew there filming us work and interviewed Rod Steeves and Jim Dewolfe so hopefully I will find it soon on YouTube and get it on here as well.
I was out Geocaching yesterday morning on the trail, what a perfect day to be out there, except for all the water. I started out at the end near Fundy Park with a fellow Geocacher and went as far as the Gold Mine Rd and back.
The trees were all still wet and dripping so everytime we had to go off trail to find the Geocache it rained on us. We found 12 caches along the trail and a few along Old Shepody Rd on the way in. One of them was damaged and full of water so we packed it out and told the owner it was removed. The trail was very wet, good thing I wore the proper footwear so it really wasn’t that much of a concern, except when I sunk up to my ankles in mud. One thing we noticed right away was the number of patio blocks and stones that cover the first kilometer or so. That must have taken some time and effort to place, and we appreciated it.
Due to the last wet and heavy snow storm many trees and even more tree tops are broken off and strewn all over the place, not only on the trail but all around Fundy Park, they are still working at clearing some of the trails in the park. We were not equipped or had the time to remove them all. I did have my small hatchet and managed to remove a few but some were too big of a job for it. There was only one that really caused us some problems, it was somwhere between km 57 and km 56 and it will have to be chainsawed out.
I always take pictures of the km markers along the trail and here are the three I saw today.
We crossed over a few logging roads and a nice little stream along the way. There were a few sections with obvious ATV use as the tracks were there along with the tossed beer cans, pity.
I think one thing that is keeping the ATV use to a minimum is the fact that the bridge at the end of Gold Mine Rd is not passable for them any more. We took our time and chances crossing it to get the Geocache on the other side before making our way back across and out. I am not sure who built the bridge, I assume it was the snowmobile association as that is what it is called in the hiking guide. It was still very solid and steady just slippery.
We turned around and started to make our way back, we avoided the really wet section by walking up a logging road to Dorman Rd and out that way to the truck. This trip took us about 2.5 hours to do but we went slow and stopped 12 times to find a Geocache, I think using the roads out added a bit of distance but also cut down on the time as we could walk much faster and drier. On our way home we stopped off at the Park headquarters to check out the new Yurts. They have 4 with a 5th being built. They sleep five, have a propane fireplace and plenty of room inside. There is a new cooking shelter for the Yurts nearby and they keep a bathroom/shower room open all year round now. The Yurt cost $90 a night, I may go down this winter and give one a try.
Enjoy the trail, and share your stories as well.