The Dragon Trail is my local network of trails which I have been developing for the past 2-3 years. By local I mean, at my house. To this point there are about 6 miles of runnable trail and another 1.5 of getting to be runnable paths with plans for an additional 2 miles yet to be started.
The first task was to cut away brambles and knock down dried out wild flower stalks for about 300m. After my skin was ripped to shreds from blackberry bushes earlier in the maintenance phase, I was happy to get to the wooded area of trail to begin to make my own rhodo-tunnel. This wood is soft and pliable and dries out easily as well. All of this makes it very easy to remove, one piece at a time. The trick to to trace the many tiny branches back to the point where one or two cuts will yield a trail.
With patience and perseverance, this process can be rewarding!! Sound familiar?
Not only does this time cutting open trail yield better running, it also serves as a training of its own. This cross training teaches the mind the endurance aspect of dedication and the also gives one hell of an upper body and core work out. After cutting the limbs away, you then get to drag them off-trail and throw them into the forest beyond!!! I guess I find this satisfying in some Tarzan kind of way.
Knowing Lynnea was getting worried by this point, I headed back up the hill... now able to run free along the newly refurbished section of trail! No ducking and bending through extremely tight spots, just upright and efficient strides without the fear of taking a stick to the eye or a limb to the head. Does make me marvel at the ability of deer to run through the non-existent holes. I hope they enjoy the open space and will continue their constant use (aka maintenance) of The Dragon Trail.
Each hour spent out doing this sort of work, yields more possibilities from the front door, and for years to come! I guess the ultimate goal is to have about 10 miles of trail where I can get lost with dogs and kids for a long day along the river. In this way, I can instill some of the appreciation I have for the outdoors and maybe teach some lessons about life while being just a few minutes from a nice soft bed!