Two days after getting back home from the David Simard tour, I was crammed in the back jumper seat of Will’s little pickup truck, barreling towards the Walbran Valley. I was exhausted and sick (a gnarly cold was setting in), but excited. I hadn’t been back in the valley in months and hadn't done any work on the trails since early spring. I was itchy to get back at it.
Last year, I had spent 4 months going up to the valley almost every week, often for 5, sometimes 12 days at a time. We broke our backs brushing old trails that had disappeared, cutting new ones and doing boardwalk repair. Just before heading out on the road with Aidan Knight, I met Will O’Connell, a forest firefighter who was super amped to tackle the massive list of things to do in the valley. We decided that later that year, in the fall, we’d go at it guns blazing.
Six months later, three and half hours from Victoria, cramped and sore, I pulled myself out of the truck, stepped into the cold, wet air, and relished the constant white noise from the river surging below. For the next 17 days (with a total of 4 days off), we worked from sunrise to sunset ripping and replacing decrepit boardwalk before passing out completely exhausted. We’re giving ourselves a forced two week break before starting the saws up again in the December.
- The first half of these recent trips were accompanied by Alex Smith and Maia Beauvais. We could not have done the amount of work that we did without them.
- If you like the idea of a well maintained trail network, think about checking out this gofund me page. A friend of mine setup this fundraiser to help offset the costs of these trail building trips. I had some major repairs come up on Janet, my old Rav4 and without funding we sadly won't be able to continue repairing and maintaining the iconic boardwalk trails.