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Be sure you take the opportunity this weekend to get out and hit one of the many amazing trails in the area. You might still run into a bit of snow on the ground, but that just make the adventure more exciting. ... See MoreSee Less

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Happy New Year to all....

As we welcome 2018, we have put together a few New Years resolutions for us to follow this year:

1. Build/maintain/repair more trail
2. Welcome more outdoor enthusiast into the trailbuilding lifestyle
3. Expand our partnership with other environmental organizations
4. Take over the world (one pick mattock at a time)

We hope you enjoy this beautiful New Year’s Day in Colorado. See you on the trail. ... See MoreSee Less

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So what do we do when there is snow on the ground and we cant build trail???? Well we get out and explore Colorado’s great ski/snowboard trails.

Photos Courtesy of: Dean Sindorf and Brandon Smith
#catstrailbuilder #explorecolorado ... See MoreSee Less

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CATS Post Brief 12/9/2017

CATS Whack Tools for Last Time
LSP Maintenance Area

A robust group of CATS members and members from OMBC came out on Saturday Dec 9 from 10 – 3 pm to clean up and set aside the tools we so fondly love to death all year – whacking trail. The weather was perfect. We had a variety of good breakfast treats and some announcements from the sponsors followed by a safety talk, station assignments, and a CATS van detail to finish up van. Tim Morse was on hand to perform a photo shoot of the entire event. All the Lory State Park tools were cleaned, sharpened, painted and some oiled. Next in line were the OMBC tools following the same sequence. CATS tools are all brand new and very little work needed – though some handles were painted with the Blue/white markings. Lunch was had with great pizzas coming in from Laporte and sponsored by OMBC.

Cameron showed us his new electric bike and another in the field gas powered hoist. Wielding was not practical today and will be scheduled for another date in January. Everything was done – including the new CATS van with a coat of polyurethane applied to the interior shelving.

Teamwork and lots of hands doing many things at once is the essence of a toolfest. Sparks flying, tools clanging, painters painting, sounds of laughter and fun in the air all make up a great day in the shed; not on the trail. Sadly, our trail days conclude for another year as we look back now on what was accomplished and look ahead for the new challenges in 2018. Thanks to all that came out the CATS annual party the night before and all the CATS members that came out to fix up tools. If you have not experienced a toolfest – you are missing out on a very important aspect of being a trail builder, that is, to know your tools and take care of them. Besides the work, it is a time for closure and say good bye to our friends (the tools) and make contacts and arrangements to stay active during the winter with our tool buddies as we will. Until the next meeting or training; I wish you all safe and happy holidays this season and through the winter.

Thanks to: Dean, Brandon, Connie, Scott, Andy, Tim, Mick, Nick, Craig, Kendra, Leigh, Cam, Dave and me.

Many thanks to Lory State Park for allowing us to clean tools, paint, and sharpen all tools at their facility.

On the trail in 2018

Bob Johnson

Field Director - CATS

more pictures:https://drive.google.com/open?id=14Gw5q49LtfTY91uBqpYaczpOziijtlpt ... See MoreSee Less

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I like the work you guys did on the backside of Res Ridge. Very Nice! ... See MoreSee Less

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Post brief: 11/30 LSP

CATS Ramp Shoreline

A winter crew of CATS members descended on Lory State Park, Thursday, last to perform a bit of maintenance to a particular section of this trail. Shoreline is a wonderful pathway for hikers, runners, fishermen, nature hikers, horse riders, but not so friendly to mountain bikers. The original trail design was mistakenly made without consideration of future user groups or water consequences. CATS worked on this trail in early 2014 - mid 2016 repairing the integrity of the tread and fixing drainage's and installing stone steps. Some redesign trail produced a lot of stone steps. These steps are fun to bike down and not so fun to bike up. There has been some discussion for some time to revisit a section of Shoreline that is infused with steps and install ramp-like pavers next to the existing steps in an effort to make the trail more enjoyable for the biking community. This improvement to the existing steps will allow mountain bikers to easily descend the staircase and later ascend without exerting extreme effort or dismounting.

The day crew [Leigh, Bob V, Scott, Cameron, me and later Wesley] all dug into constructing these ramps. The weather was perfect ~ hot enough for us to peel off clothing layers and yet cool enough to remind us that we are in the winter season. Cameron joined us as he pulled up on his new electric trail bicycle. We had to stop and examine this piece of machinery and marvel at its capabilities. Cameron jumped in and threw down some impressive ramps of his own. Later, after we finished this section, he gave it a test ride and to our delight, said: "It was great!"

The rest of the day, the crew fixed other stone steps and converted them into ramp steps. Now the biking community should be able to transverse the trail up and down without stopping.

Welcome aboard to Wesley Reiff who joined up with CATS this day. Hope to see him all next year out on projects!

This may be our last whack of the season. Next Thursday looks a tad too cold to be outdoors. What a season? What a great way to end it all at LSP? We had a large crew and the weather was just right as mentioned. Sunny with views all over to warm the soul; you could not ask for more. Our job was completed on the biking ramps or alt. line route (different place to ride). We all watched Cameron on his neat bike go up and down the new line and it just flows real smooth.

​​​​
Members: Bob V, Bob, Leigh, Dean, Cameron, Scott, Wesley Hours: 7

RESULTS: 36 stone - 150' long alt route, 5 stone steps added, 7 check steps built

ROSES:

o New member on board - Wesley Reiff
o Completed all the worked outlined for that section and then some
o Cam came out to assist us and brought out a neat new toy
o Kenny Beardon and other lady came by and saw our work - got a thumbs up!
o Testing our work product
o Weather was magnificent
o One member is still amazed at the work CATS members can do in small amount of hours
o FUN - for our last whack of the season
o Bob's stories of Ecuador
o Quickest tool talk ever by Bob
o Wesley's first job - dirt mover
o Wesley has been following us on Facebook
o Good day - good work - all pieces of ramp came together nicely

THORNS:

- Communicate better on the rendezvous site and cut off time as the group heads to worksite
- Could have used a canvas bag or drag cloth
- Not enough drinking water

BUDS:

Working out there with our newest members on a new skill set was wonderful experience. Bob VanDop came up with a new term for transplanting grass chunks - 'meadow mesh.' I thought that was a clever quip as he was trying to save of our cuttings and spontaneously came up with this one. There was another descriptive name being thrown around out there as I was aptly dubbed the 'broom whisker' for my constant sweeping of the stones. Names - how that describes us in this club hopefully in a nice way. I think it is part of the fun being out there and the partaking in the team building with funny names assigned to situations or people. Some members exhibit certain character attributes or trail skills that warrant an amusing title sometimes. I know a few members are not amused by this activity and don't participate; in the end - it is all good. We don't want to go too far and offend anyone. Playful banter on the trail whacks helps keep the work light and the vision clear. We must be observant to excessive ridicule or corrosive comments to our members or the public. So far, in ten years, CATS has maintained a stellar working environment where everyone is appreciated, respected, valued, and needed. Closing out for the year, one of our members discussed with me his personal observations about most groups/organizations membership in life. There are the groups of three. One third are very active and hold the group together, the other third are not so active - semi-active and participate when they can, and the last third are in name only - roster fillers. I know CATS has members in all three categories. For 2018, if you can review your schedule we would like to see the bottom third come back out again. You were here with us at one time earlier - what changed? How can we get you to return?

I have not received emails on why you joined CATS or what motivates you to return each week. Perhaps if I were able to share some of these comments with the CATS membership, it might stimulate some folks in the lower third to return again. Search your time and heart and make a commitment to return again in 2018. CATS is a growing organization with new members, but we certainly care about our older/veteran members or inactive ones. We need everyone to make CATS whole and an effective trail building organization of the future. Participation is the key.

On the trail,
Bob Johnson ... See MoreSee Less

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Post Brief: 11/16 2017

CATS finish climbing turn,

Yes indeed and just in time as the sun was starting to set it the west, the CATS team hiked out as happy trail builders. this is our last whack of the season out there at Young Gulch and we will return in the spring or when the snow melt is gone. Our morning trek out was fun as the trail was completely frozen and we noticed a lot of sloppy frozen footprints probably from all the hunters up there in the area. Once again, the long hike out was not so bad this last time as we had a new member join up with CATS - Craig Yonkers, a young man and former hot-shot firefighter. He is also on the OMBC Trails Committee and heard a lot about us and wanted to check us out. Glad he came out and what a work force! He can surely swing a sledge all day. I bet he is sore today?
Our initial team started out with Dean, Craig, Bob VanDop, me and later Lynn and Leigh joined us and filled out the team for the day. What a day! The morning was crisp, but within the first hour out there we were shedding clothing. We trudged back to S84 (Section 84) and for those just catching up with us - that is 8400' of trail; just about 1.5 mile back into the gulch. This is our last chance to finish this climbing turn coming up from creek crossing #6. We left the project over two weeks ago with significant gap in the monowall which needed to be patched today. Our last visit produced a lot of stone as the Mayan stone we were moving - just fell apart. Today involved shoving them downhill and placing them in the trays.
Four team members went after that section as Leigh and I finished up the top of the turn with monowall and new trail, and some trail closure. Barrow scrape/pit was set up to give us much needed mineral soil for the trail, especially in the apex of the turn. Amazingly, the scrape produced quite a bit of soil and we were grateful as this area is not populated with soil. Craig bounced around between both teams and was appreciated two times over. We took a quick late lunch by the creek and jumped back at to finish just at 4 pm or so. We then rounded up WRV existing tools out there and hauled some back in. On the way back, Bob V dazzled us with a performance of his 'rodeo dollies'. They were hard to tame until Bob finally figured out that it might be easier to push those broncos rather than pull them. Sorry Bob for your hardships, but it was a tad amusing for a spell. You go Cowboy!

Members: Bob V, Bob J, Dean, Leigh, Craig, Lynn
Hours: 8

RESULTS: 60' of new monowall completed - thus finishing the entire climb, 40' of new trail on top of the turn, 20' of some closure/rehab, 20' of backsloping all areas

ROSES:

"You guys really know what you are doing"
"CATS is good at sharing knowledge"
"Quality of work astounds me"
"We leave a very clean site"
"There is a good aspect of over-talking the stone as everyone has a say"
"Finished turn looks like a large rattlesnake"
the banked turn at the bottom (to be built) is going to be awesome for bikers
Ownership is big with us and pride runs through it
Beautiful weather all day
Craig - first time and did a great job at it
Two small crews on two taskers - worker out great
Nice finished turn through out
Fill Collins worked out for us - we were blessed with that aspect
Right amount of tools out there this time
Full days work

THORNS:
"Talking a bit too much on stone placements"
Trail was muddy going back - slippery as Bob V found out
Uncooperative dollies

BUDS:

Well, we did it in three whacks and 25 hours or so of work to produce a real nice turn out there in the gulch. It is hard now to judge which area ranks higher with us - S77 or S84? We have two climbing trail products now that are just a piece of work. Many thanks to the crews at various times/dates that constructed both these marvels. I hope the TA group will take a look at them before winter sets in? CATS is interested on how the bridges are angled and their construction materials for crossings 6 and 7 next year. It is sad this time of year as we are closing down like shutting the cover of a good book. For some of us, it took all year to get buffed up to lugging around tools, swinging them, pounding, moving boulders with brute strength, getting dirty, drinking some beer and going home. Seems appropriate that we take a small respite from all this to concentrate on the white stuff falling down and other fun activities. By-the-way, who in their right mind considers this trail activity fun? In the past, we have had some citizens come out and give it a go and that is the last time we saw them. I think, maybe, it was not fun for them. But I am still waiting to collect statements from our membership on why they continue to come out with CATS? What is their inner drive? What promotes them or causes them to suit up in trail garb and head out weekly to later come home dirty and tired? Is this a sick form of FUN? For me, it has always been about fun; and yes working hard is fun contrary to some generational views of life lately. Nothing gained easy is worth the credit. I feel we do hard work, yet the sweat of toil is measured in gallons of fun. Heck, we gain it all back at the pub with water and beer. How do you measure satisfaction? Folks don't do things without the proverbial comment of 'whats in it for me?' What is in it for you? Let me know; I am compiling quotes and such for another one of my papers.

On the trail,

Bob Johnson ... See MoreSee Less

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