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The Blue Hills Trail in northern Wisconsin – March through November 2016 – comments from visitors

2 Dec

From March to December, volunteers of the Blue Hills Trail Association keep busy with trail maintenance in preparation for their favorite time of the year: winter! Visitors to this 20-mile system of non-motorized trails enjoyed a rare bug free spring/summer/fall and shared their experiences with comments in our guestbook.

Recent comments from the logbook in the warming house are included in the picture gallery that follows. Find comments from Wisconsin (Augusta, Bruce, Cadott, Chetek, Eau Claire, Hawkins, Ladysmith, Madison, Milwaukee, Phillips, Rice Lake), Minnesota (Minneapolis, St. Louis Park, St. Paul, Zumbrota), Indiana (Indianapolis), Michigan (Traverse City)…

How to view images: To see larger versions of the thumbnail photos, view each picture individually by clicking on the thumbnail; or you can “show as slideshow” by clicking the link above the images. To move quickly through the slideshow click the photos themselves. For either option, if you want to save the image for yourself, simply right click the full size image to obtain the original; higher quality images are available by contacting our website.  To avoid copyright infringement, reprints must credit the Blue Hills Trail Association, Inc.

28th Annual Fundraising Banquet for the Blue Hills Trail located in northwest Wisconsin

8 Nov

The annual fall banquet for the Blue Hills Trail Association, Inc. (BHTA) was held Saturday, November 5th at Lehman’s Supper Club in Rice Lake. While bidding on the numerous silent auction items, this group of silent sports enthusiasts enjoyed camaraderie, libations, great food, and laughter. Storytelling by author/humorist Michael Perry created outlandishly funny images that had us howling.

After a delicious buffet meal, master of ceremonies (Patty McGown) turned the floor over to BHTA president Ron Jasperson who summarized the many significant events impacting the Blue Hills Trail this past year, including: an amazing amount of erosion following a May 31st deluge; the huge number of volunteers helping throughout the year; the tremendous all-season usefulness of the 2014 John Deere Gator with Camoplast tracks purchased spring of 2014; and a good (but short) ski season during the winter of 2015-16 despite a strong El Nino event. Ron reported the trails are in good shape as we head toward winter, and noted that fundraising this fall has been very successful. He was pleased to note that the Blue Hills Trail Association, Inc. remains financially solid. Follow this link to read the full text of this year’s State of the Trails.

To honor a few of our many volunteers, three special awards were presented: Jonathan Stanley accepted the “2 BZ 2 Pee” traveling trophy (a porcelain urinal) honoring his numerous contributions of time and energy to many area organizations, ours included. Then beer connoisseur Ron Jasperson was honored for his many years working on the trails – he received a growler with glasses emblazoned with the logo “Got Trails?” And to recognize his incredible sleuthing skills and ability to explore issues fully, Ron received a special trench coat and cuban cigar and was publicly honored as our own Columbo (he does bear a striking resemblance to Peter Falk).

Following Michael Perry’s presentation, prizes valued at more than $5000 were distributed to the attendees — including Jim Cargill winning the raffle for the Spring Street Sports $250 gift card, and Bob Peterson winning the raffle for the New Moon $250 gift card.  Our many donors graciously give back to their communities — when the opportunity arises, be sure to offer them a sincere thank you. Colder weather’s overdue, get your skis ready!

Bridge and culvert repair on the Blue Hills Trail

2 Oct

The Blue Hills Trail — entirely non-motorized — has more than 20 miles of trails that require year round maintenance. Our most important bridge was heavily damaged in a late May deluge, then dismantled in August while staging the repair. Every picture tells a story: the attached photos first show the damaged bridge; then show the workers on the 14th of September when the bridge was rebuilt (bridge building photos courtesy of Dan Bjugstad); and some modifications from the workday on October 1st. Thanks to these guys for rebuilding the bridge: Dan Bjugstad, Mike Cragg, Ron Jasperson, Frank Lowry, & John Waldron. Thanks to Lamperts of Ladysmith for donating the lumber for the stringers.

This bridge (as well as another bridge and several culverts) received quite a bit of attention during the annual work day on October 1st. The trails are shaping up now as we enjoy fall and look forward to winter skiing.

Many many thanks to our numerous volunteers!

How to view images: To see larger versions of the thumbnail photos, view each picture individually by clicking on the thumbnail; or you can “show as slideshow” by clicking the link above the images. To move quickly through the slideshow click the photos themselves. For either option, if you want to save the image for yourself, simply right click the full size image to obtain the original; higher quality images are available by contacting our website.  To avoid copyright infringement, reprints must credit the Blue Hills Trail Association, Inc.

27th Annual Fundraising Banquet for the Blue Hills Trail located in northwest Wisconsin

9 Nov

The annual fall banquet for the Blue Hills Trail Association, Inc. (BHTA) was held Saturday, November 7th at Lehman’s Supper Club in Rice Lake. While bidding on the numerous silent auction items, this group of silent sports enthusiasts enjoyed camaraderie, libations, great food, and Dr. Bob Inman’s dynamic slide show presentation (“Wolverine Biology and Conservation”) describing ground-breaking work applying GPS tracking in the study of wolverines. The GPS technology that Dr. Inman and his wife applied for the first time to wolverines revealed the amazing capacity of the species to move through rugged terrain and the vast multi-state scale over which conservation of wolverines must occur.

After a delicious buffet meal, master of ceremonies (Patty McGown) turned the floor over to BHTA vice president Ron Jasperson who summarized the many significant events impacting the Blue Hills Trail this past year, including: the huge number of volunteers helping throughout the year; the tremendous all-season usefulness of the 2014 John Deere Gator with Camoplast tracks purchased spring of 2014; and a very good ski season during the winter of 2014-15 that attracted more ‘out-of-the-area’ skiers than ever. Ron reported the trails are in good shape as we head toward winter, and noted that fundraising this fall has been very successful. He was pleased to note that the Blue Hills Trail Association, Inc. remains financially solid.

To honor a few of our many volunteers, two special awards were presented: Patty McGown and Nels Curnow accepted the “2 Busy 2 Pee” traveling trophy (a porcelain urinal) honoring their numerous contributions of time and energy. Then Dave Olsen was honored for his many years maintaining the pit toilets – he received the golden clothespin award.

Following Dr. Inman’s presentation, prizes valued at more than $5000 were distributed to the attendees — including Mark Bittner winning the raffle for the Spring Street Sports $250 gift card, and Erik Ostenso winning the raffle for the New Moon $250 gift card.  Our many donors graciously give back to their communities — when the opportunity arises, be sure to offer them a sincere thank you. Colder weather’s overdue, get your skis ready!

How to view images: To see larger versions of the thumbnail photos, view each picture individually by clicking on the thumbnail; or you can “show as slideshow” by clicking the link above the images. To move quickly through the slideshow click the photos themselves. For either option, if you want to save the image for yourself, simply right click the full size image to obtain the original; higher quality images are available by contacting our website.  To avoid copyright infringement, reprints must credit the Blue Hills Trail Association, Inc.

Blue Hills Trail: bridge washout necessitates trail revision

17 Oct

Good news! Northern Wisconsin’s Blue Hills Trail has a new hill.

On September 17th, a heavy downpour triggered flooding that created a washout of one of the bridges on the core loop of the Blue Hills Trail. This bridge is located not far from the trailhead – near #23 on trail section 1-23 (refer to the website Trail Maps link). Due to the nature and location of the washout, bridge repair appeared unmanageable.

After brainstorming to find a fix, and looking at multiple options, a bypass trail (200 meters in length) was discovered through an area previously unexplored. This bypass seemed especially desirable because not only would it avoid a meandering creek and bypass the damaged bridge – it also would bypass a gradually failing culvert, and another bridge susceptible to high water.

Here’s a description of the work accomplished the past two weeks:

  • Flagged the trail revision.
  • Installed silt fence.
  • Dozed the new route.
  • Raked, shoveled, and leveled the rough spots.
  • Removed rocks and tree roots.
  • Spread grass seed (annuals and perennials).

The section of revised trail replaces a straight section of trail and “flows” nicely to avoid the oxbow of the nearby creek. It even adds another small hill to the Blue Hills Trail. Pictures (below) show installation of silt fence prior to dozing; then the newly dozed trail on the day the grass seed was spread.

Many thanks to our silt fence crew: Steve Gest, Pete Grassmann, Kent Meng, Gale Otterholt, Tom Paulsen, Steve Schleppegrell, and Jonathan Stanley. And thanks to the raking and grass spreading crew: Ron Jasperson, Jan Paulsen, and Tom Paulsen.

How to view images: To see larger versions of the thumbnail photos, view each picture individually by clicking on the thumbnail; or you can “show as slideshow” by clicking the link above the images. To move quickly through the slideshow click the photos themselves. For either option, if you want to save the image for yourself, simply right click the full size image to obtain the original; higher quality images are available by contacting our website.  To avoid copyright infringement, reprints must credit the Blue Hills Trail Association, Inc.

Blue Hills Trail work day is Saturday morning, October 3rd

30 Sep

A quick reminder…
Our annual trail work day is this Saturday, October 3rd.
Wear blaze orange, arrive at the warming house at 8:30 a.m., and
bring gloves, branch clippers/loppers, spade shovels, chainsaws, and power brush cutters (ATVs may also be helpful).

Please Note:
As we divide up into various crews, one crew will focus on removing accumulated debris from under a couple bridges. That group will need footwear, gloves etc that will allow work in and around water. If interested in joining that work crew, please dress appropriately.

If the morning is quite chilly, we’ll probably have the furnace turned on in the warming house. Fun time in the woods, consider joining us for a few hours.

 

26th Annual Fundraising Banquet for the Blue Hills Trail located in Northwest Wisconsin

1 Nov

The annual fall banquet for the Blue Hills Trail Association, Inc. (BHTA) was held Saturday, November 1st at Lehman’s Supper Club in Rice Lake.  While bidding on the numerous silent auction items, this group of silent sports enthusiasts enjoyed camaraderie, libations, great food, and Bob Unbehaun’s dynamic slide show presentation (“Paddle the Puddle”) describing his 2004 solo kayak trip around Lake Superior.  After a delicious buffet meal, master of ceremonies (Patty McGown) turned the floor over to BHTA president Dave Olsen who summarized the many significant events impacting the Blue Hills Trail this past year, including: the huge number of volunteers helping throughout the year; and the successful Spring fund drive that allowed the purchase of a John Deere Gator with Camoplast tracks (to be used for winter grooming and summer trail maintenance).  Dave reported the trails are in great shape as we head toward winter, and noted that fundraising this fall has been very successful.  He was pleased to note that the Blue Hills Trail Association, Inc. remains financially solid.

To honor one of our many volunteers, a special award was presented: vice president Ron Jasperson accepted the “2 Busy 2 Pee” traveling trophy (a porcelain urinal) honoring Ron’s numerous contributions of time and energy.

At that point, prizes valued at close to $6000 were distributed to the attendees — including Bob Schwartz winning the raffle for the Spring Street Sports $250 gift card, and John Waldron winning the raffle for the New Moon $250 gift card.  Our many donors graciously give back to their communities — when the opportunity arises, be sure to offer them a sincere thank you.  Colder weather’s on the way, get your skis ready!

How to view images: To see larger versions of the thumbnail photos, view each picture individually by clicking on the thumbnail; or you can “show as slideshow” by clicking the link above the images. To move quickly through the slideshow click the photos themselves. For either option, if you want to save the image for yourself, simply right click the full size image to obtain the original; higher quality images are available by contacting our website.  To avoid copyright infringement, reprints must credit the Blue Hills Trail Association, Inc.

Annual trail work day a big success.

4 Oct

Each autumn, the Blue Hills Trail Association Inc coordinates a single work day to prepare the Blue Hills Trail for fall hunting, and especially the coming winter cross country ski season.  After last winter’s heavy snows, the past six months have been unusually wet, and after a couple days of more rain, this morning the work day crew was greeted by 1″ of wet snow on the leaf tops.  Thanks to a dry spell in July and August, the trails are nicely mowed and provide nice hiking even though very wet.

Despite chilly temps near 40 degrees F, one of our best ever work day turnouts showed sixteen hardy souls ready to go at 9 a.m.  After a brief planning session in the heated warming house, we split up into seven different groups and spent ~3 hours on trail work each (that’s about 48 hours of total labor if you’re counting).

Today’s accomplishments:

  • Cleared the entire WestSide of downed trees and encroaching limbs
  • Cleared 90% of the EastSide core loop of downed trees and encroaching limbs
  • Identified some additional downed trees in need of chainsaw work
  • Cleared the snowshoe trail of encroaching limbs, & identified downed trees that need chainsaw work
  • Put a new roof (metal) on the men’s pit toilet
  • Washed the warming house windows
  • Cleaned the cobwebs from the warming house furnace & turned it on for the day; it’s set to go when the winter ski season arrives.

Many thanks to today’s volunteers: Sam Behrends, Mike Cragg, Roger Gray, Lori Gray, Janelle Gruetzmacher, Tyler Gruetzmacher, John Kann, Jenna Lisowe, Frank Lowry, Dave Olsen, Jan Paulsen, Tom Paulsen, Steve Poethke, Steve Porn, Jonathan Stanley, and John Ziemer.

How to view images: To see larger versions of the thumbnail photos, view each picture individually by clicking on the thumbnail; or you can “show as slideshow” by clicking the link above the images. To move quickly through the slideshow click the photos themselves. For either option, if you want to save the image for yourself, simply right click the full size image to obtain the original; higher quality images are available by contacting our website.  To avoid copyright infringement, reprints must credit the Blue Hills Trail Association, Inc.

Important dates: October 4th work day – November 1st Fundraising Banquet

22 Sep

Brisk winds, cooler temps – it’s time to prepare the Blue Hills Trail for winter.
Important upcoming dates include:

Work day on Saturday, October 4th
Meet at the warming house at 8:30 a.m.  Come on out to enjoy a beautiful hike and help maintain clear and smooth passages!  Wear blaze orange, and bring gloves, spade shovels, chainsaws, branch clippers, & ATVs. Our officers will provide guidance.  Giving 2-3 hours of your time really helps, we’re usually done by late morning.
Annual fundraiser banquet Saturday, November 1st – SMOKE FREE
Only $25 per person ($10 for kids 12 & under), the fun starts at 5:30 p.m. at Lehman’s Supper Club in Rice Lake with a chance to bid on the silent auction items.  Dinner is served at 6:30 (a delicious buffet featuring chicken &  hand cut prime rib — pasta primavera for vegetarians).  At 7:30 Bob Unbehaun will share his adventure titled “Paddle the Puddle” – his kayak voyage around Lake Superior.  Prizes will be distributed at 8:30 and include a $250 gift card for use at Spring Street Sports in Chippewa Falls, and a $250 gift card for use at New Moon Ski & Bike in Hayward.  YOU MUST REGISTER & PAY IN ADVANCE!!!  Click here for more information and registration details.

Annual fall banquet brings a fun group together to share in fundraising for the Blue Hills Trail cross country ski system in northern Wisconsin.

3 Nov

The annual fall banquet for the Blue Hills Trail Association, Inc. (BHTA) was held Saturday, November 3rd at Lehman’s Supper Club in Rice Lake.  While bidding on the numerous silent auction items, the enthusiastic attendees enjoyed libations, great food, camaraderie, and a captivating wildlife presentation by DNR Naturalist – Chris Cold.  Master of ceremonies (Jerry Wilkes) turned the floor over to BHTA vice president Dave Olsen who summarized the many significant events impacting the Blue Hills Trail this past year, reporting the trails are in great shape as we head toward winter; and noting that fundraising this fall has been very successful.  He was pleased to note that the Blue Hills Trail Association, Inc. remains financially solid.

To honor just a few of our many volunteers, two special awards were presented: Jonathan Stanley humbly passed along the “2 Busy 2 Pee” traveling trophy (a porcelain urinal) to Dick Pebler – honoring Dick’s busy lifestyle that includes many volunteer activities.  Secretary/treasurer Tom Paulsen recognized several individuals that survived near misses while performing trail work – but the hands down winner of the 1st place Survivor’s Award was Steve Porn (see his picture below; & read his story in the August 16th, 2012 Blog Post).

At that point, prizes valued at close to $5000 were distributed to the attendees — including Jerry Wilkes winning the raffle for the New Moon $250 gift card, and John Stupak winning the raffle for the Spring Street Sports $250 gift card.  Our many donors graciously give back to their communities — when the opportunity presents, be sure to offer them a sincere thank you.  Now it’s about time for a good old fashioned winter!

How to view images: To see larger versions of the thumbnail photos, view each picture individually by clicking on the thumbnail; or you can “show as slideshow” by clicking the link above the images. To move quickly through the slideshow click the photos themselves. For either option, if you want to save the image for yourself, simply right click the full size image to obtain the original; higher quality images are available by contacting our website.  To avoid copyright infringement, reprints must credit the Blue Hills Trail Association, Inc.

The trails are in great shape – many thanks to volunteers on the September 29th work day.

24 Oct

The entire trail system is in excellent shape!  The trails are wider & smoother than ever, making for great hiking now, and promising great skiing this winter.

Many thanks to those that helped on September 29th, our annual work day.  A special thanks to the group from the Rice Lake High School Conservation Club (pictured below).

You’ll be impressed by the many areas of trail improvements resulting from this summer’s work.  Aggressive dozing in July (time donated from the Wisconsin DNR and the Rusk County Forestry Department) reworked some rough and erosion-prone sections of the East Side Trails, then these areas were successfully seeded.  In August, a logging sale involving the East Side Trails also worked to our benefit: the logger decided to doze (smooth & widen) a large section of trails in anticipation of summer logging in 2013.  The logger also created a new shortcut trail that will add to the skier’s enjoyment (16A-20A on our trail maps).  All of these freshly dozed trails also were seeded in time for grasses to become established – check out the map & pictures below.

Recent comments from the logbook in the warming house

  • 8/18: Beautiful day!  We are looking forward to exploring more beautiful Blue Hills trails! –author’s location unknown
  • 8/19: Enjoyed our visit. –Columbus, OH
  • 8/30: Went for a nice run. –Bruce, WI
  • 8/31: A visit from… –Litchfield, MN
  • 8/31: Hiking! –Rice Lake, WI
  • 9/3: Mt bike outer loop 1:18, super ride! –author’s location unknown
  • 9/12: Walking in the rain in beautiful forest is PRICELESS! –author’s location unknown
  • 9/12: Gorgeous day w/ gorgeous friend! –Ladysmith, WI
  • 9/29: Workday :)
  • 9/29: RLHS conservation club came & picked rock etc from ski trails. –Rice Lake, WI
  • 9/29: Blue skies, red leaves brighten my soul as we walk through the trees! –Rice Lake, WI
  • 9/29: Enjoyed cabin & trails!! –author’s location unknown
  • 9/30: 1st time here  :-)  –Colfax, WI
  • 10/6: Did some serious biking on the trails.  Beautiful crisp day with some snow to add to the scenery.  I nearly fell off my bike on some rocks & trees & went ice skating on the leaves, but we made it out alive!  We jumped in the Flambeau River 5 days ago & enjoyed snow today!  We love adventure!! –Exeland, WI
  • 10/13: Visiting from… –Memphis, MO
  • 10/14: Great hike… no birds. –Weyerhaeuser, WI

How to view images: To see larger versions of the thumbnail photos, view each picture individually by clicking on the thumbnail; or you can “show as slideshow” by clicking the link above the images. To move quickly through the slideshow click the photos themselves. For either option, if you want to save the image for yourself, simply right click the full size image to obtain the original; higher quality images are available by contacting our website.  To avoid copyright infringement, reprints must credit the Blue Hills Trail Association, Inc.

Now is the time to get the Blue Hills Trail ready for cross country skiing!

17 Sep

Brisk winds, cooler temps – it’s time to prepare the Blue Hills Trail for winter.
Important upcoming dates include:

Work day on Saturday, September 29th
Meet at the warming house at 8:30 a.m.  Come on out to enjoy a beautiful hike and help maintain clear and smooth passages!  Wear blaze orange, and bring gloves, spade shovels, chainsaws, branch clippers, & ATVs. Our trail boss (Frank) will provide guidance.  Giving 2-3 hours of your time really helps, we’re usually done by late morning.
Annual fundraiser banquet Saturday, November 3rd – SMOKE FREE
Only $24 per person, the fun starts at 5:30 p.m. at Lehman’s Supper Club in Rice Lake.  Arrive early to check out the silent auction items.  Dinner is served at 6:30 (buffet featuring chicken &  hand cut prime rib — pasta primavera for vegetarians).  Prizes include a $250 gift card for use at Spring Street Sports in Chippewa Falls, and a $250 gift card for use at New Moon Ski & Bike in Hayward.  YOU MUST REGISTER & PAY IN ADVANCE!!! Click here for more information and registration details.

Nothing is ever as easy as it looks – our summer trail work is an adventure

16 Aug

The Blue Hills Trail Association Inc pursued an aggressive agenda for trail work this summer.  Now in mid August, we feel we’ve reached most of our goals.  Many thanks to the Rusk County Forestry Department, the Wisconsin DNR, and the Rusk County Wildlife Restoration Association (WRA) for their help.

When enjoying these trails while hiking/hunting/skiing this fall and winter, take a moment to consider the work that goes into taming mother nature.  The past couple days I gained a new appreciation of the difficult task of mowing our trail system.  Club member Steve Porn operated the skidsteer-mower donated by the WRA, and I cleared debris ahead of him while scouting for hidden rocks.  A few hours after starting the mowing, Steve’s skidsteer slipped off a steep embankment and was stuck in a perilous spot.  After Steve cautiously exited the machine, we phoned for help and were rescued by one of our highly skilled local DNR dozer operators.  Three hours after the skidsteer left the trail, we were back in action.

Mowing continued into the next day.  Thanks to the drying conditions this summer, we felt fortunate to reach our goal of negotiating and mowing about ten typically soft muddy wet sections on the most distant trails of the Eastside.  As we were completing the final hour of mowing operations, we found one of the many hidden rocks the Blue Hills has to offer.  The head of the bolt securing the mower blade was sheared off, the blade went flying like a piece of shrapnel — and fortunately humans and equipment survived without significant injury.  Hard work, but enjoyable time in the Hills.  As stated earlier, I have a much greater appreciation for those that have mowed these trails the past 30 years.

And I’m excited about the other trail work that was accomplished this summer.

A lot of dozing of eroded areas was performed in July, then seeded within the past couple weeks.  Grass has sprouted, those newly greened trail sections look inviting, and should provide good bird hunting habitat in addition to improvements that will enhance our winter cross country skiing.

Thanks to the following for help with summer trail maintenance/improvement:

  • Rusk County Forestry – major culvert planning, provision of the culvert, tree clearing in anticipation of mowing, mowing of the Westside trails and portions of the Eastside trails, and provision of grass seed.
  • DNR (Ladysmith Center) – planning and dozing of multiple trail segments to enhance erosion control, dozing for insertion of the culvert, guidance with placement of the culvert silt fence, and rescue operation of the immobilized skidsteer mower.
  • Blue Hills Trail Assn Inc. – $300 fee for DNR culvert permit, gas for mowing operations.
  • Rands Trucking (Ladysmith) – two rolls of silt fence (donated).
  • BHTA members Frank Lowry, Jan Paulsen and Tom Paulsen (bridge repair); Tom Paulsen and Jonathan Stanley (trail inspection); John Carr, Tom Paulsen, Jerry Schneider (install silt fence around new culvert and spread grass seed); Dan Bale and Tom Paulsen (spread grass seed); John Ziemer (donated use of his ATV); Dan Bale (use of his truck); Steve Porn and Tom Paulsen (mowing); Steve Porn and Jerry Schneider (clearing of the Westside Trails); Dan Bartels (mowing).
  • Ladysmith Drifbusters Snowmobile Club member Tom Haasl – instructions in use of the WRA skidsteer mower.

Take a look at the pictures (below) to better experience the mowing adventures.  You’ll also find a map that describes mowed/dozed areas on the Eastside.

How to view images: To see larger versions of the thumbnail photos, view each picture individually by clicking on the thumbnail; or you can “show as slideshow” by clicking the link above the images. To move quickly through the slideshow click the photos themselves. For either option, if you want to save the image for yourself, simply right click the full size image to obtain the original; higher quality images are available by contacting our website.  To avoid copyright infringement, reprints must credit the Blue Hills Trail Association, Inc.

Winter is on its way. Check out these videos showcasing the beauty of the seasons at the Blue Hills Trail in northern Wisconsin.

3 Dec

It’s been a warm dry fall, allowing time to prepare the trails for the upcoming ski season.  If you’d like to reflect on the beauty of the Blue Hills Trail, take a look at the following video.  It’s guaranteed to get you ready for snow.

How to view the video: on the lower right corner of the video screen, choose one of two different resolutions – for those of you with a slower internet connection, select the 360p mode; for faster connections choose either 360p or 480p.  Pause and play buttons are available, as well as volume control.  When the control buttons disappear, hover your mouse over the video to find the controls.  Just give the various control options a try – be sure to try the full screen view (the rectangle on the lower right).  Enjoy the show!

Grab a cup of coffee or hot chocolate, turn up your volume control, then sit back and relax.  See anyone you know?

If your time is short, try this version:

Many volunteers have helped prepare for cross country skiing on the Blue Hills Trail

9 Nov

Many thanks to the crew that turned out for the annual work day on October 15th.  On that day – and on many days in the past few weeks – volunteers have liberated most of the trail system from encroaching branches, briers, and rocks; bridges have been reinforced; creeks have become more passable; & the warming house received a good dusting.  The entire system of Westside trails was cleared on November 7th (a huge thank you to Dick P, Steve G, and Tom P).  All of the remaining downed trees on the Eastside were cleared on November 8th (major thanks to Jerry W and John Z).

There’s still some work to be done.  Click on the first ‘picture’ below showing a map of the Eastside of the trail system (updated November 11th).  The trail section highlighted in PINK (section 25-26) needs inspection, possible hand work (clipping branches, removing sticks and rocks), and possible tree removal.  The PINK ARROWS point to one area between 10-9 (BLUE on map) that is a rocky area in need of work with crowbars & shovels; and one area half way between 11-29 (BLACK on map) where dirt ridges need shovel work to remove the high spots.  NOTE: due to soft sections, until the ground is frozen, please avoid any further traffic from 29A-30A, and from 30A-7.

If you are planning to help with the remaining work on the Eastside, please send an email to bluehills@centurytel.net so we can avoid duplication of effort.

How to view images: To see larger versions of the thumbnail photos, view each picture individually by clicking on the thumbnail; or you can “show as slideshow” by clicking the link above the images. To move quickly through the slideshow click the photos themselves. For either option, if you want to save the image for yourself, simply right click the full size image to obtain the original.