These are the kinds of stories I like. A lot of times, we spend our time outdoors and may not think too much about what goes into making and maintaining a good trail. It’s hard work. And many times, it’s up to volunteers to do the labor.
I saw some photos that a friend of mine, Ouida Plumlee of Moore, posted not too long ago. Herself, plus members of the Oklahoma City Outdoor Network and the Green Country Outdoor Club of Tulsa, went on a work-trip to the Ouachita Mountains to do some trail maintenance on the Ouachita Trail. Ouida was kind enough to let me use some of her pictures and give a short narrative on their efforts. Here’s what she said:
“Myself, Betsy Hughes, Scott Schaerer with OKC-Outdoor Network and Brian Stephens with Green Country Outdoor Club from Tulsa, we worked with Friends of the Ouachita Trail to make sure the trail was clearly visible and marked. We removed dead trees covering the trail, loose rocks, weeds, briars, anything in the trail that could pose a hazard. It was back-breaking. Scott told me not to use that word, but the effort was worth it. We have had runners and hikers tell us that they appreciated what we were doing. Enjoyed giving back.”
She also had a word about the groups represented on the trip:
“OKC-ON and the Tulsa chapter are just groups of people who have gotten together to hike, camp, backpack, mountain bike, bike, kayak, canoe, fish, etc. Basically anything outdoors. You can find both groups online and others. I have met a lot of nice people with the same interests that I have and someone to do them with.”
Finally, it wasn’t all about the work. Some fun was added in there as well:
“It was a great time. Camping out under the stars. Some really good Dutch oven cooking. And sitting around a nice big campfire. This was my second time to do trail maintenance. The group goes twice a year. I love hiking, so doing something to give back was enjoyable.”
Join me in giving Ouida, Betsy, Scott and Brian a hearty thank-you for their work. Those of us who use these trails really appreciate it. Maybe next time, we can help out and add to their numbers!