On a beautiful Saturday morning we all met at First Crossing off Paradise Road in the Santa Barbara backcountry. It is always exciting to see both familiar and new faces for these work days. There had been rain a week prior and many of us were anticipating good dirt to work with. We had two groups heading out for the day, the hecka-awesome hikers and the blazingly-awesome bike group. The group on bikes shuttled up to work on the top section while the hikers walked in from the bottom. Our main goal for the day was to work on water drainage to set ourselves up for better water flow in case of future rains. Side note, has anyone else realized the word RAIN is found in DRAINAGE?
There is quite a bit of visualizing when deciding where to create the drainage. This requires reading the land and understanding how water will roll down the slope. Two of our bike crew leaders, Bela and Lauren, would scout the next spot by discussing water flow before we started digging. We discovered multiple deep ruts which needed proper drainage. To fix this, not only do we fill in the rut, but also dig a spoon shape to prevent water from continuing to move down the trail and drain off the side instead. By the end of the day, we were are able to shape the trails to reduce ruts and erosion.
One of the best aspects of trail work is riding or hiking back down the trail to see the progress. Since I was apart of the bike group, I also got to see the areas where the hiking group worked. Once we all grouped back together at the picnic tables, we got to share stories with friendly and fun conversation while enjoying a wonderful lunch under the oak trees. If you haven’t been out to Snyder, it is definitely worth a trip! Plan to either hike up from the bottom or convince a friend to shuttle you and your bike to the top!