Friday, June 18, 2010

Hindsight is 20/20

So you all know that we spent weeks and weeks cutting down trees to break trail for our driveway and widening the main trail. And then we spent even more time clearing all that brush into neat little piles off the trail. 

NOW... we're spending even MORE time putting all those trees an brush BACK on the trail!!  That's right, folks, after the mud swallowed the truck and threatened to swallow the 4-wheeler, we figured out that we should have just left all the trees on the trail.

I'm not talking about just leaving a mound of crap in the roadway, but meticulously filling in low spots (and tire ruts!) with smaller brush and chunks of wood parallel to the roadway and then laying a bed of decent-sized logs evenly across the roadway.  This is the basis of constructing a corduroy road, which was initially the way most forest road beds were constructed (until about 1990).

Once you construct the corduroy, you can come back (pretty much at your leisure) and cover the wooden roadbase with fill or gravel. The perpendicular cords act to displace the weight of vehicles better than pure gravel, so you have less of a future constant battle keeping your gravel from slowly being sucked down into the mud every spring.

Leaving the brush and cords in place also acts as insulation on permafrost and muskeg to keep it from thawing as badly and giving out beneath the surface... and creating a seemingly bottomless quagmire of goo.

So, anyone currently or about to clear trail through a forest... learn from our mistake... at the end of the day, drag the brush and trees into a corduroy road behind you!! You'll thank us the next time it rains :D

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