RAT News

Ridgway Area Trails

RAT/COPMOBA May Update

May 7, 2014
For RAT/COPMOBA, the payoff for 8.5 years of patient, diligent, persistent work is finally at hand and the excitement could not be electric than it is right now in Ridgway.  RAT has existed officially for only 3 years, but our core members have for almost 9 years relentlessly pursued the dream of over 20 miles of new single-track just north of Ridgway.  With all BLM and Colorado State Parks planning and approvals completed, we got a start on construction last summer, and cut in about 1.8 miles of sweet, mostly bench-cut trail.  That trail rides like a dream, but it's merely an appetizer for what we will do this summer. 
 
We've completed all planning and signed contracts with BLM, Southwest Conservation Corps (SWC), NCCC AmeriCorps and Scott Vanderplaats.  The fun begins on May 5th, when we meet with State Parks, BLM, Americorps and Scott to walk trail and introduce AmeriCorps to our construction plan and the property involved.  They will return with a crew of 10 on May 19th and work 5-days-a-week until July 19th, exclusively building trail for RAT. 
 
On June 16, an SWC crew of 10 will join them and put in a total of 640 Quick read more or view full article man-hours also building trail.  Both crews will camp on location and work under the supervision of our friend and trail boss, Scott Vanderplaats. 
 
On June 21 and 22, RAT will host a volunteer work weekend.  On those dates, RAT and other COPMOBA volunteers will join Scott and SWC crews to accelerate the effort on our new trail system.  RAT will provide lunch and dinner on the 21st, plus lunch on the 22nd. Registration will happen on location, the morning of the 21st and 22nd.  Volunteers are welcome to join us either or both days. RAT will develop a more detailed agenda and work schedule once SWC arrives and we determine the exact location to be worked that weekend.
 
Amazingly, the actual construction will begin before AmeriCorps and SWC actually pick up their tools.  On May 10 and 11, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) will lead a two-day volunteer effort which will involve 50+ VOC and COPMOBA volunteers.  VOC has arranged for free camping at Ridgway State Park for all out-of-town volunteers.  VOC will also provide breakfast, lunch and dinner Saturday, plus breakfast and lunch Sunday.  VOC runs really fun, constructive trail projects and this event will be no exception.  It's not too late to volunteer for a fun weekend, but you must pre-register to participate.  To register, please visit:
 
http://www.voc.org/project/ridgway-scenic-trail-construction.
 
Unfortunately, all the construction plans for this spring and summer have forced RAT to postpone our annual RAT FEST celebration.  Thought previously scheduled for May 31st, we have decided to reschedule that event for late August or early September, to allow total focus on our construction plans.  We will provide the new date and more details later this spring. 
 
We hope you can all get down to help this summer and, more importantly, ride our amazing new trails.  See you soon.
 
Rod Fitzhugh
 
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