Even though I am home working on my own schedule, I still live for the weekends. This is because I get to walk the dog without pushing a stroller up Wood Hill. I am free to explore the single track bike trail with my dog.
I love the bike trail. It winds in the Junipers and sage. It goes in and out of grassy fields and overlooks Carbonville in several spots. I have my own names for different areas of the trail, Cow Rib Crossing and Elk Leg corner are just two of the spots.
The trail appears to be used a lot, but I seldom encounter anyone. I usually go early to avoid the bikers on the trail. It is nice to walk in solitude. When I am out on the road, the human encounters are much more frequent and not always pleasant. Once in a while someone speeds by on the gravel road, chewing up dirt and dust making it hard to breath for a few minutes.
On the trail there always is a sort of log of the activity that has happened since the last time I walked. Most of the time my old foot prints are obliterated by bike tracks. I can tell if they were good riders or not by how much swerving they do and if they stay on the trail in the curves. Sometimes there is evidence of other walkers on the trail. Once in a while another dog is along, too. Mine leaves monster prints so I can tell when it is a different dog.
I also see the tracks of rabbits, deer and coyotes. It is really fun to walk the trail when the tracks are fresh. I have encountered many rabbits and a few coyotes. The deer are harder to spot. A week ago five ran across the top of Wood Hill just before we made it to the top. My dog was busy munching down someone's garbage they had thrown out of their car and didn't notice them. I was glad. I don't want her to chase wildlife.
I have directed many people to the bike trail this summer who were from out of town and had stopped into the bike shop looking for hiking and biking trails in our area. Luke's bike trail is a bit tricky to find if you are not familiar with the area.
We need more trails in our area. We have the Helper Parkway. Price has a new short one at the park at the end of Third East. It is nice and paved asphalt so you can push a stroller or wheelchair on it. It is difficult to get to from the parking area to the trail though.
We need designated trails for motorized and non motorized use. There needs to be a combination of urban, paved trails and non urban nature trails. They need to be well marked and accessible to both local and others looking for an outlet to recreate.
I know there is a fear with private land owners about vandalism to their land if a trail is next to it. On Luke's trail the only trash is where the trail intersects the many roads that run through the area. The trash is usually around a fire pit and lots of vehicle tire tracks. In my opinion the trashiest areas of Wood Hill are the ones accessible by road and not frequented by walkers.
I think that having trail system that people will use and are proud of will decrease the ability of some to dump and party illegally. But then again that is only my opinion.
We need to give thanks to those who have worked on our trails that we do have in place. Let's keep going in the right direction.