Farris Group of Gaston County and FVR VLP Fund each paid for two $850 rentals sessions.
Thanks to our regular volunteers: Johnny Poteat, Sam Fitzwater, Debbie Montanez, Debbie Thompson, Bogdan Ewendt, Jackie Ewendt, Paul Mears, Tom Troy, Helen Tueffel, Reed Farrar, Spence Borden, Chris Blake, Mark Rostan, Eric, Beth and Zakk Heile
The Whole Story
In May, 2021 a private property owner said we needed to get the Outer Loop (Red) Trail off their property. Local trail expert Tim Johnson was willing to flag this 0.35 mile rerouted section. As volunteers did with Meditation Point Trail, they started building it by hand. One volunteer, Bodgan Ewendt thought there should be an easier way using equipment and his company, Farris Group, would pay for a rental. Again, Tim Johnson was willing to show the FVR Trail Blazers the ropes by running the excavator for a huge work weekend in August.
The reroute did not get finished that weekend, and the volunteers were going to be back to hand building. Volunteer Eric Heile felt he could learn to operate the excavator and watched a lot of YouTube videos and found an excavator video game to practice with. In September, Eric was ready and FVR rented the excavator for a second time. This completed the 0.35 mile rerouted section.
While working on the private property reroute, Tim flagged a new path around the old logging road that was being used for the Outer Loop. The logging road was rutted and not sustainable. Excavation on this 0.95 section started in November and took a second rental in December. Also in December, a new trail section was created from behind the restrooms to the new Outer Loop Reroute.
Using an excavator on a trail does complete a trail. Volunteers are needed before the excavator comes through to clear the corridor (trim trees) and after the excavator (set tread and slopes). However, it takes away a lot of the back breaking work volunteers would have to do otherwise.