Big Stone Steps

The fun part of this project was that all the big good stones are in a pile down at the bottom of the driveway but this trailhead is at the top.

The stones weigh about 70 pounds each, and while one was already on site, I hand-carried two more up the mountain before I decided I needed a better way.

Today Lance and I loaded three additional stones into the Jeep and drove them up, then spent time carefully seating them.

You can’t tell from the photo, but these are not your standard steps; they are deep lunge steps and you’ll get your exercise going up and need a walking stick coming down.

We put them in because we have one trail that we built that heads off to the right and runs a big loop around the slough (a low muddy valley), but the harder trail is to the left. It runs along a very steep mountain side, then through a few switchbacks up to the ridge top.

Earlier this week I cut in the first hundred feet along the steep bit; clean bench cuts, no partials and no cribbing (I couldn’t avoid one spot of cribbing on the slough trail — some day we’ll have to re-route that). I will watch to make sure I have the drainage pathways figured out correctly, and I have gained a much healthier respect for people who cut paths into mountains.

Early on when Lance and I were clearing an enormous patch of briars out to make trail passage easier, I made my standard assertion about the best tool for the job and Lance said, “Lisa, not every problem can be solved with a chainsaw.”

I say we haven’t fully tested that hypothesis.

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