November 22, 2005

Wrapping up - or looking ahead?

Dave and I were up on the mountain last week for one last round of brushing. It was pretty frustrating, the blade is pretty dull from the fall's work and there were a lot of old saplings down on the hill. This made the brushing really difficult as the machine wanted to slip in line with the downed trees and not go across them. Then when I went back up a little snow had fallen making the ground too slippery for the tires to grip going uphill. So I tarped up the machine this morning and I'll move it indoors after thanksgiving.

I looked into having the hill cleared over the summer. It would have been much less work but I was worried that it wasn't a sustainable plan. In other words we would have always relied on having money to pay every few years to keep it cleared. That was the problem that the school must have faced years ago when they cleared it last. It must have cost a bunch of money and so they stopped paying to have it done. My hope is that with our new brush hog, an active student community service group and some staff who are on board we can look forward a few years and see a future of sledding and maybe even skiing.

After thanksgiving I'll get back up and close up the yurts and secure the tower for winter. We'll put out reflectors around the benches and the tower to make sure it's visible for snowmobilers and other winter users. I'll post some pictures when I get that taken care of. We're almost closed up for the winter but I'm hoping to get up and use the hill as much as possible with kids this winter!

One thing Russ and I didn't get to this fall was to suss out the sugar bush that is marked on some of the maps of the mountain. It appears to be quite a big area. I'm still hoping to do some boiling this spring though - I think we can identify some sugar maples still and convert the old barrel stove into an evaporator. Come to think of it - we're not really wrapping up - more just finishing one season and getting ready for the activities of another.

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