Painting the Blazes Yellow, Another Cardigan Trailwork Day, 6.29.12

Friday, we spent another day at Cardigan working on the trails.  This time the job was to repaint blazes on a few trails on the Eastern Side of the mountain.  Neither of us had painted blazes before, so this seemed like a job that would be not only useful but interesting.  After meeting with our trail crew chief, and picking up supplies, we headed up the mountain to paint.

We repainted blazes on trees, and while this wasn’t so hard for me, Cameron found it a bit difficult.  We ended up dividing the job between us, with him finding the blazes and me painting them.  Once we got to the ledgy areas, we discovered that painting on the rocks was much easier than the trees, so we switched roles.  Cameron enjoyed painting on the rocks, and eventually we came to the trail junction at the old Fire Lookout Cabin, where our trail ended and a white blazed trail started.

Cameron repainting a blaze on a ledge. These blazes fade pretty quickly since they are in direct sunlight.

We had enough time so we went the extra .2 miles to the summit, to check out the views, eat lunch  and see the fire tower.   Taking refuge from the sun in the shade of the fire tower to eat our lunch, Cameron spotted the summit marker.  It is right behind the stairs, and easily missed.

Summit marker for Cardigan.

Here’s the summit marker with a bit more visual context. It is close to the concrete, under the stairs.

After lunch, we wandered around the summit a bit, enjoying what we could of the hazy day before starting back down to the cabin and ultimately down to Cardigan Lodge.

Trust an 11 year old boy to find and stand on a rock in one of the few puddles of water on the rocky, open summit.

The fire tower on Cardigan.

Once we got near the cabin and trail junction, Cameron was surprised to see how visible the new yellow blazes were and how distinct they were from the white ones. After a quick break, we headed back down the trail, painting a few blazes along the way that we had missed on the way up.  Soon we found our fellow trail workers, putting the finishing touches on harvesting three trees to rebuild a bridge later this year.

Hiking back down to the Fire Lookout’s Cabin. Our yellow blazed trail starts at the trail junction’s signs near the scrub.

Along the way down, we saw many clusters of banded purple butterflies.  You could get close enough to see them, but if you walked too close a group of them, they’d fly up around you.  What a fun way to end an interesting day doing something totally new, but important to keeping hikers on the trail.

Clusters of banded purple butterflies.


2 thoughts on “Painting the Blazes Yellow, Another Cardigan Trailwork Day, 6.29.12

  1. Hi Summerset,

    Thank you for “giving back” by doing trail work! Also, I think it’s simply terrific that you had Cameron participate in this activity. It demonstrates to him that the sport of hiking is multi-faceted.

    As always, I enjoyed reading your words, and seeing your photos. Consistently good blogging from you!


  2. Thanks, John! Cameron loves to be outdoors, so trail work is a natural extension of playing in the woods. It is important to me to teach him the value of a good day’s work and that if we have the means and resources we should give back in some way. We’ve been blessed with health, time and a way to get to the trails, plus a trail master who is willing to let us work with him.

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