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.
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.
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.
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.
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.