I made an omelet to go this morning. Disobeying the bus’ ‘No Food’ sign, I powered up for a day of trail work.
The Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness volunteer crew assembled outside the ranger station, largely drawn by the bit in the Community Notes section of our local paper. We partook of fruit, juice and the ever popular doughnut holes and coffee. Then off to North Tenmile Trail Head.
This is where I began. Two  years ago. There is something significant in that. If you ever visited a childhood home, you know the feeling.
“We are kind of the Wilderness gurus,” explains the Mayor’s wife as we pass the rough wooden fence denoting the boundary.
Today’s mission: rehabilitate illegal campsites.
Campsites are to be 100 feet from trails and water sources (About 33 strides).
Stealth camping, on durable surfaces is the objective but in high use areas, this doesn’t always work. Then one day a person decides to hang out and build a fire ring. Then there is ash three  feet deep into the ground, panties in the soot, log benches, plastic 5 gallon buckets full of sheets of plastic, and a single shoe.
So here is what we do:
Fire-rings are the central focus of rehabing a site.
FENW Fact #1: tin foil does not burn. Please for to not throw in fires.
Then shovel out the ash and nails and other treasures buried therein. We picked out the bits of glass, metal and other ‘micro-trash’ to pack out then scattered the ash at wide berth.
I preferred the ‘rainbow’ method of emphatically flinging it off the end of my shovel. Which worked well except when tree branches intercepted and rebounded it onto me.
There is also the ‘Dirt Bag’ method wherein a heavy cloth sack is loaded with ash, refuse, or rocks, and transported away from the site.
We named one of our number in its honor.
Great, so now there is a big, soot scarred crater in the middle of the meadow.
We transplant vegetation to tuck around it, then fill that in with duff. A few helmet-fulls of water later and, tada:
If a trail has been worn to a site, the misappropriated log benches serve as great and clear deterrents to unknowing hikers.
FENW fact #2: If there is a tree and brush carefully placed across the trail to a site, don’t camp there. Or, at least don’t build a campfire ring.
6 [six] sites rehabed as the other crew finished digging out drainages and we began to make our way back down the trail; just in time for the afternoon rain.
Somehow, the way back was just as far but passed much too quickly. Ernest conversations with new friends. Something about feeding from the same positive energy flow of hard work in the wilderness on a beautiful day brings a group together quickly.