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Volunteer work Day Hike
November 4, 2023
by Li Li
group A
Trailblazers are ready start the trail maintenance.
Li, Sandi, Vivian, Tom, Dick, Kevin, Michael, Tamar, US Forest service crew.

The Arizona Trail Blazers volunteered to do trail maintenance on 11/4/2023 at Doe and Bear Mountain in Sedona to give back to the community. Thanks to the help of Vice President Sandi Heysinger from the Red Rock Trail Fund and her husband Dick, coordinating and working alongside us as well as the USFS coordinators from Red Rock Ranger District: Kevin and Seth who guided us in this matter, We got the chance to give back to the community that gave us countless happy memories through its beautiful trails.

Several groups participated the event.
Trailblazers moving to the next work spot.

Four of our executive members and two regular members attended this event. We were surprised to see so many people when we got to the trailhead. It turned out this was an even bigger event than we had initially anticipated since there were two other groups that were there for the same purpose. I learned later from Sandi that they were the Verde Valley Cyclists Coalition and the Stewards of Sedona groups. I have done a lot of volunteer work over the past five years since I joined the trailblazers in 2017 but never before had I seen the amount of enthusiasm that I saw at this event. I was happy to be a part of it.

Vivian enjoyed volunteering work so much !
Trailblazers trimming small spiky plants.

We started our efforts at the base of Doe Mountain. This is a very popular trail in Sedona since it gives you a glimpse of the scales of Sedona and the beauty of the Red Rock mountains. Our work consisted of clearing drains, cutting back over-hanged bushes and trimming small spiky plants surrounding the trail. By doing so we helped maintain the trails, prevent water erosion from weather, and provide easy access for hikers and visitors.

Trimming the plants.

Some of the drains were easier to clean than others. Kevin, our seasoned member who had just returned from Canada, got the longest one 100 feet above the base. Despite the grueling task, he worked diligently and patiently until it met his standards. After he was done, we all praised the great work he did in hoeing this long drain.

Kevin just came back from Canada joined us as well.
Cleaning up the drains.

Although the trail that we worked on is only 1.5 miles long, the elevation is about 500 feet. This steep elevation gain paired with our heavy tools and backpacks meant that even going up short stretches of trail was tiring. However, we were determined and nothing was going to stop us from continuing our work toward the summit. We leapfrogged from one person to another, keeping pleasant conversation as we worked our way up. Sandi and her husband Dick worked closely with us and before we knew it we had reached the summit. After, we took a small water break, enjoying the breathtaking views of Sedona and admiring the wonderful Red Rock Mountain. We finished the trail around lunch time.

Going up the mountain.

Since by the time we were done, the other two groups had not finished Bear Mountain yet, we joined them to help out with the cleaning of Bear Mountain trail. They were building rock steps and stairs on the trail which was much more intensive and technical than the work we did. While we were doing the drain cleaning, I saw the other group carrying large bags of big rocks passing by. I admired their strength and extensive physical endurance since the rocks were so heavy and they had to be carried a few hundred yards away to put them in the right place. As a hiker I appreciated the work they did and effort that they put in to make other people’s lives easier while hiking the trail. Because of them our ankles would be spared from strain and knees saved from the hard impacts. They are the saviors of hikers who hike the trail every year.

Group at the top.
Looking at the views from the top.

Everyone finished before 1 o’clock. Pizza and drinks were provided which was catered by Jason Danoff, the President of Trail Lovers, a Hiking and Guiding Service based in Sedona. This was an amazing experience, getting the chance to learn more about our hiking communities while also improving the trails that we love so much for future hikers to come! Thanks and cheers to all of the volunteers who contributed to this effort!

All the tools we used for the clean up.
Trailblazers in the Sedona newpaper.
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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona updated January 17, 2024
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