Thursday, April 26, 2012

No Fear Here

"No Fear" is a popular bumper sticker and slogan.  Talk and bumper stickers are cheap.  Walking the "No Fear" talk is always a little trickier than slapping a bumper sticker on your bubba truck.

Yesterday we got to see a bunch of guys working in a total "no fear" situation.  They are the Bryce Trail Maintenance Crew.  Too bad it's illegal to put "No Fear" bumper stickers on their trail toys.  They were definitely walking the talk!

As we've said, the day hiking here at Bryce is wonderful. The pathways wind around like snakes would travel through the hoodoos.  The trail tread twist and turn; go up and down; and traverse tunnels, too.  Sometimes the drop offs are really abrupt and one slip could send an unwary walker head over heels one or two hundred feet down a real steep cliff-like slope.

Sometimes it's difficult to walk these smooth trail treads because your head is spinning like a top trying to take in the hoodoo magic light show.  The Bryce Trails are kept smooth as a bowling ball by the trail crews.

The Claron Formation is disintegrating like the proverbial crumb cake at a church potluck picnic.  Wind, rain, freezing ice and"just because" are reasons why the Claron sheds bits and pieces of itself on a daily basis.

All of this geology-in-action keeps the National Park trail crew busier than the legendary one-arm paper hanger.  We captured them in action on the Navajo Trail yesterday and thought you'd like to see just how far these guys really "hang it out" with absolutely "no fear" on that steep, heavily-populated thoroughfare.

It appears they have fabricated special machinery just for the Bryce trails.  The little Cat is smaller than we've ever seen.  The dump device is a real piece of mechanical genius.  The guy running the dump thing had to be a combination traffic cop and diplomat to get the tourists to move out of his way.  He threaded a real high wire needle act with this thing.  One slip of the controls and it could have gone tumbling down into a real crowd of tourist hikers.  Meanwhile, the Cat operator stood by perched on the edge of gravity.  If ever we saw a guy living the "No Fear" mantra, it was this guy.  He must have been doing it so long he has either ice water for blood or just totally understands the "stickyness" of the Claron rubble that underlies the trail tread.

We thanked the guys for maintaining the trail and they thanked us for using the trail.  You see, if it wasn't for the profusion of day hikers here, there would be no trail crew.  Trails that get heavily used also get heavily maintained in the National Park Service.  No use=no maintenance.

Way to Go, Bryce Trail Crew!

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