Trail building touches my soul. We often live close to our trail projects, thus creating a connection to the land that is far from our home. A walk or short drive to our work site. This has deepened my love for the Pacific Northwest and the people who live here, in rural and urban settings. The smell of a forest in the city, has that same cool, musky magic that I enjoy in the national forests. The light that cascades through green leaves. In this context, a home, becomes a relative term.
A few years ago we reconstructed the Oaks Bottom Bluff Trail, in the Sellwood neighborhood of Portland. I remember driving through busy city streets to the project for the first time. Our construction camp was tucked against the hill in such a way that the city disappeared along with those crowded streets.
The sounds of dozens of quacking ducks came late at night. There was rain that turned colder as Fall became early Winter. Locals walking their dogs while watching the leaves turn. It was a beautiful place to call home for 4 months and I’m grateful when I get to return as a tourist.