Volunteer Trail Work
It's pretty glamorous. When I go out on the trail, I have three primary functions.
The first one is to simply answer questions (when I know the answer) and point people in the right direction when they need that kind of help. I also add in a few comments about things like permits, Leave No Trace, and bear canisters (now required in Desolation Wilderness.:
The second role is to tidy things up. I demolish fire rings (campfires have been prohibited in Desolation Wilderness since 1990) take apart any stone furniture that I find (violates the Leave No Trace principles) knock down most cairns (the USFS doesn't use cairns to mark trails here, so they usually point people in the wrong direction), and pick up any trash that I find (all part of Leave No Trace.)
And the third one may be the most important of all--I'm there just to show a presence. By taking the trail, talking to people and telling them what I'm doing, I'm sending a message that at least somebody cares enough about this wonderful place to spend some time making it better. I've already lost count of the number of times people have thanked me, offered to help, or at least expressed sincere disapproval of those who break the rules.
And that last one is enough reason, all on its own.
I've updated the photo album from the last post, since I spent another two days doing this work up there at the wonderfully beautiful Twin Lakes. Here's the link again, including the new photos--some of which document things like fire ring removal, etc. :https://photos.app.goo.gl/sUMpzAgjVzyRdi9E7