Mules crucial to wilderness trail repair in San Juan National Forest

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Mules crucial to wilderness trail repair in San Juan National Forest

Pack string hauls 15 tons of gravel
Trepper Osburn, a packer with the Rocky Mountain Specialty Pack String, leads the mule string into the gravel-loading station set up at the Williams Creek Trailhead by Backcountry Horsemen volunteers. Ten mules hauled 15 tons of gravel two miles up the trail to build a 200-foot turnpike above a mud bog. Mules were used because the project was in the Weminuche Wilderness, where mechanized vehicles are not allowed.
Packers with the Rocky Mountain Specialty Pack String lead the mules behind registered quarter horse mares up the Williams Creek Trail into the Weminuche Wilderness. The mules carried 160-pound loads of gravel to the construction site.
Pagosa District trail crew members Ian Birdsell, left, and Stephani Kopfman, both in the foreground, and Forest Service staff member Brian White, left, and Paul Cruz unload gravel from mules for a new turnpike on Williams Creek Trail, north of Pagosa Springs. Mules carried 15 tons of gravel for the repair project.
Pagosa District trail crew member Ian Birdsell cleans out the drainage next to the new turnpike. The trail crew hand-felled trees on-site to build the 200-foot-long structure.
Dan Liccardi of Pagosa Springs, with the San Juan Backcountry Horsemen, weighs a bucket of gravel for loading. Volunteers worked for five days loading mules with 160-pound gravel loads. They also helped feed the animals and workers.
The Rocky Mountain Specialty Pack String lines up for loading at the Palisades Horse Camp to carry gravel up the Williams Creek Trail.
A hard-working member of the Rocky Mountain Specialty Pack String.
On the Net

To learn more about the Rocky Mountain Specialty Pack String, visit http://bit.ly/1OZgNJj.To learn more about the Backcountry Horsemen, visit www.bcha.org.

Mules crucial to wilderness trail repair in San Juan National Forest

Trepper Osburn, a packer with the Rocky Mountain Specialty Pack String, leads the mule string into the gravel-loading station set up at the Williams Creek Trailhead by Backcountry Horsemen volunteers. Ten mules hauled 15 tons of gravel two miles up the trail to build a 200-foot turnpike above a mud bog. Mules were used because the project was in the Weminuche Wilderness, where mechanized vehicles are not allowed.
Packers with the Rocky Mountain Specialty Pack String lead the mules behind registered quarter horse mares up the Williams Creek Trail into the Weminuche Wilderness. The mules carried 160-pound loads of gravel to the construction site.
Pagosa District trail crew members Ian Birdsell, left, and Stephani Kopfman, both in the foreground, and Forest Service staff member Brian White, left, and Paul Cruz unload gravel from mules for a new turnpike on Williams Creek Trail, north of Pagosa Springs. Mules carried 15 tons of gravel for the repair project.
Pagosa District trail crew member Ian Birdsell cleans out the drainage next to the new turnpike. The trail crew hand-felled trees on-site to build the 200-foot-long structure.
Dan Liccardi of Pagosa Springs, with the San Juan Backcountry Horsemen, weighs a bucket of gravel for loading. Volunteers worked for five days loading mules with 160-pound gravel loads. They also helped feed the animals and workers.
The Rocky Mountain Specialty Pack String lines up for loading at the Palisades Horse Camp to carry gravel up the Williams Creek Trail.
A hard-working member of the Rocky Mountain Specialty Pack String.
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