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    Amelander's Avatar
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    Trail Clearing Sipsey Wilderness

    I am a Scoutmaster and one of my boys chose to clear a trail in the Sipsey Wilderness in NW Alabama for his Eagle Scout project. We were asked by the ranger to clear a trail that had been hit by the April 27 tornado outbreak of last year. Although we would find that many of the trees across the trail fell much earlier.

    Trail 224, the Bunyan Hill Trail. Since we are working in a wilderness area no motors are allowed. Than means no chainsaws!

    We had done a few hikes to assess the damage and figure out what kind of tools we would need. Hatchets, bow saws, hand saws, an axe, and something to cut 2feet+ logs. Now 2 man crosscut saws are darn expensive, and buying one for this was impractical.

    So I ask my Grandfather if we had one somewhere. I am the 6th generation to live on our farm. He pointed me to a place in an old barn. Where my great great grandfather had his stored. I had little hope for something that had not been seen in 50 years. But there i found it, right where he said it would be, and oh the condition it was in. It was obvious to me what was the most important tool on the farm to my ancestors. It had been properly hung on the wall, sharpened and oiled, and there it was in perfect condition just waiting for its day.

    It was a great day and a lot of hard work but when you are doing it with friends it is very fun. I humped that 6 foot saw 8 miles yesterday, and connected with my ancestors. We made 82 cuts with it alone(yes I counted, you would have to). Together we cleared every tree off the 224. And I am happy to report it is open for business again.

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