‘What do you need? How can I help?’
These are the two most common questions heard during Ladies Trail Crew work nights. How amazing is that? Most times… the most daunting task of the evening is to answer these questions over 100 times in just a few hours. Let me tell ya folks, we have a group of endlessly energetic happy helpers! These two questions have become an incredible reminder of how amazing our Eagle County community is.
This summer marked the fourth season of existence for the VVMTA Ladies Trail Crew. Here’s a quick rundown if you haven’t been to a Ladies Trail Crew evening. We circle up, start with introductions, VVMTA news and upcoming events and dive into the night’s mission. Then we split up, bump by, toss trees, bury rocks and usually inhale a decent amount of dirt. All the while getting to know each other. You know, you can really learn a lot about a person as you throw dirt, carry trees, or move rocks in a creek for hours. After the work is done or the sun has set, we feast! And I mean that! We do trail work and maintenance, but we eat well afterwards. Feasting gives us the opportunity to proudly share our night’s accomplishments and connect with our community. And, there’s never a silent moment!
Margaret Mead once said ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.’
I believe this to be true. Our small group of committed citizens consists of teachers, small business owners, remote workers, nurses, doctors, paramedics, second home owners, retired professional skiers, moms, daughters, retirees, professional mountaineers, high schoolers, college kids, massage therapists, non-profit employees, ski patrollers, government workers, coaches, and backcountry professionals. We have Ellen Miller’s group of self proclaimed “aging athletes.” There are humans from all walks of life, from different states and different countries. All with completely different stories. All passionate about recreation, about maintaining our trails for future generations and I’d venture to say passionate about having a good time! This group of women is the definition of committed citizens, the definition of our community.
During our last trail work night at the Minturn Bike Park, we shared a meal under the pavilion and talked about all the work we’ve done over the years. It’s amazing to think of the impact that we have as a collective. We rock armor eroding trail tread. We clear out dead trees. We rebuild drainages. We inslope turns. We build creek fords. We slice and dice those pesky thistles. And now we can say we’ve installed french drains and resurfaced jump lines!
But you know what we can’t do? We can’t do this solo. If we tried to move massive boulders or trees alone, it would take a lifetime. We can all agree, we love doing trail work but we love playing on the trails even more. We don’t want to spend a lifetime, moving a boulder alone. So as a collective, we do this together, once a month and usually, in a wildly entertaining group, making an impact beyond our lifetimes!
In this season of gratitude, I’d like to express mine. For everyone person that came to a Ladies Trail Crew. And for those who supported anyone who came to a Ladies Trail Crew. I’m grateful to be in this community surrounded by an extraordinary group of committed citizens, making an impact beyond our lifetimes. Looking forward to our next season on the trails together!
Hailee Rustad – VVMTA Volunteer Ladies Trail Crew Leader
Hailee Wants You To Support the Ladies Trail Crew:
Donate now to support this crew with:
- Food & Drink: We celebrate our hard work socializing over delicious food spreads!
- Ladies Trail Crew Apparel!: Ladies Trail Crew t-shirts, hats, hoody’s, or more…the sky is the limit!
- Tools & Materials: We need a lot of tools to support our strong volunteer showing of 30+ people at every event!