“I have never worked so hard at gardening!” That’s the thought that kept running through my head this last weekend as I worked beside my husband and new friends, Matt Brownlee and Kyrstan Hubbell.
As an employee at Osprey Packs we have many opportunities to volunteer. This trip was about working with the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative and The Conservation Alliance. We spent the weekend doing trail restoration on Mount Yale in the San Isabel Wilderness area. This fun-filled weekend started with “commuting” to the work site at 6:00 a.m. and arriving to our basecamp about an hour and a half later. Did I mention it was all uphill? Once there, we learned how to transplant plugs of grass and install waddles across the trail to prevent further erosion on this closed trail. It didn’t seem like it would be that hard of work, but at 13,000 feet, I was moving slow and definitely felt the lack of oxygen in the air.
Once we had fulfilled our commitment, we took some time to summit Mount Yale, which was my first summit of a 14’er! From the top we could see the work we had done the last two days. Though it was only a very small section in a project that is now in it’s fourth year, it felt good to know that we had a small hand in it’s completion. I have a new respect for the people who choose this type of work as a career. It’s anything but easy! This was an awesome new experience for
my husband and me.
Why not give it a try? Visit www.14ers.org to learn how!
Katie Koppenhafer works at Osprey HQ in Cortez, Colo.