What are you doing this weekend? If you've got random plans to do nothing, I've got an incredibly convincing argument for you to consider a Work Party. Sure, you could enjoy a Staycation eating jumbo shrimp, drinking dry martinis and watching reality TV. I am hopelessly optimistic that you will find a Work Party to be an oddly appropriate way to spend your time. Work Parties are serious fun. Not to mention that they're wonderful opportunities to give back to the trails you love.
You know those awfully good mountain bike trails that you've enjoyed riding an infinite number of times? Almost always, we forget to appreciate all the hard work that goes into developing and maintaining our trails. Now is your chance to contribute.
The confirmed rumor is that the Central Oregon Trail Alliance Annual Biketoberfest Work Party will be held on Saturday October 10. Meet at the park and ride at Colorado and Simpson at 9am with plenty of water, safety glasses, gloves, sturdy shoes and sunscreen. Convince your friends to overcome intense apathy and mighty weak excuses and come too. The Work Party at Wanoga will continue until 2pm, after which the after party BBQ with free food and beverage for all volunteers will take place in the Wanoga parking lot until 6pm.
For more information or to join COTA, visit www.cotamtb.com.
A trail Work Party is also planned for October 3-4 to help restore the Ollallie/O'Leary trails in the McKenzie River area. Cog Wild will have a crew going from Bend and the Horse Creek Group Campsite is going to be re-opened to accommodate everyone. Cog Wild may provide carpooling or meet at the Horse Creek campground at 9am on Saturday. Bring trail tools and brush cutters.
TLC's TRAIL WORK PARTIES
How about those terribly nice ski trails at Meissner? The Tumalo Langlauf Club is working with the Forest Service to clear the Gentian Trail (which is the new trail just north of Tangent) and widen the Wild Strawberry Trail at Meissner Sno-Park. They need help and have three work parties scheduled this fall: Sunday September 27, Saturday October 17 and Saturday October 24. Meet at the Meissner Sno-Park at 8:30am and the work party will continue until 1pm. Wear boots, long sleeve shirts and a good pair of gloves. And don't forget to wear tight slacks or loose tights. Nancy P's famous cinnamon rolls and coffee will be provided.
For more information, visit www.tumalolanglauf.com.
BACK TO SCHOOL
Fall is also a great time to go back to school and become an armchair athlete. It can seem like fuzzy logic to spend time indoors in a classroom to enhance your time outdoors. But, why not put down your paddle, pick up a pencil and learn something that's not just old news? Here are some ideas:
Wilderness Medicine 101: Bend Park & Rec is offering Wilderness First Aid on September 26-27. I took this two-day course last year (at the behest of my backpacking buddy who knew how to help me if something happened out there, but not vice-versa) and it was a weekend absolutely packed with valuable wilderness medicine information. You can also take the more in-depth, weeklong Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course October 5-14. For more information, visit www.bendparksandrec.org.
Navigation 101: Learn how to not be found missing. Take a class on navigation by map and compass or GPS. COCC Community Learning is offering a class on GPS Navigation on September 29 and October 1. For more information, visit noncredit.cocc.edu.
Sports Nutrition 101: There is more to Sports Nutrition than veggie burgers and non-alcoholic beer. Sign up for a class or personal nutrition coaching with Cathy Sassin at email@example.com. Sure, you could hang out listening to soft rock on your I-Pod while reading science fiction novels. Or while away your time thinking about your job security. Or you could make haste slowly to a work party or a class that's a sure bet to enhance your life.