COPMOBA to build trail in Grand Junction in memory of Tim Sewell
WHAT: COPMOBA/Mesa Land Trust trail build & restoration weekend
WHEN: Saturday and Sunday, April 11-12
WHERE: Lunch Loops trailhead, Monument Road
COST: Free for volunteers; $25 for non-volunteer adults and $10 for non-volunteer children
Colorado Plateau Mountain Biking Trail Association (COPMOBA) is moving dirt — about one mile of it.
Volunteers and community members will gather at Grand Junction’s Lunch Loop trailhead on April 11 to build a new trail to honor Tim Sewell, an avid mountain biker who suddenly took his own life three years ago. The trail will be called Time Machine. Teams will also restore some eroding trail, create a new route for Upper Curt’s Lane, and they will replant native plants on Three Sisters land as well.
Members of Junior Service League, Great Old Broads, COPMOBA, Grand Valley Trails Alliance and more will be in attendance to help those with little to no experience.
The work day will start promptly at 9 a.m. and it will consist of trail work, restoration work, trash pick-up and a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“It will be a community of volunteers helping build this trail,” said Libby Collins, project coordinator for Mesa Land Trust.
Chris Muhr, an event organizer, hopes to complete the trail in one day with enough volunteers. He added that it will take about 30-40 people to be done by 3 p.m.
“It should be a nice event to celebrate Tim, but also the Three Sisters land and Bookends, which is a beautiful piece of land people can play on,” Muhr said. “It will be a perfect way to say you built a part of a new trail.”
Time Machine will connect on a drainage line from Leftover Lane to the middle saddle of Three Sisters (the three large hills on the south side of Monument Road), which is also the end of Yes-N-Dee-Dee. It will total around .75 miles.
Those who volunteer during the day will receive a free “beer-be-que,” Collins noted.
According to organizers, barbecue and beer (donated by Kannah Creek Brewing Company) will be provided for all volunteers. Non-volunteers are invited to attend, too, however — food and two beers will cost $25 for non-volunteer adults and children eat for $10.
TIME MACHINE TRAIL
For the past two years — as an effort between COPMOBA, Mesa Land Trust and Bureau of Land Management — members have been planning a trail to honor Tim Sewell. The planning process began as a joint project with community members like Muhr, Kari Sewell and Mike Wiggins. Planners utilized Three Sisters land preserved by Mesa Land Trust in Grand Junction.
About $20,000 was raised by community members for research and surveys needed before the final trail could be placed.
“It’s really exciting the way the community reacted to a tragedy,” Kari Sewell said. “It’s more about community and support. It’s remembering and honoring him [Tim Sewell] for what he was and not the choice he made in the end.”
Kari and Tim Sewell were married for 16 years and they had two daughters together. He was a Desert Storm veteran and Grand Valley native. Tim Sewell was also active in the community as a cyclist, hockey player and skier. He worked as a financial advisor.
According to Kari Sewell, she developed the idea of honoring her late husband after learning about the Pet-E-Kes Trail in the Lunch Loops area. (Pet-E-Kes was named in memory of Pete Larson, who was an active trail builder and user in his lifetime.)
“Hit the new trail and know who it’s for,” she said. “Remember that life is precious. If you’re having a bad day, ride or hike the trail and get a new, fresh perspective.”
CURT’S LANE REROUTE & RESTORATION
According to John Howe, a COPMOBA Grand Valley Chapter committee member, the planning of Upper Curt’s Lane started in 2010.
“There has been some erosion and Bureau of Land Management needed to close it,” he said.
The new trail will start at the conjunction of Leftover Lane and the top ridge on Curt’s Lane. It will hug the southeast side of the hill, compared to its current location that takes riders and hikers on the northwest side. It will total around a half-mile once completed. Upper Curt’s Lane currently is a little over a quarter-mile long. The new trail will force the closure of the current Upper Curt’s Lane trail, and it will eliminate erosion to the area.
Trail work has already started thanks to Hilltop’s trail crew. They are currently constructing the inside parts of the trail first. The hope is to have the trail fully completed on April 11.
“It isn’t very often trails get rerouted,” Howe said. “It is certainly a high-use trail and the level of traffic takes its toll. … It looks like it will be a fun trail.”
COPMOBA hopes to make updates to Gunny Loop, off of Little Park Road, next.
For more information, visit http://www.copmoba.org.
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