Imagine this: when you are reading this (if it’s Thursday, Feb. 18), the engineers at Mission Control will be saying, “Whoa Perseverance, this is our stop.”

After traveling for about seven months, it must be quite exciting to finally arrive at Mars. I don’t pretend to know anything about this mission, other than I believe they’ll put a lander down, look for any clues of water, soil, minerals or maybe even the little green people.

It must be a little like when the first sailors navigated the oceans looking for the “New Worlds.” It may have all started back when Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier. Up until then it was believed that man could not travel faster than the speed of sound.

Lucky for us, we do not have to hurry quite like that when out on the trails. It’s a time to slow down, relax and enjoy the surroundings.

I realize that there are some who for some reason or other feel the need to finish a trail in a certain length of time. It’s a shame really, that they are missing the whole point. A trail, especially a backcountry trail like the STS, is a place to unwind from the daily grind.

And there are trails aplenty out there, especially the old CCC fire trails, many of which have been long-neglected for want of some maintainers. Some of our STC folks have worked on some in the past, but for the most part we are kept busy trying to keep the STS in decent shape.

It’s too bad some who might be looking for some weekend projects don’t get a group (that’s two or more people) together and go out and do a little clearing. I can assure you that once a person has done a little bit, he/she will be inclined to do a little more, and so on.

There are several short trails in the Cherry Springs area that would lend themselves well to a day or so of work. And we’ve heard that the star gazers might like to do some hiking during the day, but they really don’t quite know where.

These trails are on the maps, and a little bit of clearing and maybe re-blazing would help a great deal. Following a map, some of the trails can be hiked as a loop, and some are linear, meaning two vehicles would be handier. Of the crowds of people who attend the star gazing events, that shouldn’t be a problem.

The good news is, we are nearly two months past the shortest day of the year. That means more daylight, the sun is getting higher and warmer. Soon the snow will be melting (from what they are saying, not anytime real soon), the streams will be up, and people will be thinking “fishing” and “gobblers.”

And we maintainers will be thinking “The trail.” It’s time to sharpen and gas up the saws and get the rest of the tools ready for action. I do hope the STS isn’t as bad as my woodlot; I have trees down all over the place.

Some are big ones from some of the wind events we’ve had. Most of them will just make a lot of firewood, but some of the bigger ones are a little tough for a senior citizen to make into firewood, so if they are good enough they may go to the mill.

Speaking of a mill, one of our projects is to use our Alaskan mill to make some benches at various locations along the STS. Some hikers do like to stop for a rest once in a while and we thought these benches would be a welcome sight, maybe at the top of that long climb.

Stay safe.

Bill Boyd is a member of the Susquehannock Trail Club. He can be reached at billboydsts@gmail.com.

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