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2008: Up And Over

In 2007, construction had started on a new house at 2404 Freeman Drive. This meant the original trail to/from Freeman Drive was now crossing an active building site. So building a new pathway to provide alternative access to and from Freeman Drive became a major priority. Work started on the new pathway in early March, 2008. It is a very steep and relatively unstable slope, so it was a major undertaking from an engineering point of view.

(1) ^ ^ ^ ^ This is the new trail head coming from Freeman Drive. The pathway was built from the top down. It is easier to roll rocks for construction downhill than uphill, plus there was a good supply of rocks left over from landscaping the building site above.

(2) ^ ^ ^ ^ Approaching the first set of rock steps descending the long slope, about 170 feet to the bottom.

(3) ^ ^ ^ ^ Looking back the other way at the top steps.

(4) ^ ^ ^ ^ The first flight of 12 stone steps curving down to the right. Part way down, a detour trail was built heading left to right in this photo.

(5) ^ ^ ^ ^ The detour trail descends these 21 steps and reconnects to the original trail lower down. This provided an effective detour route while the new pathway was being constructed, a project that took several months to complete.

(6) ^ ^ ^ ^ The new pathway now extended about half way down the slope. The new route was designed to be relatively direct without switchbacks.

(7) ^ ^ ^ ^ A closer view of this section.

(8) ^ ^ ^ ^ Looking back the other way (uphill). The pathway was very steep here, so I filled in the heel of this slope with a dozen or so buckets of smaller rocks (later covered with dirt) to make the grade more gentle. It helped a lot, but I'm considering putting in some stepping-stone steps here at a later date.

(9) ^ ^ ^ ^ The final flight of rock steps descending to the wash floor.

(10) ^ ^ ^ ^ Closer view.

(11) ^ ^ ^ ^ Mission accomplished. The Western Slope Pathway completed and the building site bypassed. The work took about 3 months (in March, April, May, 2008).

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