Thursday, January 23, 2014

Clearing snow on the W&OD Trail

After the heavy snow this week I contacted Karl Mohle, W&OD Trail manager, to ask about plowing of the trail. NVRPA, who own and manage the trail, purchased a snow blower, not a plow, a couple of years ago and have not used it much due to the lack of snow cover. Given the cold temperatures and amount of snow, it will be a while before this snow will melt.

Karl said his crew plans to begin blowing snow today, depending on weather, trail conditions, staff availability, etc. They will likely leave from their Smith Switch office and head east. If so, this will be the first time that I'm aware of that large segments of the trail will be cleared of snow. If you see the blower out there, let us know how it's going.

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I drove (my car) back from an appt today and crossed the W&OD at Hunter Mill. Looking both ways, I saw nothing but snow and ruts in the snow. This was near 11 am on Friday. The snow fell on Tuesday. W&OD has trucks on the trail all the time during other seasons. I understand their reluctance to use a blade, but leaving it this way is not a service to the users.
I did see the snow blower. After the next snowfall I decided to abandon my bike and cross country ski instead. I travelled up from Hunter Mill to the Vienna Station contemplating a pleasant run back, 100 yards into my return I met the snow blower. It had been most efficient. It was a long trip back.

Some days one cannot win. :)


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