JATD, a recap

August 30th, 2010 by Paul Vidal

Johnny and Alex Trail Day, as seen by our fearless trail day leader, Matt Tackett:

Saturday morning started off as a typical summer day in Kentucky. Hot enough to scorch the devil, humid enough for altitude training, bugs thick enough to float a truck and more snakes laying around than fibers on a plush carpet.

No one in their right mind would be outside on a day like that. Especially not out bushwhacking to see what the next holler holds, hauling a drill kit through rhodo thickets so dense you can’t see the other side, or worse yet be out working for free for others enjoyment…

Luckily for all of us, Johnny did those things every chance he could get.

I’m not sure if it’s a spreadable disease from touching too much Corbin sandstone, or maybe it’s a side effect from too many Ale-8′s, but Johnny and Alex sure would have been proud to see a 120 people sharing the same affliction showing up with tools and water in hand and ready to suffer for something bigger than they are.

As volunteers received their trail assignments and raced out all over the PMRP it reminded me of ants rebuilding their hill after being disturbed. When everyone picks up a stone it makes the wall easier to build. So as I swat another horse fly to the ground and wash the stinging nettle sting off my arms, I’m laughing out loud and thinking to myself that this is what Johnny wanted the PMRP and the RRGCC to be.

Volunteers braved the elements and didn’t stop until projects were completed. Chica Bonita, Curbside, Bob Marley, Shire, Gallery, Left Field, Play Ground, Volunteer Wall, Courtesy, Rival, Sore Heel short cut trail and the new mountain bike trails all saw significant improvements. Work was made easier by the amazing wraps provided my Miguel’s and crew as well as drinks from GFS and Red River Outdoors.

You would think that once the work whistle was blown that folks would be lining up to leave the property, to be the first to make the slip and slide run, be the hero that tapped the kegs or at least be first in line for dinner provided by True North Outfitters. But this strange affliction that we share drove a few crews insane and they literally had to be pushed down the hill with tools in hand and blindfolded to prevent further work.

As everyone gathered back to Lago Linda’s to wash, feed and drink the sore muscles away a storm like no other rolled in, only adding fuel to the party that was to come. By the time the 23 String Band took the stage the crowd had shaken the sore muscles away and gotten warmed up for a full night of dancing by an impromptu one-arm pull-up adult beverage chugging contest… that in all reality should become an Olympic event. The 23 String Band tore it up as always and played well into the night keeping everyone on their feet and truly enjoying this thing we call life.

Completely exhausted and soaked in rain and sweat I look around at all the smiling faces of friends and family and an overwhelming sense of belonging and calm takes over… and we all dance again.

Thanks to everyone that made this years Johnny and Alex Trail Day the best one yet. Looking forward to suffering in the woods, dancing till I can’t move and making Johnny and Alex proud again this time next year.

Matt Tackett

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One Response to “JATD, a recap”

  1. Dave Jaspersen Says:

    Awesome Matt !! Thanks to you and all those who do all…. the planning !! Us worker ant couldn’t do it with out you all !!! Thanks again ! See ya at Rocktoberfest !