15 October 2011

Trails Ho!

When the weather is so kind to allow us to attempt to finish all of our never ending lists of "to dos" around here, it's nice when we have time to slip in an outing to not only to check out the neighborhood, but to maintain some of our paths, making it easier for our guests and the many mushroom seekers that tramp around in our woods. Fabrizio and I made such an excursion the other day. It was a beautiful autumn day that just begged us to get out and enjoy it and we were happy to oblige.
Fabrizio and I started our association for sustainable mountain tourism, T.E.M. (currently in Italian only, but due for a revamp and translation in the near future), a number years back in order to support our region, our mountains, its traditions, cuisine and people. We weren't exactly sure what all that would entail, but it has been and continues to be a delightful pleasure to discover the myriad of paths it has taken us on and all the interesting people we continue to meet along the way with various twists and turns on the path that sustainable tourism guides us.
Fabrizio clearing downed logs on a trail
One such twist began with a meeting in Turin that we attended with the president of our local chapter of C.A.I.'s (Club Alpino Italiano), Luigi Barus. CAI is Italy's national alpinist organization dedicated to preserving and maintaining the mountains for all to enjoy now and in the future as well as bringing people together to reach that goal.

At this meeting a local project was born as we learned there was a desire for the region to map out our local trails with GPS markings to not only bring hiking in the mountains to a new level of modernity, and possibly insuring people will find their way as they explore our Cottian alps, and will help preserve and maintain our trails so that many may enjoy them for years to come.

Colle del Besso

That's where Silvano Damiano, a member of Pinasca's chapter of CAI, came up from the bottom of our road in Pinasca and brought along some high tech, fancy smancy, gear to put our trails on GPS coordinates. He has worked diligently, along with my husband, Fabrizio, his two children when they weren't busy, and even a few of our guests, to walk our various neighborhood paths this summer, clearing fallen trees as well as brush and branches that obscure the path, painting red and white stripes to help mark the way and documenting the paths with photos and GPS coordinates. Woowee, we have arrived!
Fabrizio and I worked on one of the paths on our outing and it was such a pleasure to cut and move logs that have blocked the path for a long time, fall away with some concentrated effort. I also helped with the red and white markings, painting old and some new markings to help you feel confident that you are indeed on a proper path and not a game or mushroom hunter's trail that eventually will disappear almost as quickly as it began, leaving one either scratching one's head or wandering aimlessly or backtracking.

Nice to know that we're making our woods a little more accessible one fallen tree and paint stripe at a time. Today Fabrizio and a group of CAI members are out working on yet more trails making haste to get as much done before the snow flies. There will be more trails to work on and when we have guests visiting that have an interest and the timing is right, we will bring you along for the experience and to be a part of the effort in our small part of the alps. And we are grateful for your help.

Trail Crew August 2011                                                                                                                                                                                      Valentina, Silvano, Matteo, our Dutch guests, Anna and Ron and Fabrizio


Ravelings said...

What a wonderful way to preserve and share your mountain at the same time.

Bella Baita View said...

Hey thanks for stopping by and commenting. I seldom get comments unless it's on the food, so it's nice to have our other efforts noticed. Stop by any time...

Tuscany Villas said...

Really great work. I do love the landscape. Keep your good work.

Bella Baita View said...


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