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Spring Fling: giving back at its best 

Every May for the past several years, the Central Oregon Trail Alliance (COTA) has sponsored an event called The Spring Fling. It's a day devoted to volunteer work building or maintaining local trails. It's an event that shows Bend at its best with people giving back to the community.

This year despite the cold weather well over 100 people showed up to work. And work they did improving trails primarily in the Wanoga Butte area. In four hours, several weeks worth of trail improvements were accomplished.

Impressive on every Spring Fling day including the 2010 version, is the variety of people who show up to work. Boomers work next to kids barely into grade school and their parents along with dozens of twenty and thirty-somethings.

For me this year was the best Spring Fling ever because I got to work with three women in crafting berms that will make two tricky sections of trail much less intimidating and more enjoyable.

As one of my co-workers noted as we worked on a berm she and the other women dubbed "Betty's Bump", how, "it's makes me feel great when I ride a trail knowing I've had a hand in creating it."

How true.

Back in the dark ages of COTA, a handful of locals more or less rode trails in. Now creating a trail takes a lot of work from mapping to marking and then construction.

The results of COTA's work events and continued volunteer efforts is one of the best trail systems in the U.S. A trail system we can all be proud of, and even more so if we have some sweat equity into its creation.

So thanks to all who showed up and put in some significant work. Special props to REI for providing some eats and coffee before the work started and to Pine Mountain Sports for their front lawn space for the post-work celebratory BBQ.

And not to be forgotten Deschutes Brewing yet again providing kegs of Phil's Trail Ale that helped ease the pain of the rock moving, manzanita cutting, shoveling, raking performed during intermittent blizzard-like conditions.

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