Monday, December 23, 2013

Stan Gaskill 1950-2013

Sad news for all who frequent the Smithville Lake trails. Late Friday Stan Gaskill passed away "at home peacefully among his loving family".  Stan was involved with the Smithville Lake trails from Day 1....well, that's not entirely accurate. Stan was involved with the Smithville Lake trails way before Day 1. Stan was involved in planning and researching these trails many, many months before the first tool struck the ground  and on a snowy night in December 2000 helped present the idea of "extreme" (their words, not Stan's) trails at Smithville Lake to the Clay County Parks Board.  

Once the park  said "go", Stan would spend time out wandering (not really, but it might have looked and seemed that way at times) through the woods where the trails now meander, trying to find that "just right" place for trails that few others had even imagined. And then he set about to make them happen... through trials of "how to" and "will this work", potential lose of trails due to changes in park use, changing managers, dodging ticks, poison ivy, copperheads and even tornadoes (one struck nearby the night before an IMBA Trail Care Crew visit). But, not to worry, Stan always kept the "bigger picture" in mind.  Just like the illness he fought for several years, he just took on trials with quiet strength and forged ahead. 

If you have been out on the trails in the last month, you (hopefully) have seen the new trail markers and kiosk announce the trail name "Stan's Southside". This, a tangible way for his fellow adventurers to acknowledge his dedication and efforts, marks the first trails built at Smithville. 

With Stan's passing the Smithville trails (really the people who enjoy them) have lost a wonderful and dedicated trail steward. I have lost a dear friend, neighbor and kindred spirit. Shalom Stan. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Youth Hunt 12/7-12/8 TRAILS CLOSED!

TRAILS will be CLOSED - Saturday, December 7 and Sunday, December 8, 2013 for the Youth Deer Hunt. Clay County Parks, Missouri Department of Conservation, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers appreciates your understanding. Trails will re-open Monday, December 9, 2013.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Trails Closed 11/13 & 11/24 for managed hunt

TRAILS will be CLOSED - Saturday, November 23 and Sunday, November 24, 2013 for the 24th Annual Managed Deer Hunt for disabled hunters. Clay County Parks, Missouri Department of Conservation, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers appreciates your understanding. Trails will re-open Monday, November 25, 2013.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Workday 11/2

Trail workday 8:30 am - Noon. 

Meet at the Smoke N Davey Trailhead

Work will be on the Lower Lakeside trail. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Spiderfest 2013

What:  FREE food, beverages, games, trail rides, runs, hikes. Fund raising raffle for the adults and a FREE Kids raffle
When:  August 24, 2013 3-9pm
Where:   Sailboat Cove (due west of Paradise, MO)
Who:  Anyone and everyone that enjoys using, maintaining, building the trails in the KC region.
Why:  To celebrate with others that enjoy the single track trail systems in the KC metro area and raise some money to keep them in tip top shape.

Spiderfest T-Shirts Pre-Order

Spiderfest Pint Glasses Pre-Order

We will have well over $3000 msrp in raffle items again this year.

Pricing of items/raffle tickets:

$18 t-shirt adult
$10 t-shirt youth
$10 a pint glass
$5 per raffle ticket
$20 for five raffle tickets (bonus ticket)
$40 in raffle tickets get you a free pint glass (two bonus raffle tickets)
$100 in raffle tickets get you a free t-shirt, free pint glass. (five bonus raffle tickets)
$100+ in raffle tickets gets the same as $100, with a bonus 6 raffle tickets for every $20 over $100.

Please pre-order so that we can make sure we have enough shirts and glasses for everyone. 

The question comes up every year: "What is Spiderfest all about?" One of the ERTA trail volunteers that has been involved with it from the beginning wrote up a nice piece on the history.

Why do we Spiderfest?

A celebration of and for those that build and ride, run and hike the Smithville Lake Trails!

A core group of mountain bike enthusiasts came together in friendship and in vision in the summer of 2005. Even before the paved bike trails existed at Smithville Lake, a few veteran visionary mountain bikers had developed a working partnership with Clay County Parks back in 2001. A solid frame work had been put in place to build and maintain a responsible single track trail system. That early group included a trail builder with a knack for recruiting trail builders, sharing sustainable trail building techniques and socializing with any and all trail users in Smoke ‘n Davey trailhead parking lot. The social aspect of Smithville Lake mountain biking began to grow along with miles of new trail (now nearly 11 miles). From misfits to master planners and from school kids to grandpas, the group continued to evolve, all for the love of mountain biking. The sport can be a solitary ride through our hardwood forest with lake views, then the corn maze and maybe a glimpse of Tripod, our three legged deer. Or, the sport can become a social connection to others that enjoy that ride, or the run, or the hike. You might hear that core group, that “pack of parrots” chattering thru the woods, most usually on Wednesday night Humpday rides. It’s all about the trails and bringing along friends or meeting new ones. Any way you use the trails you will be reminded of nature’s cycles when once again the spiders drape their webs across trails as their numbers begin to climax in late August. We co-exist with arthropods so why not celebrate them. Be a part of our growing web of friends this August 24 at Sailboat Cove, Paradise, MO.

In recent years we have asked sponsors to join us in this celebration and help raise funds for ERTA, Earthriders Trails Association, a 501c3 non- profit trail building advocacy organization. ERTA utilizes donated funds (tax deductable) including Spiderfest proceeds to cover insurance liabilities, buy tools and promote trail recreation by partnering with governmental entities and land managers where ever opportunities arise for trail expertise in greater Kansas City. Previous Spiderfest fund raising events have been remarkable. From maybe 50 trail enthusiasts grilling and chilling in the parking lot and talking about how to raise funds at the first Spider Festival event in 2007, to developing a sponsored raffle with earnings of $3000 with near 200 in attendance last year, we are ecstatic at all we have built at Smithville Lake. This event of family fun and food, and the chance to win valuable trail gear at the raffle should be on your calendar. Come be a part of our excitement and our trails.

Steve Rice
ERTA Trail Volunteer

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Salsa and Cycle City Demo Day!

Hey All! Cycle City and Salsa will be holding a bike demo at the Smoke and Davey Trailhead today! While the singletrack will probably be closed, there is plenty of gravel and paved trail to ride.