During the past 30+ years of volunteer trail maintenance we have had loads of fun, a few scares, and many memorable moments. For example, there is one particular section of trail that runs on an old corduroy road that has many of the original logs poking up in a helter-skelter manner. One of our members asked the county forester if we could just pull those logs out. In reply, he patiently explained that if we removed the logs, there would no longer be a trail at all. Corduroy roads are simply “floating roads” that were built over bodies of water. As the Underdown is primarily a large overgrown lake, if you remove the logs you will no longer have that floating road.
One of the scariest moments came when two of our riders, while scoping out a new shortcut route, happened to cross an active beaver dam and almost buried their horses. Fortunately neither horses or riders sustained injury.
We have had so many memorable moments over the years during our annual endurance rides. We always had a lot of laughs. There was the time when the weekend of our Endurance Ride was so hot that everyone including our veterinarians wore shorts. One vet in particular had taken off his T shirt before going to check out one of the competing horses. While checking out the rear legs, wouldn’t you know, the horse just had to dump on his bare back. Luckily for the vet, it was hard and dry and rolled right off. Then there were the camp dogs. Almost every competitor had a dog with them. As soon as they would pull in to camp, the dogs would visit the food stand where they knew from experience that our food man and biggest prankster, Jim Johnson, would always have a treat for them. Jim is gone now but the memories of his pranks will live on.
Lincoln County took over financial responsibility for the cost of materials (signs, posts, etc.) that the Underdown Horse Club volunteers will be using for trail maintenance.
Underdown Horse Club
W8403 Joe Snow Road
Merrill, WI 54452
Phone: Becky 715-218-2604
Forestry, Land and Parks Department
801 North Sales, Suite 106
Merrill, WI 54452