Who knew building a turnpike could give you warm fuzzies?

The morning started off slow.

I was still very sleepy after my second (yes second) cup of coffee. I figured I had a hard day of work ahead of me so I knew the extra coffee would help me haul my tools up the steep parts of the Little Si trail (something I wasn’t particularly looking forward to). But today was a special event I was looking forward to: Women in the Woods– an all female trail restoration event which encourages women to get outside, learn how to use tools and build trail structures. I heard from other staff just how much fun our female trail volunteers had at past Women in the Woods events so I was extra excited to work with them and see the transformations that lay ahead for the Little Si Trail at this year’s event.

We started the day off with introductions, learning that some of the women had never participated in anything like this before, some were returning for a second time and some were just excited to get outdoors and make a difference. Throughout the day, the women worked incredibly hard, always in great spirits, and were so helpful with each other. I loved the energy so much that a couple of times it gave me the warm fuzzies!

About halfway through the day we brought out the sledgehammer to break up some rocks. I was psyched to see the enthusiasm they brought to the task! They truly made short work of smashing those rocks.

Throughout the day I watched in awe as the ladies completed a 3-section turnpike (a project started a day earlier by an awesome group of K&L Gates employees during United Way of King County’s Day of Caring). When I looked at the finished product, I was blown away. These were women OF the woods! They had kicked the trail project’s butt- hauling rocks, hammering spikes into the logs, and finishing it all off with style.

What started out as a slow Saturday morning quickly turned into one of the best events I’ve worked on during my internship with the Greenway. I hope everyone got as much out of it as I did. I am certainly awed by their hard work and strength, not to mention the passion and energy they brought to the project. I’m already looking forward to coming out for the next Women in the Woods event. They are so much fun and so rewarding…even when the coffee wore off!

For more information on the Women in the Woods program, click here.