A group of scientists and students from the nearby experimental station (where they are doing studies of the El Yunque rainforest) came by today and helped us open up our private hike. Sean wielded a chain saw and everyone else had machetes. We are so happy they came to help.
Sean is a biologist and he told me that 80% of the canopy has been destroyed by hurricane Maria. This is quite a change as you can see by the photos but it is also interesting.
I walked ahead (if you can call the sinuous sometimes crawl through brush walking) of everyone marking the trail. There were so many downed trees I had to climb over around and under.
Of course Simonne went with us. In between cooling off in every stream Simonne helped me find the trail. She would forge ahead finding the original trail and then come back and looking at me as if to say to me "why are you so slow".
It was really wonderful being out on our trail again. The trail clearing volunteers got about half the trail cleared and ready. I went in almost to our amazing pool but stopped just short because there was quit a bit of brush from several felled trees that needed to be cleared out and I was ready to return home for lunch. We are going to come back and finish clearing the trail soon. With our private trail clear guests can experience the rainforest and spend some time in the pool above the big waterfall at the end of the trail.