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Trail Maintenance and Volunteering

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    • Last week we got an e-mail from our Boundary Maintenance supervisor informing us that a parcel of land immediately north of some of our AT land had been sold.
      He asked us to check out the situation and see if there was anything going on.
      Sure enough there was heavy machinery doing some excavating.
      By walking the boundary line we saw that they had had their new property surveyed as there were 2 markers, corners of their property.
      Since the closest AT survey marker has been missing since before Kathy and I started doing this, and the next one is out of sight, it's impossible for us to know if their markings are exactly right or not.
      But working from some line trees, with painted marks, and my compass, we were able to figure that these new marks are darn close if not exactly in the right place and reported that back to our supervisor.
      While we were there we made a day of it by refreshing paint ( yellow ) on line trees and witness marks. The repainting is a slow process but we now have a little less than a half of our parcels done. We'll be going back in the coming weeks to do more painting and to keep an eye on the recently sold land
    • Dan76 wrote:

      A new AT hostel?
      I very much doubt it.
      Besides, just a short walk up the trail is Graymoor Spiritual Life Center.
      They have a field for camping, or a roofed pavilion if it's raining, plus running water, a cold water shower, and port-a-potties
      And in the other direction is the Appalachian Market. It's a convenience store, at a gas station, but they make very good sandwiches , and other food, to go as well as packaged and canned food.
    • LIhikers wrote:

      Dan76 wrote:

      A new AT hostel?
      I very much doubt it.Besides, just a short walk up the trail is Graymoor Spiritual Life Center.
      They have a field for camping, or a roofed pavilion if it's raining, plus running water, a cold water shower, and port-a-potties
      And in the other direction is the Appalachian Market. It's a convenience store, at a gas station, but they make very good sandwiches , and other food, to go as well as packaged and canned food.
      and they have 24 oz Rolling Rock or PBR for $1.25 . Goes great with their sub.
      "Dazed and Confused"
      Recycle, re-use, re-purpose
      Plant a tree
      Take a kid hiking
      Make a difference
    • Despite not being over a cold, Kathy dragged me off to the AT so we could finish our section for this year.
      We circumnavigated the largest parcel in our care and also finished repainting the surveyors various markings on trees.
      If you ever see yellow blazes on trees, while walking the AT, know that those yellow blazes mark the boundary of the AT land under control of the National Park Service.
      Depending where you are I guess yellow could be other things too.
      It's kind of neat, as we get to see parts of the land that most hikers never will.
    • Spent the day building trail with the Cumberland Trail crew. Ye gods, it was hard work. My hands have blisters, I'm tired, my body aches all over, and I feel wonderful.
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      In life there are no limitations. Except stupidity. If you're stupid, you're screwed.

      Stephan Pastis
    • TrafficJam wrote:

      Spent the day building trail with the Cumberland Trail crew. Ye gods, it was hard work. My hands have blisters, I'm tired, my body aches all over, and I feel wonderful.
      Kudos...to my way of thinking, you’re not a real hiker till you’ve built trail. Suggest next time bring a stout pair of leather gloves

      Each time I hike a trail others have built, I look for the details of construction.

      Lest we forget.....



      SSgt Ray Rangel - USAF
      SrA Elizabeth Loncki - USAF
      PFC Adam Harris - USA
      MSgt Eden Pearl - USMC
    • Astro wrote:

      TrafficJam wrote:

      It was quite an experience and definitely plan to do it again. I have mild aches all over but my lower back is the worst. The trail crew wasn't what I expected.
      How was it different than what you expected?
      The work was what I expected, the crew was not. I guess I had a preconceived idea about what type of person one would find building trail. People like in Coach Lou's pictures. The reality was they were local, "good 'ole boys".

      Don't misunderstand, I thoroughly enjoyed working with them and getting to know them. They just weren't what I expected.
      In life there are no limitations. Except stupidity. If you're stupid, you're screwed.

      Stephan Pastis
    • TrafficJam wrote:

      Astro wrote:

      TrafficJam wrote:

      It was quite an experience and definitely plan to do it again. I have mild aches all over but my lower back is the worst. The trail crew wasn't what I expected.
      How was it different than what you expected?
      The work was what I expected, the crew was not. I guess I had a preconceived idea about what type of person one would find building trail. People like in Coach Lou's pictures. The reality was they were local, "good 'ole boys".
      Don't misunderstand, I thoroughly enjoyed working with them and getting to know them. They just weren't what I expected.
      I'd love to hear what your expectations were and how the maintainers differed from what you expected.
    • LIhikers wrote:

      TrafficJam wrote:

      Astro wrote:

      TrafficJam wrote:

      It was quite an experience and definitely plan to do it again. I have mild aches all over but my lower back is the worst. The trail crew wasn't what I expected.
      How was it different than what you expected?
      The work was what I expected, the crew was not. I guess I had a preconceived idea about what type of person one would find building trail. People like in Coach Lou's pictures. The reality was they were local, "good 'ole boys".Don't misunderstand, I thoroughly enjoyed working with them and getting to know them. They just weren't what I expected.
      I'd love to hear what your expectations were and how the maintainers differed from what you expected.
      Trail builders, not maintainers! :P

      (Making fun of myself as I was corrected multiple times from the time I first emailed the crew boss.)

      I don’t want to open a can of worms. Likely, whatever I say will be misconstrued.
      In life there are no limitations. Except stupidity. If you're stupid, you're screwed.

      Stephan Pastis
    • allow me to get a can opener.

      I have worked with three different groups and they are all different in the 'membership', scope of work, and organization.

      Ov and I first volunteered in Mass., on a 'Maintenance' weekend. Trimming brush, repainting blazes. We closed off a short-cut.

      Then we went to the RPH Shelter annual Volunteer weekend in July. They were a club that maintained 10 miles north and 10 miles south of the shelter.
      3 day weekend of projects. I was put with the step building project....cold, no experience just a strong back. And the rest they say... is history.

      The technical work we do is so interesting, and of course it is ON the AT, in a very popular area. Knowing our work will be around long after us works as a fine ointment for our aching bones!

      The overall population of The Tri State area makes our crew really diverse......Doctors, Lawyers, engineers, artists....Bodymen! Christian, Muslim and Jew....we are well represented.....which is mainly why we get along so well.... we are all in the minority. And of course our median age is close to retirement, so everyone has worked their lives and know what it is to put in a full day of work.

      You folks are all welcome to come out with us for a weekend....or stay for the season!!!!!4 folks are missing
      Cheesecake> Ramen :thumbsup:
    • TrafficJam wrote:

      All that you described is what I expected.
      on my walk last year over Roan, I happened on a work crews fresh diggings and tools laid to rest. As I walked, thru the trees ahead I could see more tools and people sitting. It was Mr. Peoples and his crew doing a rehab on the south side of Unaka Mountain. I stopped we talked shop.... it was cool. I had been eyeballing the rehab of the south side of Roan the day before. One of ours guys was NOBO when they were doing that.
      Cheesecake> Ramen :thumbsup:
    • max.patch wrote:

      Rasty wrote:

      max.patch wrote:

      Rasty wrote:

      That's french for boil in a bag
      anybody can boil in a bag.
      i'm trying to figure out how i can sous-vide on the trail.
      Take bag, place in the water, boil
      the sous-vide fad must be over; saw a unit on a discount site that buys and resells stuff that isn't selling for less than $50.
      had a family member offer me theirs, just not interested...I like to smell my food as in cooks, not to mention stirring!
    • This thread is a good reminder that Kathy and I need to get out and do our boundary work soon.
      Last year we repainted all of the boundary and witness markings. Yellow blazes, about eye height, mark the boundary of A.T. land while yellow marks 1 to 2 feet off the ground are witness marks for the metal survey markers. Now that everything is repainted we want to get out and see how many witness marks each survey marker still has. The number changes as trees the marks are painted on die and fall down. For markers that don't have any witnesses left we'll wrap plastic flagging tape around a rock or stick and put it on or near the marker.
    • This weekend we started our season. On Friday folks hauled tools up the 1.5 to the work. On Saturday we hung the line. I climbed. Our goal was to move a huge rock we left in the middle of the trail, in December. We got the line up to lift it, and used our new 2nd hoist to pull it. We were actually going to move it Sunday, but as we prepped it and tested lines......... up and over it went!
      At the end of the day I went back down to the car and got my pack. I went back up to the top and set up my new tent, and sacked out for the night
      Cheesecake> Ramen :thumbsup:
    • CoachLou wrote:

      This weekend we started our season. On Friday folks hauled tools up the 1.5 to the work. On Saturday we hung the line. I climbed. Our goal was to move a huge rock we left in the middle of the trail, in December. We got the line up to lift it, and used our new 2nd hoist to pull it. We were actually going to move it Sunday, but as we prepped it and tested lines......... up and over it went!
      At the end of the day I went back down to the car and got my pack. I went back up to the top and set up my new tent, and sacked out for the night
      fun stuff, riggin’
    • Kathy and I are getting ready to go do some of our boundary monitoring.
      Neither of us is feeling 100% so our goal is just one section, to take it easy but get some work done.
      This parcel that we'll walk today has things to keep an eye on. A new business bought land north of the boundary and was excavating it last year. We'll need to make sure they are respecting the boundary line. And the residential property on the south side was for sale last fall, we'll have to see what changes are happening there.
      I've packed a clipboard with our survey maps and a notebook as well as hand clippers, pruners, bow saw, machete, flagging tape, my camera, and a few pens. Kathy is putting together food and water for us to bring (including for our dog Tora).
      There's rain in the forecast for this evening so we'll be bringing rain jackets. We'll leave clean clothes in the car to change into at the end.