Tuesday, January 30, 2007

After All This Time

While stumbling around my office I found a few photos of Konnarock way back when. As many of you know, 2007 marks the 25th anniversary of the AT Volunteer Trail Crew Program and it looks as if it was just as fun back then as it is now (with less short-shorts, afro’s and mullet's).


Monday, January 22, 2007

Alumni Applications, Oops..

Nolan Hisey, a Konnarock Alum, works in the Mount Rogers high country during week #1 in 2006

Well I've done it, seems like in years past, trail crew alumni have received a letter of appreciation as well as an alumni application in the mail after their week(s) with the crew. This last year, none of this happened which is entirely my fault. In my defense I'd like to point out that both myself and our program assistant, Alice, are new and do not necessarily know every step of administering the program so if we're doing something wrong we usually don't know it until someone speaks up, so please bear with us.

Alright, that being said, WE WANT YOU BACK!! A vital part of not just Konnarock but the overall trail crew program is alumni. We want to see your faces at base camp to share stories of years past and help us show new Volunteers the ropes.

As you may or may not know, the 2007 Konnarock schedule is up on ATC’s website but you can also click here to get a PDF version for your very own. Also, please click here for an electronic version of the alumni application (new Volunteers please complete the Volunteer application located here) ; you may fill it out electronically and print it out and send it my snail mail or send it back to us electronically at crews@appalachiantrail.org. Finally, just in case you cannot access a computer to fill/print out the application, expect an application in the mail in the coming weeks.

Again, I apologize for the absent-mindedness, and I hope to see everyone back this season!



Friday, January 12, 2007

New AT Journey's Ad.

Look on the back of the next issue of AT Journey's. I recommend using the ad to entice friends and family to come out and join the fun...


Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Process.

Trails Program Coordinator Teresa Martinez enters information to the trail database via GPS on a project scouting trip in the James River Face Wilderness.

Ever/do you wonder how we decide which projects Konnarock does each summer? Here's a quick n' dirty explanation of the process.

Step one: Trail partners (ATC, AT Maintaining Club and, agency staff (USFS, NPS)) identify a section of Trail in need of some TLC that would require a substantial amount of work to complete and/or special skillz and/or equipment. Projects are entered into a trail database; funding from the National Park Service and United States Forest Service is largely based on these data.

Step two: AT maintaining clubs complete the necessary paperwork (project proposal) and submit to the ATC.

Step three: The Konnarock Steering Committee (made up of members of ATC, AT Maintaining Clubs and, agency staff (USFS, NPS)) prioritizes projects based upon need and schedules projects accordingly for a five year (yes, we plan 5 years in advance) period.

Step four (may occur before during or after step two and three): Necessary regulatory clearances (environmental/archeological assessments, etc) are performed.

Step five: Project logistics are worked out with Trail partners including lodging, transportation, and equipment needs.

Step six: Trail Crew Leaders evaluate project goals and logistics in pre-season project checks.

Step seven: We get to work!!


Friday, January 5, 2007

Base Camp Clean-up March 22-26

Pods were hoisted and new supports were installed this fall (the cinder blocks will be removed once the concrete hardens).

The Forest Service folks have been busy at base camp repairing pods as well as working on other projects. In addition to their work, a spring Volunteer "clean-up" is scheduled for March 22-26 (Thur-Mon). Volunteers will be working on a number of projects to help get camp ready for the 2007 season including painting buildings, fixing screen doors on the pods, etc. If you are interested in helping out one or all five days (yes, you can earn a t-shirt for the week) please shoot me an email (kwood@appalachiantrail.org) and I'll get the additional information to you.



Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Before and After

So often, crew Volunteers get to see the fruits of their labor right off but might not revisit that section of Trail to see how their work stands up. On a hike of Firescald Ridge last week, I had a chance to revisit work the Konnarock crew did in the 2006 season. What is more, I had a chance to see some of my own work (I do get out of the office occasionally).

Trail before (a slippery boulder)


Trail after

At times, working on a 10 ft. section of trail might feel insignificant but those sections add up into a better and better trail experience for all those who "seek fellowship with the wilderness."

Happy New Year,