Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Now it's "Normal" at Basecamp...

Skinning locust logs for steps at Justus Creek.

Hanging bear bags at Jenkins.

Crew #2 takes a much needed rest during the day.

Getting ready for a heavy lift.

Rehabilitated trail, much easier to walk.

Moving rock for a step on Jenkins.


After work conversation in Georgia.

Installing rebar to shore up log steps in Georgia.

Mira "supervises"

Mira's shirt says it all.

Testing out the new staircase.

It's a hard life...

Last Wednesday evening, things were pretty quiet around camp. Crew #1 was in Georgia and several Crew #2 folks were going to arrive late. So, when the small group of 4-5 Volunteers, myself and the crew leaders gathered for dinner that night, we said to ourselves "my it's eerily quiet."

Well, with Crew #1 returning from Georgia and Crew #2 returning from a week in the backcountry, Monday night was anything but quiet like the Wednesday before!

Both crews had great weeks with near perfect weather (hard to imagine with all the rain we're getting today) and some great work completed to boot. Crew #1 was able to finish the Justus Creek Relocation in the late hours with the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club capping a two year project. Crew #2 was able to make great progress with the Jenkins Project (a three year project) totaling roughly 3500 ft of trail rehabilitation. One thru-hiker exclaimed as they were almost running down the Trail "this trail is so great I can almost fly!"

So far with week #3 down, we've been able to maintain our perfect safety record (knock on wood) and hope to continue with some great work for week #4 and beyond!

Thanks to everyone that's Volunteered so far to make this a successful season!


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Konnarock Article

Volunteer Mike Williams wrote an article on his experience last week on Crew. You can access the online article here.

Thanks Mike!


Monday, May 18, 2009

Week 2, Crew 2

Skywalker's map of the project and crew members.

Doug showes his excitement for the hike.

Czar can do more than cook a mean meal! He assisted the crew in carrying in gear.

Sylvia packs the bear bags before hanging.

The crew holds "court" around the campfire.

Backcountry cooking tent, ah luxury...

Foot sweep!

Diggin' in.
Finished trail. Beautiful!
This week will be quieter around camp since Crew #1 is in Georgia. But, Crew #2 rolled into camp this afternoon after a great week on the Jenkins project. Their weather was perfect (only rained at night) and even woke up to clear skies with temps in the 30's this morning before their 5 mile hike out.

The crew was able to complete a great amount of work on the severly eroded trail south of Jenkins Shelter. Crew #2 will be headed back on Thursday to wrap it up until next season.
Off to eat some delicious homemade pizza care of "Czar David!"

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Week 1 Still Rolling

The crew enjoys the view on the hike to work.

Christine and Frank.

Doug and Melissa atop a new staircase.

Nice Work!
After being chased off the mountain by lightning on Friday, we've been out doing a ton of work yesterday and today. Even with a missed day, we've caught up and still have a day left. Plus, we had an extra pair of capable hands in one Ms. Christine Hoyer (ex-crew leader) who joined us for the weekend. Thanks Christine!

A portion of the crew took a late afternoon hike up to Virginia's highest point, Mount Rogers (elevation 5,729 ft), and made it back down for hamburgers/veggi burgers.

One more day left for week 1! Next week, Georgia and Jenkins Shelter Trail.


Friday, May 8, 2009

The Grand "Doo-Dah"

Doug and Camden

So, at the end of our pre-season project checks on May 3rd, Assistant Crew Leader, Doug DeJarnett gets the call....

His daughter is having her 1st baby and if he can make it in time, he'll be there for the moment. Doug gets back to base camp, gets in his vehicle and rushes off to Richmond (driving the speed limit all the way of course!). And, a few hours after arriving, his daughter gives birth to a healthy 7 lb and some change, baby boy (named Camden, born 12:30 am, May 4th, 2009).

I'm pretty sure it's a first for Konnarock; the first crew staff member to become a grandfather? Correct me if I'm wrong but....

Let the celebratory cigar smoking begin! Doug now goes by the name "Grand Doo-Dah."


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Week 1, Day 1

Look! Sunshine!

Dinner waiting to be served.

The stream, I mean trail to the worksite

I had a little of everything. Man, I'm stuffed...

Well, somebody must have done a dance for us or something! The crew headed out after waiting for the better part of an hour for things to calm down and we didn't get rained on all day; we even saw some sunshine for a second or two!
As with every first Thursday night of the season, the Mount Rogers AT Club served up a mean potluck dinner complete with BBQ and a huge table of desserts! I can barely breathe right now from that third plate!
We hoping for another rain free day tomorrow so we can put the finishing touches on projects started today before moving on down the trail.

Floating Lake Konnarock...

Frank tests the waters of "Lake Konnarock"

If you're in the east, you're probably getting rain today. Majestic Lake Konnarock has formed at camp and we're hoping to see an end to the rain (or at least for it to lighten up) so we can get to work!

If anyone knows how to do an "anti-rain dance" or something, give it a whirl for us!


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Week 1, Wed Night

Cake & icing by "Hebert"

Digging in before diggin in (tomorrow).

Ahh, it's great to see some familiar faces again at base camp! Despite the constant rain today, camp was buzzing with new and returning volunteers.
As with all weeks, the evening started with a tasty dinner courtesy of Mr. David Hebert, onto the Wed night orientation and then progressing into the night with witty conversations about building rock staircases and hiking barefoot.
The crews will be off to Mount Rogers tomorrow for some rock work excitement!
Stay tuned for more,

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

2009 T-Shirts!

The front...
The back...

Seems as though we do a cycle of big and bright, then a subdued design since I've been running the t-shirt game with the Crew. Last year was a quiet shirt but this year we're back with a big design!

Hope you like it! You can thank Mr. Noland Hisey for helping with the art!


Friday, May 1, 2009

Week #1 Coming! Look Out!

Stopping to smell the flowers, it's a tough job. Really....

Views to be enjoyed...

Streams to swim and fish...

During the past week or so, we've been out checking up on our upcoming projects for the season, soaking up the sun and seeing what spring has to offer. It's a tough job. Really it is....

The crew did the remainder of Virginia project checks including Mt. Rogers Rehab, Jenkins Shelter Trail Rehab, and the Bluff City Relocation. As you can see above, there are some pretty nice views to be had on the hike into the Mt. Rogers Rehab project. Equally as nice is the stream we'll be camped near during the Jenkins project. I can't wait to take a dip and try out the fishing on this remote stream!

At this very moment, the crew is completing the southern project checks with a stop in GA yesterday and onwards to North Carolina and Tennessee for the remainder of the week.

Can you believe Week#1 starts next week?! I can't, but we're ready to see base camp buzzing with Volunteers again.

Can't wait to see folks next Wednesday!

Until then,