Thursday, March 20, 2014

Meet the 2014 Konnarock Crew Staff!!


We're very excited to introduce this year's excellent Konnarock Crew Staff! They are getting ready to lead volunteers on 12 weeks of important, interesting construction projects on the southern A.T. 

Want to join the adventure and give back to the Trail? Click here to sign up for a session of Konnarock today!

Czar with longtime Konnarock volunteer Sylvia Swain

Name: David Hebert
Position: Base Camp Coordinator
Trail name: Louisiana Bear 
Known around Base Camp as: Czar 
Hometown: Saint Amant, Louisiana
Experience with the A.T.: 2001 Thru-Hiker (NOBO), numerous section hikes 
Trail Crew Experience:  12 years as Base Camp Coordinator for Konnarock Crew; 5 years as Base Camp Coordinator of Mid-Atlantic Crew; 5 sessions on the Mid-Atlantic Crew and 2 sessions on the Rocky Top Crew as a volunteer 
Other talents: Plays guitar and most recently the banjo, fancies himself "pretty good" at Scrabble
Favorite memory of an outdoor adventure: 2001 A.T. Thru-hike 
Favorite place on the A.T.: McAfee Knob and Mt. Katahdin
Why he's looking forward to the Konnarock 2014 season: Gives him a chance to meet new people and see old acquaintances.
What he loves about the Konnarock Trail Crew:  It's a chance to give back to the AT, after all it has given him.

Name: Bobby Berry  
Position: Crew Leader
Trail name: Muffin Man 
Hometown: Fort Worth, Texas  
Experience with the A.T.: Thru hiked the A.T. in 2011 and has since hiked about 300 more miles in sections. Member of the Mt. Rogers A.T. Club and newly appointed maintainer for Massie Gap to Thomas Knob Shelter.
 Trail Crew Experience: Worked as a Trail Crew Leader for the Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards (SAWS) in 2012, and volunteered with Konnarock, Mid-Atlantic, PATC, and Rocky Top the same year. Konnarock and Rocky Top Crew Leader in 2013. He has also volunteered with SAWS and the DRAFT crews on numerous projects.
Other talents: Foosball, Chess, and putting his foot behind his head. 
Favorite memory of an outdoor adventure: His first true backpacking trip into the La Garita Wilderness area in Colorado--sleeping under a tarp and running through the woods.  
Favorite place on the A.T.: The Presidential Range in the White Mountains in NH, where you first leave the treeline--with the sweeping views and the trail running along the ridge in view the whole way up.  
Why he's looking forward to the Konnarock 2014 season: Seeing old friends and familiar projects, and making new friends on new projects.  
What he loves about the Konnarock Trail Crew: The volunteers! There is nothing like being in the woods getting dirty with instant friends. And the volunteers at Konnarock bring a special kind of excitement to share in the traditions and create new ones.

Name: Jerry Kyle
Position: Crew Leader
Hometown: Alderson, West Virginia
Experience with the A.T.: Member Roanoke ATC, section maintainer for 8 years.
Trail Crew Experience: 11-year Konnarock alumni, plus Rocky Top & Mid-Atlantic experience
Other talents: Paramedic with 34 years experience in prehospital medicine
Favorite memory of an outdoor adventure: Going into Hellhole Cave, WV (160' vertical drop) with his dad when he was 65 years old.
Favorite place on the A.T.: The section he maintains: Lickskillet Hollow to Kimberling Creek in Bland County, Virginia.
Why he's looking forward to the Konnarock 2014 season: Finally having the opportunity to participate all 12 weeks!!!
What he loves about the Konnarock Trail Crew: The sense of accomplishment at the end of a workday, workweek, or project.  Performing rewarding, tangible work and learning new skills!  Meeting new people and seeing new places.  Being outside and eating well! 

Name: Sarah Ford Position: Assistant Crew Leader 
Hometown: Rutherfordton, North Carolina 
Experience with the A.T.: Plans to thru-hike the A.T. in the near future! 
Trail Crew Experience: Spent the last year working with Americorps on trail projects including rock retaining walls, drainage ditches, erosion control, fuels reduction, and rehabilitation.
Other talents: Head stands, climbing rocks, piecing together puzzles. 
Favorite memory of an outdoor adventure: Exploring through the backcountry of Kolob Canyons looking for petroglyphs, unsolved mysteries in the rock, and lurking desert creatures.
Why she's looking forward to the Konnarock 2014 season: The beauty that lies in the people she will meet, the sunsets and sunrises, and the knowledge she will gain working on the Appalachian Trail.
What she loves about the Konnarock Trail Crew: She already treasures the enthusiasm everyone has about the Crew and their positive attitude about preserving and bettering the Appalachian Trail.  

Name: Davis Wax
Position: Assistant Crew Leader
Konnarock name: Rooster
Hometown: Concord, North Carolina
Experience with the AT: Hiking and maintaining various portions with ATC Trail Crews from Tennessee/North Carolina to New York
Trail Crew Experience: Since 2012 he has volunteered 5 sessions with Konnarock, 3 with Mid-Atlantic, and 3 with Rocky Top. He has also worked with the Jolly Rovers Trail Crew and the Tahawus Trails company on trail projects in NY.
Other talents: Running short distances, writing short journalism, and cooking flapjacks.
Favorite memory of an outdoor adventure: Playing pony whisperer in the Grayson Highlands.
Favorite place on the A.T.: Any place you can watch the sun rise in the Smokies.
Why he's looking forward to the Konnarock 2014 season: Traveling to various A.T. spots in the south, seeing familiar faces and meeting new ones, and improving his trail maintenance and leadership skills.
What he loves about the Konnarock Trail Crew: The amazing sense of camaraderie and good humor, the many outdoor adventures to be had, and the program's commitment to quality trail maintenance and environmental preservation for the AT.

Base Camp anxiously awaits the arrival of the legendary Konnarock Trail Crew!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Fight Springer Fever: Register Now for Konnarock 2014!

Registration is open for Konnarock Crew 2014!

This is the time of year when many hikers suffer from "Springer Fever", a seasonal condition which causes otherwise sensible people to feel helplessly drawn to the summit of Springer Mountain in Georgia at the beginning of northbound A.T. thru-hiker season. Common symptoms include restlessness, daydreaming, and shopping for new hiking gear. Do you or someone you know suffer from Springer Fever?      

Here at ATC's Central and Southwest Virginia Regional Office, we understand what you're going through, and we want to help. We'd like to share a little-known cure for Springer Fever that doesn't require quitting your job or walking for six months: sign up for a week on the Konnarock Crew this summer!

That's right, registration is open and some weeks are starting to fill up! We've got important projects planned in beautiful places for 2014, all the way from Grassy Gap, Georgia to Thunder Hill, Virginia. Sign up for a week today and you can spend the next few months looking forward to a volunteer adventure on the A.T.!

 Click here to take a look at the schedule and reserve your spot on the legendary Konnarock Volunteer Trail Crew.

Konnarock is the A.T.'s largest and most storied Volunteer Trail Crew, tackling vital rehab and construction projects to preserve and maintain the southern Appalachian Trail. Whether you're looking for a unique outdoor adventure, a chance to learn new skills and meet great people, or a rewarding way to give back to the Appalachian Trail, we think you'll have a great time volunteering with the Konnarock Crew. 

Do it for the Trail, do it for yourself, do it for your friends and loved ones who don't want to see you suffer from Springer Fever!
Part of Konnarock's arsenal of trail tools last August.
And now, some photos from the end of the 2013 season! A distinguished group of alumni volunteers stuck around at the end of Week 12 to help clean and sharpen the tools, repair tents and pack everything away for the winter. This included sanding, re-painting and conditioning all the wooden tool handles. These tools have been hibernating in the tool shed at Konnarock Base Camp all winter--won't you help us bring them out to the A.T. for some fresh air and sunshine in 2014?
Crumbsnatcher with the Crumbsnatcher piñata.
The Crew also celebrated the end of the season with a party featuring live music courtesy of Frank Hurricane of "Hurricanes of Love" . The party featured a piñata in homage to Konnarock's first full-season rodent volunteer, Crumbsnatcher the A.T. Shelter Mouse. 

Like the real Crumbsnatcher, this piñata was almost too strong!
Loyal readers of this blog may be wondering, what has Crumbsnatcher been up to this winter, and what is she doing now? To find out, look for Crumbsnatcher AT Sheltermouse on facebook! After an awesome season working with the Rocky Top Crew in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Crumbsnatcher came back to the ATC Virginia Regional Office, where she was a big help at outreach events and wrote a column for the bimonthly email newsletter (sign up here). 

Not as strong as Konnarock volunteers though...
But Crumbsnatcher was born on the Trail, and can't stay cooped up in an office for too long! Last week she hopped on a flight to ATC's Asheville, NC office to meet up with Konnarock Crew Leader Bobby Berry. Bobby and Crumbsnatcher are headed to Springer Mountain for a big hike before the Konnarock season starts. Rumor has it they might also lend a hand with the Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards (SAWS) and the DRAFT Crew!
Up here in Virginia, snow from Winter Storm Titan is piling up, so we'll end this post with one of our favorite sunny photos from Konnarock 2013. Send a bit of sunshine our way--sign up for Konnarock today!