Crew 1: Big Butt Rehab with Nantahala Hiking Club
(Scroll down to read about Crew 2's week on the Rocky Fork Relocation!)
Week 4, Crew 1 headed down to North Carolina for the season's most hilariously-named project: Big Butt Rehab!
The name might make you chuckle, but Big Butt is no joke. Big Butt is a landform just north of Albert Mountain near the GA/NC border--an area famous among A.T. hikers for beautiful scenery and strenuous hiking.
|Preparing the site for a turnpike.|
Konnarock to the Rescue! This project called for one of the most elaborate structures in the trail-builder's arsenal: a turnpike. Turnpikes elevate the hiker above a muddy area, but they are labor intensive.
So Crew Leaders Jerry Kyle and Davis Wax packed some serious power equipment: chainsaws to cut down timbers, and a rock drill so the crew could pin the logs to the bedrock. The crew also had to pack in a small generator to power the drill.
|Drilling through a log to pin it to the bedrock with rebar|
The Nantahala Hiking Club showed their appreciation by working alongside the crew and treating them to a special dinner. Konnarock volunteers enjoyed the opportunity to meet some of the heroes who maintain this beloved portion of the A.T. year-round.
|Work stops to let hikers and their canine companion pass through.|
For more photos from Konnarock Week 4, Crew 1, visit the photo album on ATC's flickr page.
Scroll past the group photo to read about Crew 2's awesome week at Rocky Fork!
|Stretching out those tired muscles in camp.|
|No one goes hungry at Konnarock!|
|P.P.E.--Personal Protective Equipment|
|Multiweek volunteer Jason Clements packing the 50-lb generator...AND his day pack!|
|Way to go Crew 1!|
Crew 2: Rocky Fork Relocation
|Roughing in new trail|
The relocation will move the Trail off of a steep old roadbed where the current Trail is extremely wide, eroded down to bedrock in places, and frequently misused by ATVs.
The relocation is made possible by a recent land acquisition that was a monumental triumph for natural resource conservation. The Rocky Fork acquisition preserves 10,000 acres adjacent to the Pisgah and Cherokee National Forests. It creates an unfragmented haven for wildlife, protects water quality in neighboring communities, and protects the viewshed of the A.T. from development.
|Finishing behind the dozer|
You can read more about the Rocky Fork land acquisition here: http://www.appalachiantrail.
The Konnarock Crew has been building this relocation for several weeks each summer starting in 2010. The local volunteer club which maintains this section, Carolina Mountain Club, has not been able to organize many work days on this project because of its remote location. However, they have come out to work with the Konnarock Crew each summer and warmly shown their appreciation to the Crew by providing hot meals.
CMC provided a great picnic for the Crew at the end of the week, and have another picnic planned for every week that the crew works on Rocky Fork in 2014! That's a lot of burgers and hot dogs--thank you CMC!
This means the crew can move a lot faster, finishing the trail behind the dozer by clipping roots, raking the downslope to improve drainage, and installing structures where necessary.
Just because we're completing more trail then ever doesn't mean this project is easy, though! The hike in is the longest by far of any Konnarock project in recent memory.
|Valiant, victorious volunteers!|
|Veteran Konnarock volunteer Cool Breeze adds ambiance with his penny whistle.|
Congratulations Crew 2! Check out more photos from the week here, and stay tuned to the Konnarock blog to see the progress the crew is sure to make on this project later in the season!
|The trail-building champions of Crew 2 (they clean up nice).|