Friday, September 18, 2015

Week 6: June 18-22,2015


Report from Assistant Crew Leader Davis Wax:

Crew 1 and Crew 2 worked together this week north of Massie Gap in Grayson Highlands State Park. 

The crews split up into small groups and tackled multiple rockwork projects, including rock waterbars, rock steps, and lots of rock junking of braided trail -- places where multiple paths exist due to hiker use -- in order to keep the A.T. on one set course.

The crew was made up of a handful of multi-week volunteers, including Justin Farrell and John Ackerson, both who have worked with Konnarock for six weeks this season. Anne Maio from the Mount Rogers Appalachian Trail Club -- the volunteers who maintain this section -- and helped out on Sunday.

After the work day was over, the two crews came back to Sugar Grove Base Camp to cook dinner and played a huge session of 12-person werewolf and a big game of PELT. After work one day, a few volunteers who wanted to go see the Grayson Highlands gift shop got to peruse exhibits of old Appalachian tools.

Crew 1 put in 21 rock steps, one rock waterbar, and over 50 cubic feet of crush. In addition, they put in over 60 feet of drainage and over 60 feet of junking in braided trail. All in all, the crew did 260 feet of trail rehabilitation.

Report from Assistant Crew Leader Sarah Ford:

This week completed the half way mark for 2015 Konnarock season!

Yet again there was a wonderful group of volunteers up for the challenge of rock work in the Grayson Highlands State Park.  This week was a super crew week, meaning both crew one and crew two got to work together, which always makes for a lot of fun. At the end of the day, the crews returned to base camp- a rare occurrence- to cook dinner, relax, play games and even take a shower. Former Konnarock Crew Leader Josh Kloehn even filled in me during the middle of the week while I was on vacation--so this week was really full of surprises.

The work completed by crew 2 included 34 rock steps and defining and re-defining over 500 feet of braided trails! John Ackerson, a six consecutive week volunteer, said this was his favorite week because the work was all in a small area and so much improvement could be seen.

The highlands area is very rocky and is also home to wild ponies so the trail can be confusing for hikers. Part of the work was focused on defining the pathway and removing loose rocks, as well as closing off sections with junk rocks and dead trees. By the time we were done, there was a clear and distinct walkway.  Good job to all those that dedicated a week of your time to help make the Appalachian Trail a more beautiful and sustainable hiking trail.

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