Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Week 9: July 15-19, 2015

Crew 2: Highcock Knob Relocation with Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail Club

The small but mighty crew of four volunteers hiked up a steep two miles to the work site at High Cock Knob each day to work on a re-route that is being established to avoid a highly eroded fall line trail. 

Rock drills could come in handy on the rocky sidehill, but this section of trail runs through James River Face Wilderness. In federally designated Wilderness Areas, no power tools are allowed so other means of chipping rock out must be used. 

John Tartara, Lindsay Dunbar, Michael, and Travis Stanley worked on the griphoist to winch out a big dead tree stump, and built rock steps, dug side hill and constructed rock cribbing to hold up the delicate treadway. The Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail Club’s (NBATC) active trail maintainers supported Konnarock by working alongside us every day. 

Nearly 20 members from Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail Club prepared a huge picnic with many delicious homemade dishes one evening. One of the members brought a slack line to set up which made for an hour of many smiles and balancing for those who chose to participate.  We at Konnarock extend a large thank you to NBATC for the mouthwatering meal and all the cold beverages! 

Also, Cave Mountain Lake campground hosted our crew for the work week which meant plenty of swimming and warm showers for the crew after each work day. It was a week of challenging projects and high humidity so having those amenities available was a special treat! You know it was another successful week when everyone comes back to Base Camp with many stories and loads of laughter.


Crew 1: Scales to Old Orchard, Mt. Rogers ATC

Konnarock came back from its second week-long break to begin the last four sessions of the season. Crew 1 set off for the Nantahala once again to work at Rocky Bald, a rehab project the crew had already worked two weeks at last summer. 

However, on the first travel day the crew truck was involved in an accident. Thankfully neither the volunteer passenger nor the assistant crew leader were hurt, but the crew had to return to Base Camp and cancel the week's project with Nantahala Hiking Club. Instead, the crew worked in the Mt. Rogers National Recreation Area, rehabbing eroded trail between Scales and Old Orchard.

Picking up where a Konnarock Supercrew left off Week One this summer, volunteers Clark Britt, Billy Williams, Hyesun Yi, and Mt. Rogers Ridgerunner Ben Cowan worked with rocks all week. They installed rock waterbars and rock steps in order to control the intense water erosion existing in the Virginia high country. 

Finding great weather each day of work north of Scales, Crew 1 put in 13 rock steps and 3 rock waterbars, crush and filling behind these structures over 40 cubic feet. The crew also put in over 50 linear feet of junk cribbing, lining the trail with rocks and brush in order to keep hikers on the A.T.

When the crew wasn't working, they were riding on the bumpy road to and from Scales, experiencing longhorn-cattle traffic congestion, listening to the radio ministry of Scratch Gravel Road, and putting grassfed, unsalted butter in their coffee.

Thank you Crew 1 for pulling together during this unusual week. Thank you Clark, Billy, Hyesun, and Ben for your patience, good humor, and hard work!

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