Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Weeks 2 & 3: May 5-17, 2016

Crew 2: Justus Mountain Relocation

working with Georgia Appalachian Trail Club on a special 2-week project

Click here for the complete photo album.

Report from Assistant Crew Leader Justin Farrell:

Weeks two and three for crew 2 was a memorable journey down to the beautiful land that is Georgia's Appalachian Trail.

Our worksite was on Justus Mountain, starting from the south side in Cooper Gap. Cooper Gap is approximately 13 miles from Springer Mountain, the southern terminus of the A.T. The volunteers ranged from long time alumni, totaling more than 30 years of combined experience, to first time volunteers who had never been on the Appalachian Trail before. 

We were able to get long, full days of work in, thanks to one of the club members, Jason, for very kindly letting us camp on his property which was a short five minute drive from the worksite. 

The hike in to the worksite was also very short, since it was a relocation starting at the base of Justus Mountain where we could easily park the vehicles. In other words, a lot of quality work was done in a rather quick two week period! 

Each volunteer seemed to have a knack for a different area of trail work. Some couldn’t stand to not crush rock, some were great rock hounds and step builders, some could dig textbook sidehill, some had a keen eye for finishing trail, and some could tear through clearing a trail corridor with a handsaw and loppers. 

This mix of folks came in very handy the second week, as the terrain changed from predictable mineral soil, to very questionable rocky terrain.

Since the crew stayed in Georgia between weeks, we were able to enjoy various activities. We spent a day in historic downtown Dahlonega, hiked the many stairs at Amicalola falls, and went to Brasstown Bald, the highest point in Georgia. 

These were all exciting adventures, but I think I speak for everyone in the crew when I say that the most fun we had was at Tom Lamb’s house, a club member of GATC. Tom hosted two parties, one at the end of each work week, to show his appreciation for the hard working volunteers of Konnarock. There were tubes on the river, ice cold home brewed beer, hot showers, more food than a trail crew could eat (which is a lot!), and even a bluegrass band the second week! It was a perfect way to top off an exhausting yet satisfying week of trail work.

Along with the massive amounts of fun and excitement the crew had in Georgia, an impressive amount of brand new trail was built. In the first week, about 975 feet of sidehill was built, and although we hit more tasking terrain the second week, we were still able to complete about 500 more feet of trail with multiple other features added in such as rock steps and crib walls.

A BIG thank you goes out the members of GATC for their constant presence at the worksite, a special thank you to Jason for hosting a crew of dirty, sweaty volunteers, and another special thank you to Tom and Vivienne for the wonderful festivities! We are very proud of Crew 2! Thank you all for your hard work! OWW!

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