Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Week 7: June 23-27, 2017

Crew 2: Buzzard Rocks Rehab

working with Mount Rogers Appalachian Trail Club

click here for the full photo album

During week seven, Crew Two had the pleasure of working in Konnarock’s home turf on nearby Whitetop Mountain on the steep section of trail just south of Buzzard Rock. The objective was to complete the work left over from this year’s Hardcore project which Crew One hosted during week three and weren’t quite able to complete due to inclement weather. For more info on the Hardcore program and week three, check out Crew One’s blog post from that week.

This steep section of Trail was badly eroded and in need of some major repairs before Hardcore, and it was impressive to see the amount of high quality work that had been accomplished in those few short days. They had begun a series of rock staircases separated by water bars in the steepest section and several series of rock and earth steps above and below in the less steep terrain. They made things easy for this week’s volunteers since they had already staged many of the rocks to be used as building material next to the Trail – sometimes finding, selecting, and moving the right rock can be half the battle! The Crew was able to fill in all the gaps, complete the finishing touches, and move on to some other projects below such as check steps and water bars.

Despite the dismal forecast at the beginning of the week due to Tropical Storm Cindy, the Crew somehow lucked out in having nearly perfect working conditions most of the week save for a few minor afternoon showers on day one. The cool winds in the days following the storm certainly didn’t feel like late June on the second highest mountain in Virginia, and the views extended into five states. Thanks to the beautiful weather, they were able to make a great deal more progress than they originally thought they would.

The great progress can also be attributed to the unstoppable crew this week. More than half the Crew consisted of alumni volunteers, several of whom were on their third or forth week with Crew Two this season! They were able to pair up with the newer folks and help show them the ropes. However, this is not to downplay the new volunteers who all turned out to be quick learners and pumped out some great work.

One might argue that the Crew had it pretty easy – maybe even too easy – this week since they were able to return to Basecamp (or the bed and breakfast as it came to be known) after work each night. They even enjoyed a little local entertainment on Saturday night just down the road at the Flatridge Community Center in the form of some bluegrass pickin’ from the local Flatridge Boys. They call this Saturday night tradition the Flatridge Opry.

The Crew ended off the week right with a big potluck dinner provided by Mount Rogers Appalachian Trail Club complete with fried chicken, biscuits, beans, slaw, and homemade desserts. Their potlucks have become renowned among those fortunate enough to have been present for them and are always much appreciated. Thanks MRATC!

Thanks to all for a very successful week on Whitetop Mountain! HYAW!!!!

--Brian Allgood, Assistant Crew Leader

No comments: