Crew 2: Brown Fork Gap Relocation
working with Smoky Mountains Hiking Club
click here for the full photo album
For week twelve, Crew 2 headed back down to Brown Fork Gap in Nantahala National Forest, NC for one last week of bushwhacking, rain, mud, and digging. Though it was the final week of the season, the Trail had plenty of challenges in store for the Crew. For a detailed description of this relocation project, be sure to check out Crew Two’s blog from Week 11.
The first work day could not have gone more smoothly. The weather was sunny and mild for August and the large crew was able to make an amazing amount of headway. Afterwards, they went for a relaxing swim in nearby Fontana Lake and were once again treated to dinner by the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club, this time at the Wildwood Grill in Fontana Village. Thanks again, SMHC!
For some of the volunteers, this was their first AT shelter experience and certainly turned out to be a memorable one for all. As miserable as the weather was, they were thankful to be in a dry place for lunch and enjoyed chatting with some southbound thru-hikers who were also holing up in the rain. Wayne, Crew 2’s chief meterologist, consulted the weather radar app on his phone, but unfortunately only had bad news for the Crew. There would be just enough of a break to hike out, so they took it while they could. Well, at least they can’t say they didn’t try!
Although the forecast did not look very promising for the final work day, the weather finally broke and the Crew was able to finish out the week strong with a highly productive day and a safe final descent of the skid road. Back at the campsite, the Crew celebrated the victory in true Konnarock fashion with a no-bake cheesecake.
When they returned to basecamp, there was another celebration in store to close out the 2017 season properly with one final hoo-rah. Folks from the Mount Rogers Appalachian Trail Club, the US Forest Service, as well as several Konnarock alumni came out to show their appreciation and to celebrate a successful 35th season with a huge feast, music, and of course – a giant tick piñata compliments of Kathryn.
It’s hard to believe another season has come and gone. Working alongside all the wonderful folks who make up this amazing crew, one barely notices the time passing. Thanks to all partners and volunteers whose contributions were vital in making this season successful and injury-free. The AT would not be what it is without you all. Until next year… HYAW!!!!!!!
--Brian Allgood, Assistant Crew Leader