Thursday, August 3, 2017

Week 10: July 20-24, 2017

Crew 2: Sinking Creek Relocation

working with Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club

click here for the full photo album

Week ten, Crew Two trudged back up Sinking Creek Mountain in Southwest Virginia to finish up some unfinished business from the week before. Both a cribbed rock staircase exiting a rock slide and a crib wall at the switchback needed to be completed, and with a small crew of only five volunteers and two Crew leaders they had their doubts about being able to finish both of these technical projects.

The area where the staircase was to be constructed looked especially hairy as the removal of a giant rotten stump had left a gaping hole in the path and rocks for the switchback crib wall were having to be gathered from further and further away. Could they possibly pull it together?

Although it was a small Crew, it luckily consisted of one heck of a cast of volunteers. The Crew consisted of almost all alumni, several being veterans of many years. The lesser experienced happened to be quick learners just as much as they were hard workers. This mix combined with a few members from the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club, who worked alongside Konnarock, gave the Crew a fighting chance to achieve their goals for the week.
The Crew worked diligently and skillfully and made a trail of it yet. By the end, both teams had accomplished their goals and were even able to move on to more steps above their respective areas. The final count for the week ended up being twenty steps and seventy cubic feet of cribbing, not to mention the unseen mountains of crush that now lie beneath the surface of the Trail - not too shabby for a Crew of seven!

The weather, albeit hot and muggy at times, could not hinder Crew Two’s efforts. The dry weather actually made for easy digging as well as safe working conditions. The only rain came on the final night in the field we’ll after the week’s work had concluded. The thunder roared, lightning flashed, and the rain sounded reminiscent of a freight train at times, but this was only a celebratory applause to the week’s accomplishments.

The progress can almost certainly be attributed in part to the number of calories consumed at the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club’s annual Corn Boil. Each Club member, of whom there were many, brought a dish to the potluck. The amount and variety of food was as impressive as it was delicious. The Crew had a good time intermingling with the Club folks, and enjoyed meeting likeminded people involved in the A.T. We simply cannot thank RATC enough for their amazing generosity!

Other evenings were spent at Joe’s Trees Christmas tree farm, which is quickly becoming a favorite campsite among volunteers. In the evenings as the sun set, they would gather around the giant stump on the porch of the farm store and listen to music on Spotify, enjoying the free wifi as well as each other’s company. Some evenings, when they could still move after the day’s work, they entertained themselves with a few games of Kan Jam, a frisbee version of Corn Hole.

Once again, the Crew stopped by the Falls of Dismal for a relaxing swim on the way back to base camp. While swimming, they attempted to catch minnows and crawdads. Try as they might, they could not quite catch enough crawdads for lunch so they stopped by a Mexican restaurant in Whytheville to reward the week’s work.

Great job, Crew Two, for making a solid dent in this tough project. Considering the small Crew size, the effort this week was quite a feat. Until next time… HYAW!!!

--Brian Allgood, Assistant Crew Leader

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