Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Week 11: July 26-30, 2019

Crew 2: Spy Rock

working with Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail Club

click here for the full photo album

Week 11 is done and the end of the 2019 Konnarock season is soon coming to an end. This season has flown by! This week the crew returned to Spy Rock to continue the construction of a new side trail up to the top of the rock.

Before this trail, there was no defined path up to the top so people would take tons of different routes to scramble up to see the incredible panoramic view. Unfortunately, this has led to the near extinction of two rare plant species that call Spy Rock home. The main purpose of this new trail is to save these plants by keeping people in a more confined area so that the plants won’t be trampled.

I have to say, this has been one of the coolest projects I have ever worked on. The work is incredibly technical and lots of power tools had to be utilized this week so that we could pin rocks into the sloping bedrock all around. We have totally transformed this mess of mud and rock and turned it into an easily walkable pathway. And to make things even better, we got to do it in an incredibly beautiful place!

We had a lot of support from the Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail Club this week as well, which helped the week fly by smoothly. They treated us to a delightful meal down at a club member’s beautiful, totally off-grid cabin. We got to hang out and enjoy some delicious barbeque all evening.

A few of us did some adventuring in the evenings this week. We walked down to the old Campbell property and poked around some of the old buildings. The land, which is now part of the National Forest, was once owned by the Campbell family for generations and dates back to the 1700’s. This family lived without electricity and were pretty much self-sufficient until about 10 years ago when they finally sold the place. It was pretty cool to feel like you were walking back in time.

We also took a few evenings and early morning trips up the rock to see the sunsets and sunrises. On the last day, after we packed up camp we were invited to a club member’s secluded swimming spot on her property. It was great to rinse off all the grime from the week and float around in the river for the morning. We also stopped at another spot along the same river that a Konnarock Crew once helped work on. It is a suspension bridge over the Tye River that is super cool (and kind of scary) to walk across. It was an awesome, adventurous, and productive week!

--Sarah Ellsworth, Assistant Crew Leader

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