Hitch 4

December 2 - December 21, 2011

We at the Florida Trail SCA Crew knew that we needed to end the fall season in style. Folks, we delivered!

It all started with a publicity mission to the Tallahassee Community College. We showed up with some trail tools, a slide show and Marchetti decked out in his PPE and the college didn’t know what hit them. Well, they didn’t know what hit them until we told them. It was a successful outing and we got a lot of people interested and excited about the Florida Trail.

Next up we headed to the Aucilla Wildlife Management area for some trail work with the Weekday Warriors. With our crew and their six volunteers we knocked out two miles of trail maintenance on a section of trail that follows the Aucilla River until the point that it heads underground.

For the weekend we had the opportunity to go to the Osceola National Forest for a bucking and limbing chainsaw class put on by the Forest Service specifically for Florida Trail volunteers. We camped out in Ocean Pond campground and boned up on our saw skills under the direction of Paul and Sean. It was really nice to get out and camp, and we met some more Florida Trail volunteers, which we love doing
Our next project brought us back to the Apalachicola National Forest where we spent two days with students from the Liberty Wilderness Crossroads camp. We brought them to a five mile section of trail in the Bradwell Bay Wilderness and these guys kicked butt with their Suwannee Slings! We were glad to have them around.

We have been working hard this fall to engage local people in the maintenance of the Florida Trail, and on Saturday our work paid off when we got to take 4 highschool students and a TCC student out on the trail for some work. They high schoolers were from local Wakulla High School, members of their “Interact” club doing some community service. We brought them to a really beautiful section of trail called the “Rookeries Loop” in the Saint Mark’s National Wildlife Refuge and taught them the ins and outs of Loppers and Suwannee Slings. As the great volunteers that they were, they rocked this one-mile section of trail and were even home early! Thanks to everyone that came out!

Our last few days before break were spent getting the sheds at the Field Center in better shape (they seriously needed it). We went through all of the the F-Troop camping equipment that we’ll be using a lot in the Spring and gave it a bit of organization. Tedious work, but we’ll be glad we did it when the time comes to pull equipment for our projects.

We wrapped up the Fall season by with a night on the town sponsored by the FTA Apalachee Chapter. They gave us gift certificates to Olive Garden and the movie theater as a holiday gift, so we had a great meal and went to see the new Muppets movie, of course. Thanks FTA volunteers.

See everybody next year…

-Michael Swanberg