In the spring of 2010, I made the decision to join SCA to make a difference in a remote region of Virginia in my native county of Highland and improve its hiking trails. I really didn't know what to expect, other than Laurel Fork was one of my favorite places on earth, and that would be my workplace. I have always enjoyed hiking and camping, but have never had the opportunity to do these things for more than a week at a time. Also, the people I would be working and living with were unknown to me, and I wondered if we would all get along.
In every instance, my expectations have been exceded. After 4 months of sometimes grueling work, Laurel Fork's most loved trails are in the best shape they have been in for 20 or 30 years. Its rhododendren-choked trails have been opened up for years to come and now people can access areas that were previously places to get lost.
The camping lifestyle is over for now, and I miss it greatly. I find it hard to sleep in a quiet house, without the sound of the roaring stream next to me and an occasional owl hooting. I knew that spending this much time in the woods would give me a different perspective on life, and it has made me realize that it doesn't take much for me to be truely content in nature.
The friendships and the bonds that I have formed with my four other crew members are unlike any I have experienced in my life. This has been an a great summer, and it would not have been without these people. They share the same humor and passions as myself, and I will miss them more than anything. I hope we can get together again in future years and relive these amazing times.