This week the Ragin’ Raleighs headed to Hagerstown, MD to pick up their second work vehicle. With a planned stop in Sherando Lake Recreation Area to cross-train with another SCA crew (check out George Washington/Jefferson Nat’l Forest crew’s page!!!).
After six hours of skillful navigation through the crazy traffic and construction of the D.C. area, and a whole lot of hilarious team bonding, the crew arrived at the storage unit in Hagerstown, MD. Upon meeting and greeting our new truck the crew discovered a dead battery in need of a jump. A quick battery jump to our new truck and we hit the road, only to stop a quarter of a mile later.
In the suburban following the truck, we noticed the rear right tire was wobbling around a lot. So, we all turned our vehicles around and found a nice cul-de-sac to change the tire in. At last, we were putting the final bits of our SCA vehicle training to use! We changed the wobbly tire out with the spare, and re-jumped the truck's battery—a first for Katrina! Unfortunately, more truck problems ensued and the truck spent the next few days in the shop.
On the way to GWJ, the crew spent the night at Catoctin Mountain Park, where Camp David happens to be secretly located. The next day the crew went geocaching at Antietam National Battlefield. After geocaching led us to a slave selling block—with a silly band bracelet found—the crew headed for Sherando Lake Recreation Area in the George Washington/Jefferson National Forests to meet up with another SCA crew.
Our time cross-training with the George Washington/Jefferson (GWJ) National Forest trails crew was spent learning about stream behavior, trail maintenance, and the underpinnings of what makes a trail a trail. Project Leader Dan Solomon split up the crew with several members gathering rocks and placing them in a washed out trail. Meanwhile, the other half of the crew dug up soil to cover the rocks, and fill in a crevice created by heavy rains. Our lunch break with the fellow SCA crew was greatly appreciated as the work was quite different from the Ragin' Raleighs normal day-to-day tasks. The afternoon was spent furthering the filling in of the trail and burial of rocks. The high point of the day occurred when Project Leader Dan spotted an Eastern Timberland Rattlesnake where we had been collecting rocks. Another first sight for many in the crews!
After a hard day’s work, the rewards of trail work became readily apparent to the Ragin’ Raleighs as well as an appreciation for the work of fellow SCA crews. The day ended back at base camp, learning how to clean and sharpen tools.
On the hitch’s final day, the Ragin’ Raleighs woke up bright and early, packed up camp, and said goodbye to the GWJ crew; before making our way back up to Hagerstown, MD to pick up our fixed truck. A quick stop in Hagerstown and we were once again back on the road, this time headed to Washington D.C.
Once in Washington D.C. we took a break and stopped for lunch at Ben’s Chili Bowl, where we hoped to catch a glimpse of some of the many famous frequent patrons. After lunch, the crew visited the Washington monument and visited the National Museum of American History.
While leaving Tim and Katrina rose to the challenge of DC rush hour traffic. Three hours later, we had made it approximately 60 miles and were in need of a pit stop. After dinner the Ragin’ Raleighs were homeward bound once more. Finally traffic had lightened up and all were ecstatic to be moving faster than 5mph.
Alas, when we reached the North Carolina state line, the vehicles erupted into joyous cheers; in spite of how much fun we had had the past week, we were all elated to be closer to Raleigh. Shortly before 10pm, we came upon the familiar Gladstone Drive and at last were home sweet home.