Project Leader: Drew Foreman Project Dates: May 17,2010 - November 15,2010 Email Address: Aforeman@thesca.org
Loaded down with corridor clearing tools, crosscut saws (with fresh crosscut certifications), and long-sleeve poison-ivy blocking shirts, the Ramsey’s Draft SCA Team set out on their first 10 day hitch of the season. The focus of the beginning of this hitch was all about the two-man crosscut saw. The Team hauled in 6 crosscuts the first day to test their effectiveness in the hardwood forests of Virginia. Many of the saws did not “make the cut” and were deemed unfit for further use.
After spending the first couple of days bucking out bigger logs, the Team went back to clearing trail corridor of branches, saplings, and nettles. Nettles hurt a lot. Don’t sit in them. Heaps of branches and small trees had to be lopped, sawed, and hauled out of sight of the trail. Due to the sheer volume of vegetation being removed from the corridor, it became particularly challenging to avoid compacting new paths into the wilderness. The end result of our meticulous attention to our corridor and our impact outside of the corridor was a very natural looking trail that will remain a pleasant hiking experience for a long time to come.
Further into the hitch, the Team took on slightly different work. A couple of false trails were thoroughly obliterated. Then the group graded out some steep slopes on the banks of the stream. During the last few days of the hitch, the Team was broken into smaller groups and assigned to one of two important projects. One group was put in charge of removing problematic rocks and roots (some really really big roots from a dead hemlock) from a slippery and difficult slope in order to build up a rock retaining wall. The other group was assigned the task of clearing out a trail reroute for a couple hundred feet and methodically obliterate the old portion of trail. This work was largely done with saws, a weed whip, and the fire rake.
Both of these projects turned out beautifully. The rerouted section of trail is very clean and the old section of trail is barely noticeable. The rock retaining wall was completed on the last day of the hitch and is a significant improvement over the original trail. Also on the last day, some initial brush clearing and log bucking was done ahead at the next trail reroute. All in all, it was a very demanding and successful hitch.