Project Leader: Marguerite Viola Project Dates: May 17 - November 17 11 Theresa Circle, Apt. 201 Verona, VA 24482 Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Well, another hitch completed for the Alleghany Highlands crew. We rolled right through our two month anniversary without much celebration, which I take as a sign that folks are not itching too bad to get out of here. Camp chores and trail work seem to be going smoother with each week as we learn more and more… and more about each other and how to work together. And none too soon, as this week posed some new challenges to us. We completed the eight foot rock wall we began last hitch, broke through the much anticipated “mini boulder field”, endured almost daily thunderstorms, and still managed to complete 250 feet of tread with an additional 140 feet near completion.
Our work up until the past week has consisted of cutting 24 inches of tread into leaves, roots, dirt and smaller rocks using picks, hoes and rakes. This week we forged into new territory as we dealt mainly with very large rocks. We moved and set stones for the first several days of our hitch to complete a three-tier rock wall. The wall allows the tread to skirt a large tree, rather than cutting through its main roots. We then brought our trail further down the mountain and through a boulder field we had been eagerly awaiting for the change of pace it brought. We used sledges, picks, and rock bars (indestructible 18 lb. pry bars) to break a path through the rocks.
We were all amazed at how much we are able to do with a few tools and good teamwork. Rock work is new to all of us. Before this hitch, I never would have thought we could have moved rocks of such size with a few people and a couple of tools. These mountains are still standing, 250 million years after they were formed – some of the oldest in the world. It is a powerful feeling to be able move rocks off a hillside that have taken millions of years to get there. With aching bodies and soggy gear, we are ready for this break more so than ever. But I can’t wait to walk across a trail of gravel and dirt where boulders once lay. What are we looking forward to next hitch? An even bigger boulder field.