|Corridor Clearing & Brushing||200 ft.|
|Log & Tree Removal||3|
|Rock Retaining Wall||2 Complete|
|New Trail||250 feet|
|Backfill Material Distributed||5 yrds.|
|Paint Marking||2000 ft.|
Twelve weeks ago, five strangers from across the country arrived in Augusta Springs, VA to complete an SCA internship. This week that internship comes to end. Through toil, sweat, frustration, hard work – five strangers came together to complete a task that many claimed to be daunting. River loop, Hidden Valley West, Bogan Run, Muddy Run and Jackson River – all trails that will never be the same due to the work of the Bath County trail team. This week our experience in Virginia comes to an end but its effects will not. We will carry this experience with us for the rest of our lives: looking at the stars, eating lots of rice, playing ‘The Settlers of Catan’ – doing meaningful, masterful work in the George Washington Jefferson Nat. Forest. It is an experience that we will share with our descendants.
We concluded our internship by resuming work on the Jackson River reroute. The focal point of this work was the construction and completion of our two primary rock retaining walls along with an eighty foot new tread construction area. This work consisted of not only clearing the region in which the walls were to be placed (which involved lots of grunt work and grunting – as another boulder needed to be moved) but also quarrying rocks and setting them in place. Amazingly, owing much to Ian, Pat, and Laura both rock walls were completed by the fifth day of the hitch. With two of the obstacles completed we then set about doing finish work on the wall section and completing the tread. Finish work on the walls involved the physically intensive job of moving hundreds of pounds of shale up a steep hill in order to shore up the trail. With this ended our task finally shifted to the tread construction which we completed in less than three days. We ended this hitch very fittingly doing the work in which we first started – tread reconstruction at the far end of the trail.
Besides work…. This hitch also contained a few notable exceptions to our usual routine. On July 27, we were asked to participate in a meeting including the Warm Springs District staff along with the Regional Forest Service Director of essentially the entire southeast. On July 30, we were joined by Kurt... an ex fire fighter and trail builder who showed us what it really meant to dig quickly. Finally on August 1, we were given a send-off picnic by the Warm Springs District staff in which not only did we leave stuffed but also feeling very appreciated and well recognized for our contribution to their district.
We would like to thank everyone who made this experience possible along with the support offered by our friends and families. Off to Virginia beach!