We all had another productive couple of weeks on the trail, having completed 2 miles of corridor which required essentially tunneling through a mile or more of 10 year old rhododendron in addition to a 50' rock wall (with the help of alex olson) that now serves as a beautiful reroute to an entirely blownout section of trail. To watch marlene take down the only tree that stood in the way of our wall visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMVBvl9q38s&feature=youtube_gdata .
Following a string of raids on our mashed potatoes, beef jerkey, and Neosporin we were introduced to an excellent alternative to inhumane mouse removal methods. "The Chief" revealed "The Wheel of Misfortune," which is easy to build and incredibly effective. To construct you will need a can, 2-3' of fishing line, and one of those useless orange buckets with which we were all supplied. You simply poke a hole in your empty can through the middle of the top and bottom, lace through a piece of fishing line, tie both ends to opposite sides of the bucket's handle, and voila! you have the wheel hanging atop the bucket. Now you simply coat the wheel in the sticky food stuff of your choice and wait. If you're lucky enough you may catch a surely hilarious encounter between mouse and "Wheel of Misfortune" and watch the mouse slide awkwardly off of the unstable but enticing wheel of goodness and into the bottom of the bucket. For humane mouse disposal, simply carry bucket across stream and release into a new home away from your food and dishes.
Thanks to a lucky encounter with Tom Brody on the trails and a little help from our local, Todd "Maggard" Frye, we were invited to stay in 2 cabins at "Bear Mountain" free of charge for a weekend of R&R. We had a great time listening to Mr. Brody on guitar, J "Jenkins" B on Mandolin, Todd playing slide guitar, "The Chief" on coin and bottle(?), and a few others jamming late into the evening attop the Mountain. While we were socked in with fog all weekend, just as we were leaving it began to clear and we could see the beautiful view from the top that we had been told so much about.
A late, but important, Take-5 for Safety note: When starting a campfire with unleaded gasoline (and probably leaded gasoline as well) use a long stick to light, as a little gasoline goes a long way. Cletus will tell you that this is especially important while trying to maintain steady beard growth, as hair is also incredibly flammable. He may well have burnt a week off his beard which is now in an impressive fifth month of growth.