Happy though we were to have finished the survey for the White Rock Gap Trail at Sherando on our first hitch, we found enough problems to keep us busy for our entire second hitch. We began with some light lifting – rocks, and bags of dirt which were needed to fill a section of washed out trail spanning approximately 720 ft. We were fortunate to have our friends from Raleigh, the SCA’s North Carolina Community Fire Protection Plan, come and give us a hand on our first day, doubling our dirt-hefting power.
Following that escapade was a delectable surprise! A couple lovely southern ladies who traverse our trail on a daily basis brought us a dinner at our campsite of chicken, potatoes, fresh bread, salad, pesto pasta, blueberry peach cobbler, and ice cream. That incident was possibly the highlight of our time at our compost site which allowed no shade and was inundated with wasps. We moved up to Maupin Meadows, a pleasant site along the Appalachian Trail, complete with a variety of thru-hikers who were happy to exchange conversation for our leftover chili.
We found, to our delight, another section of trail that had been thoroughly washed out by a spring flood. This, according to the forest service, is a yearly problem. So, instead of setting about filling it with dirt as a temporary solution, we dug about 15 waterbars, and built seven check steps to help divert water from the trail. We finished the week on a high note, having built a dam to prevent water from flooding our newly re-treaded trail, and a variety of rock crib walls to support the trail.
In our spare time, such as it was, the crew delighted in intellectual pursuits. Many an etymology was discussed, and great conversations were had over the purpose, frequency, and usefulness of sarcasm. This comes from the Greek word Σαρκαζω (sarkazdow), meaning to tear flesh like dogs, bite the lips in rage, or speak bitterly, (in case our inquisitive readers were wondering).
Fun games involving the possible distortion of RV names such as Escaper and Providence were enjoyed. The crew is still holding out for the chance of possible deification in return for our trail efforts. The good people of Sherando, if such plans are in the works, are not letting on. In the meantime, we shall be enjoying our days off, and taking part in some 4th of July celebrations, i.e. a demolition derby.
Captains Amy Carpenter and Christopher Otten
Total work completed:
8 rock check steps
13 rock waterbars
720’ filled in washouts
1 20’ x 2’ dam
1 20’ x 2’ rock crib wall
6 dirt pits rehabbed
2.5 miles of trail maintained