I want to mention something that I have been involved with for three years. There are many members of this forum that have participated in The Damascus Hardcore workcrew during Traildays the last two years. I thought I would post a description of the Damascus Hardcore.
The Damascus Hardcore is a work crew that was born during the 2001 hiking season. We started it as a way for folks to give back to the trail at a convienent time, during Traildays. We intended to work with a different maintaining club each year. In 2001 we spread over 16 tons of gravel by hand with five gallon buckets on Roan Mountain. The original thought was to have the sponsor club, in 2001 it was Tennesse Eastman, work with the crew for a different club in 2002. Bob Peoples and I were not able to find another club to work with last year so we worked with Tenn. Eastman again. It went very well.
The projects are two day affairs and all are welcome. The crews have been made up of thru-hikers, section hikers, former hikers, friends, family, hostel owners, club members, trail maintainers, ATC staff, and others. This crew presents an opportunity to work with folks that you normally wouldn't get to meet. It also allows a club to tackle and FINISH a rather large labor intensive project. It also gives hikers a chance to do something for the Trail that we all love so much. In 2001 we had about thirty volunteers each day. In 2002 the numbers more than doubled. Tenn. Eastman recorded over 1000 man hours!! The projects included carrying building material to The Clyde Smith Shelter up hill for close to two miles, dismantling part of the shelter, carrying old material out, rebuilding the shelter and adding on a very nice addition with cooking area and second sleeping deck, adding water bars, and digging over 500 ft of new tread on the relo between 19E and Moreland Gap.
This year we have something new. We will again work to the south with Tenn. Eastman and Bob. This year we will also have a project just north of Damascus. This will give us a choice of heading either north or south. We hope this will make logistics easier. When the trips are over it should be easier to either drive home or get folks back to where they came off the trail.
There are many important roles to be filled for these crews. These projects require more than just brawn to hike and work and sweat at the worksites. Equally important are the folks who shuttle folks to the work sites and back to the trail as well as the folks who have fed us after work. We hope to continue to have this Crew grow in terms of particiapnts as well as in effectiveness.
Planning of logistics is going on now. We plan on limiting the size of the crews so that every feels like they have contributed when the day is done. The projects will begin on Sunday morning at Traildays. We will conclude with an excellent meal (hopefully like the last two years) on Monday late in the afternoon.
I imagine that others can add quite a bit to my descriptions. I hope that folks will add their own stories and experiences from the two previous year's trips. We hope to sign folks up in advance of Traildays where possible so that we can coordinate shuttles, tools, camping, and eating. Feel free to PM me for more details.