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View Full Version : Thank you Trail Crews & Trail Maintainers!



StarLyte
01-07-2007, 06:36
My love for the Appalachian Trail goes beyond what some of you might feel.....then there's the few of you that I find along the path that share my passion.

That passion comes in many forms.

It can be in the form of hiking - of course! It can also be in the form of trail magic, hiker feeds, shuttlers, volunteer medical people, just doing good deeds along the Trail....and then you encounter......The Trail Crew.....or work done by a trail crew.....and it makes you wonder why are there people like this? What makes a trail crew? What makes a trail maintainer?

Projects, crews, sweat, splinters, blisters, heat....gosh what possible reward could there be for that labor?

They ask for no rewards.

They are volunteers.

It is an unspoken, gratifying, self-encouraging job that begins with one person.....you, me.

Last year as I traveled along the A.T.....I met many of these people. What I thought was just a simple "passion" as I say for the A.T. was taken to a whole different level of enthusiasm, love and determination. It blew me away.

This is my year to give to those people: trail volunteers, trail crews, trail maintainers and Trail Bosses encouraging recognition for their hard work.

Your contribution to this can be in any form. An example is Fishin' Fred (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=20269).

There are also many events organized to bring together these people to discuss trail work: ATC Biennial Conference (http://www.ramapo2007.org/)
Check out the opening picture in that link!

If you are curious, want to become involved a LITTLE or a lot....this link to the ATC (http://www.appalachiantrail.org/site/c.jkLXJ8MQKtH/b.1558353/k.9194/The_Register.htm) will direct you to many different articles about trail work and good deeds performed.

Awareness.

Thank you.

TJ aka Teej
01-07-2007, 11:55
Super post, Starlyte! :D

emerald
01-07-2007, 12:21
Sometimes work done by individual maintainers or trail crews or the need for it is not understood by hikers who encounter these people working on the A.T. Trail workers are almost invariably willing to spend a few moments explaining what they do.

If you are curious, ask. You are likely to learn something in the process and your appreciation for what they do will grow. A simple heartfelt thank you costs nothing, but can mean much and everyone benefits from this type of interaction.

handlebar
01-07-2007, 12:37
The ATC has had trouble filling its volunteer trail crew slots last year. If you've ever wondered why someone hasn't maintained a section of trail, you have a chance to correct the situation by linking to and volunteering at http://www.appalachiantrail.org/site/c.jkLXJ8MQKtH/b.715469/k.E966/Volunteer.htm

Serving on one of the crews gives you a chance to give back to the trail. Plus it's a lot of fun!

MOWGLI
01-07-2007, 12:44
Trail Peeps are the best kind of Peeps. I would love to join a Konnarock Crew, but I don't have the time. I encourage folks to consider joining a Crew.

Another option for folks is American Hiking Society's Volunteer Vacation program. There is a trip in Baxter in July, plus lots of other interesting projects across the USA. Checkout the 2007 Schedule (http://americanhiking.org/events/vv/index.html).

emerald
01-07-2007, 12:48
I recently posted the link for ATC's Trail Clubs page (http://www.appalachiantrail.org/site/c.jkLXJ8MQKtH/b.786807/k.3154/Trail_Clubs.htm) elsewhere and am posting it again for those who may wish to learn more about these organizations.

Brushy Sage
01-07-2007, 21:29
A funny thing, Starlyte, about the trail crew I join on most Fridays: we come from various walks of life, various political persuasions, and a range of ages (we are a "mature" group, aged around 65 to 83); we have been in wars from WW-II to Vietnam (younger guys and gals go with some of the other crews and move at a somewhat different pace); we have retired executives, health care professionals, policemen, and a meteorologist. Yet we go out each week with a common purpose. Speaking only for myself, I appreciate the opportunities to go out with friends to accomplish set objectives (such as replacing some steps, or restoring tread in a steep hillside, or removing fallen trees, or constructing a shelter (moving a privy is not quite as enjoyable), and getting good exercise in the process. Most of the hikers we meet are willing to stop a few minutes and chat, and they almost always express their appreciation for the work we are doing.

Sly
01-07-2007, 21:33
I did a week with the Long Trail Patrol. It was hard work, but very rewarding and lots of fun. I highly recommend it to everyone.

RAT
01-07-2007, 21:44
Thanks for the kind words Starlyte :) I have been a trail maintainer for going on 20 yrs, the last 15 with the CMC on my section as well as many others. I worked for about 10 yrs with the Konnarock crews basecamping for a week or two at a time doing some incredible projects, learning alot of techniques and meeting some of the coolest people from all walks of life not to mention having the most fun that could never be imagined during the hard work. Having met many hikers during these times has been another great pleasure and when you get a heartfelt thank you from them it makes it all worth while. Some have even stopped long enough to help out !!! It is great excercise altho I have sustained a few injuries in all this time but with the great feeling you have at the end of the day and all the lifelong friends I have made it is priceless (even tho I have spent alot of my own money in doing this) and I would not trade a single minute of it nor will I ever quit until I am unable to do it anymore which I am hoping my kids continue my work. I take alot of pride in my work and try to spread the trail work magic to all i can in hopes of getting others motivated to help out too as the maintaining clubs have less and less young people and it seems the older ones are able to do less and are retiring or dying off more and more each yr. Would be a great subject to speak to schools, youth groups, etc., about and to volunteer trips to take them out and let them get a taste of it all. Thanks for posting this Starlyte ;-) Lets hope it continues as the trail would quickly disappear and become very hard to hike (compared to the way it is now) if there were suddenly alot less volunteers. I applaud each and everyone who donates their time and hard work to the upkeep of the trail.

RAT > PATROL

StarLyte
01-08-2007, 06:15
You are a great group of people here.

I can't get enough of the goodness of the Trail.

It comes to me in many different forms.

I give it back, frequently.

I think about....constantly.

Spread the word.

Spread the awareness.

Spread the goodness.

Gray Blazer
01-08-2007, 10:38
Trail maintainers rock!! Thanks people!

fishinfred
01-08-2007, 18:32
This has to be the best thread ever posted here on WB Starlyte .Thank you!

Thanks Maintainers !

See you out there !
PEACE & HAPPY TRAILS
Fishinfred

EarlyBird2007
01-18-2007, 16:45
If you are curious, want to become involved a LITTLE or a lot....this link to the ATC (http://www.appalachiantrail.org/site/c.jkLXJ8MQKtH/b.1558353/k.9194/The_Register.htm) will direct you to many different articles about trail work and good deeds performed.

Awareness.

Thank you.

Starlyte: I am a member of two maintaining Clubs, Cumberland Valley ATC and Susquehanna ATC, and I personally maintain a mile of the AT in the Cumberland Valley. On behalf of all trail maintainers, thanks for the kind words.

Let me just add one thing to what you said about encouraging folks to help. Most of the day to day maintenance on the AT (and other trails as well) is done by local clubs. If you'd like to help, and you live near the AT, consider becoming active in the AT maintaining club closest to you. Here is a link to a page on the AT website that shows which club is responsible for which section of the AT. http://www.appalachiantrail.org/site/c.jkLXJ8MQKtH/b.786753/k.D90B/Partners.htm They (we) can always use more help!

Looking forward to meeting you at the PA Ruck.:D

fishinfred
01-20-2007, 12:48
Any big projects that YOUR CLUB will be doing this year that could use extra hands? PLEASE POST them here so folks who want to help will know when and where without having to search thru all the Club sites to get the info .I'll make a copy list and spread the word out on the trail to anyone interested .
"Many hands make MUCH WORK ...easy!
ALL YOU MAINTAINERS ROCK!
:banana
THANK YOU!

PEACE & THANKS!
Fishinfred

bascomgrillmaster
03-14-2007, 23:38
Hello Fishinfred, ( AT TRAIL WORK)
Bascomgrillmaster here.We are replacing the 25 year old bridge behind RPH Cabin. We have all ready started working on it.Will be down there the first and third Saturday of the month.From 8am to 4pm Snow or no Snow.Allso I,am maybe able to meet there on other times or dates. Please check out our web site for all the info, timtrek.mikentim.com email me for details allso. e mail is bascomrillmaster@yahoo.com Thanks You
RPHC GENERATION NEXT,REMEMBER THE PAST TRAIL WORKERS

StarLyte
03-15-2007, 06:28
Hello Fishinfred, ( AT TRAIL WORK)
Bascomgrillmaster here.We are replacing the 25 year old bridge behind RPH Cabin. We have all ready started working on it.Will be down there the first and third Saturday of the month.From 8am to 4pm Snow or no Snow.Allso I,am maybe able to meet there on other times or dates. Please check out our web site for all the info, timtrek.mikentim.com email me for details allso. e mail is bascomrillmaster@yahoo.com Thanks You
RPHC GENERATION NEXT,REMEMBER THE PAST TRAIL WORKERS

Hey Tim!

Fishin' Fred is in NC hiking nobo....he'll see this.

Check out the cover of the ALDHA Directory when you receive it. You'll love it. Peace my friend. :sun

bascomgrillmaster
03-30-2007, 00:20
HI Tim here,
Thanks for putting up the note about Fish in fred.See you at RBH Cabin.
Later Bascom:sun

camojack
03-30-2007, 01:08
My love for the Appalachian Trail goes beyond what some of you might feel.....then there's the few of you that I find along the path that share my passion.

That passion comes in many forms.

It can be in the form of hiking - of course! It can also be in the form of trail magic, hiker feeds, shuttlers, volunteer medical people, just doing good deeds along the Trail....and then you encounter......The Trail Crew.....or work done by a trail crew.....and it makes you wonder why are there people like this? What makes a trail crew? What makes a trail maintainer?

Projects, crews, sweat, splinters, blisters, heat....gosh what possible reward could there be for that labor?

They ask for no rewards.

They are volunteers.

It is an unspoken, gratifying, self-encouraging job that begins with one person.....you, me.

Last year as I traveled along the A.T.....I met many of these people. What I thought was just a simple "passion" as I say for the A.T. was taken to a whole different level of enthusiasm, love and determination. It blew me away.

This is my year to give to those people: trail volunteers, trail crews, trail maintainers and Trail Bosses encouraging recognition for their hard work.

Your contribution to this can be in any form. An example is Fishin' Fred (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=20269).

There are also many events organized to bring together these people to discuss trail work: ATC Biennial Conference (http://www.ramapo2007.org/)
Check out the opening picture in that link!

If you are curious, want to become involved a LITTLE or a lot....this link to the ATC (http://www.appalachiantrail.org/site/c.jkLXJ8MQKtH/b.1558353/k.9194/The_Register.htm) will direct you to many different articles about trail work and good deeds performed.

Awareness.

Thank you.

:sun I'll be going out again on April 7th (http://trips.outdoors.org/index.cfm/method/Chapter_Trips.fullview/tripid/5594/preview/preview)...feel free to join me. :sun

Smile
03-30-2007, 08:09
Is there one place that has a comprehensive schedule of when and where you can join a crew for a day, weekend or week somewhere?

Great post SL :)

briarpatch
03-30-2007, 10:04
Is there one place that has a comprehensive schedule of when and where you can join a crew for a day, weekend or week somewhere?

Great post SL :)

The GATC has a work trip on the third saturday of every month. I've never seen a list for all of the other clubs, but if you email them, I'm sure they can tell you when they have trips scheduled.

The ATC lists their volunteer work crews at: http://www.appalachiantrail.org/site/c.jkLXJ8MQKtH/b.733147/k.34E6/Trail_Crews.htm

You can volunteer for a week or more with these crews.

1Pint
03-30-2007, 23:41
This is my year to give to those people: trail volunteers, trail crews, trail maintainers and Trail Bosses encouraging recognition for their hard work.


StarLyte - thanks for starting this thread and giving me an opportunity to say "Thanks!"

Not too long ago I was out by myself on the AT. I was in a really relaxed frame of mind and for some reason every blaze, every cut log, every water bar felt like a hug. Weird, I know. But I took comfort thinking about the person who had stood in front of the tree and painted that blaze so that hikers wandering along would know they were going in the right direction. And I took comfort from the person who had done the back-breaking work of moving logs off the trail or placing the stones into the hill just so.

So, to the people who are out there doing the work to keep the trail great - Thank You! :sun

rafe
03-31-2007, 05:45
Not too long ago I was out by myself on the AT. I was in a really relaxed frame of mind and for some reason every blaze, every cut log, every water bar felt like a hug.

I know the feeling. Once a day, I kiss a blaze (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=19556). (When I'm hikin' on the AT, that is.)


So, to the people who are out there doing the work to keep the trail great - Thank You! :sunAnd I'll second that emotion.

shelterbuilder
04-06-2007, 17:15
Starlyte: I am a member of two maintaining Clubs, Cumberland Valley ATC and Susquehanna ATC, and I personally maintain a mile of the AT in the Cumberland Valley. On behalf of all trail maintainers, thanks for the kind words.

Let me just add one thing to what you said about encouraging folks to help. Most of the day to day maintenance on the AT (and other trails as well) is done by local clubs. If you'd like to help, and you live near the AT, consider becoming active in the AT maintaining club closest to you. Here is a link to a page on the AT website that shows which club is responsible for which section of the AT. http://www.appalachiantrail.org/site/c.jkLXJ8MQKtH/b.786753/k.D90B/Partners.htm They (we) can always use more help!

Looking forward to meeting you at the PA Ruck.:D

I'll add my 2cents' worth here, too. I've been a member of BMECC for over 20 years, and when I joined, I did so because I had had so many wonderful times on the Trail that I wanted to give something back so that other folks coming after me could some wonderful times, too. I guess that it showed, because over the years, BMECC has given me many opportunities to give back!:D :D

It's not always easy, but it is always FUN. If you live near the Trail, there is a maintaining club that could use an extra pair of hands - whether it's for a day, for a project, or for the rest of your life. We come in all shapes and sizes, all kinds of politics and ideologies, but we have a love of the Trail in common with each other, and that's all it takes.

walkin' wally
04-06-2007, 18:26
If you are curious, ask. You are likely to learn something in the process and your appreciation for what they do will grow. A simple heartfelt thank you costs nothing, but can mean much and everyone benefits from this type of interaction.[/QUOTE]


As a maintainer it has been a reward for me to have a hiker stop and share his/her experiences for a minute or two. It is interesting to find out how their hike is going, good or bad. Thru hiker or section hiker. There is always something to learn. I enjoy that interaction.