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  1. #1
    Registered User The Cleaner's Avatar
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    Default Jerry's Cabin Shelter clean-up

    A few here may know me but for those who don't,I've been cleaning up this shelter since 1980 and more frequently as per my agreement with the Carolina Mtn. Club.This year due to the excessive number of those attempting a thru hike I stopped this after my last trip there on 3-27-15.During the 2014 thru season,I could clean up the shelter and return 2-3 days later only to find more litter.Well last Tuesday I hiked in and what I found did not surprise me.The 1st thing I saw was a large bag of trash on the bear cables.029.JPG Next was the fact that no one has cut anything growing around the shelter.Some blackberry shoots were growing into the shelter.043.JPGThe fire pit in front of the shelter was a mound of rocks,trash and dirt.027.JPGThe inside fireplace was full too.There is a shovel there,paid for by a WB member.I guess no hikers no how to use it.025.JPGWell I'm glad I got there early,I had a lot to do.First I cleaned up the fire pit,removing the the rocks and trash.040.JPGNext I attacked the inside fireplace.088.jpgAfter a quick lunch I spent a good hour or more using lopers to cut away all the blackberry shoots and other growth on 2 sides of the shelter.093.jpg092.jpgThen I built a fire to help chase away the horrible cloud of blood sucking biting gnats and burn some of the burnable trash because I could barely fit the 8lb bag of trash into my daypack.042.JPGAlso used the shovel to clean the weeds around the log benches,I built in 1-13 with the help of 2 other WB members who had earlier agreed to meet me there.It's a wonder that these are still there.Here's a last shot I took before leaving.049.JPGWell there it is a very clean shelter,ready for the 2015 SOBOs,I hope they do a little better than the previous guests did.It was a hot day down in the valley with temps in the mid 90s,but my thermometer showed only 74* there @1pm.The spring is running fair and if we don't get much rain soon, it could dry up.I have only seen it dry 3 or 4 times since I've been going there.I provide this service just because it needs to be done as the Carolina Mtn. Club must be busy elsewhere.I was rewarded on the way down with a seeing a bear about 1 mile from the shelter on Round Knob trail as I hiked back to my truck.Bears are a rare sight here as this a top spot for local bear hunters.065.JPGI hope some of you enjoy this post because IMO it's still to hot to be hiking very far till it cools off a bit.See you on the trail and have a great day.
    Sleep on the ground, rise with the sun and hike with the wind....

  2. #2

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    Thanks for the cleanup. I recently hiked from Damascus to Amicalola, and the farther south I got, the more trash I found, not just at the shelters, but also at the trailside campsites. It's sad that people don't pick up after themselves.

  3. #3
    Registered User The Cleaner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiptoe View Post
    Thanks for the cleanup. I recently hiked from Damascus to Amicalola, and the farther south I got, the more trash I found, not just at the shelters, but also at the trailside campsites. It's sad that people don't pick up after themselves.
    That's what I was sadly expecting to hear.I'd like to see more regulations somehow limiting the number of hikers that is already in place at most National Parks.Many members here object that idea.Others are claim the the "whole" AT is under "National Park" status.Well if that is true why are so many of the shelters trashed.In my 30 plus years of hiking the local area I've never seen any officials from the NPS.A handful of times I have seen officials from the local USFS District office.If you don't like what you see in this post,please call them @423-630-4109 and voice your opinion.
    Sleep on the ground, rise with the sun and hike with the wind....

  4. #4
    Registered User Moosling's Avatar
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    People must expect their wives or their mommas to clean up after them. That is a problem in the world in general these days.

  5. #5
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    Thanks more people need to practice LNT.

  6. #6
    Registered User The Cleaner's Avatar
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    Under FWIW, while on hiatus from garbage pick up I hiked from Dickey Gap to Damascus on 4-5-15.I enjoyed it so much I drove back to Grayson Highlands SP and did a loop trip there.Great place and for some reason I saw very little litter there.Also I made 2 trips to Shining Rock Wilderness near Ashville NC.The 1st trip I met the Wilderness Ranger and narrowly avoided a $500 citation for not having a bear canister.I was invited to leave by him.I went back a few weeks later with the BV500, but was disappointed by the very large number of hikers I met there.I met a group of 22 hikers,which violates the rules there too.I called in to the local Pisgah Ranger District to report them(their trip leader went Ballistic when I asked if they had bear canisters)and I'm not gonna let jerkwads verbally abuse me for their failure to prepare properly.Signs were posted at all trail heads.085.jpgI met the WR on my way out.I also met 2 hikers who just got $125 citations for not having bear canisters.
    Sleep on the ground, rise with the sun and hike with the wind....

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    How am I suposed to pick berries while in my sleepingbag now?

  8. #8
    Registered User Walkintom's Avatar
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    Thanks for the good work that you do.

  9. #9
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    Your efforts, Cleaner, are much appreciated!

    Aside from the trash issue, I'm wondering what could be done to make the other issues less of a burden. For example, it never would have occurred to me to "clean up" the firepit (aside from litter). I've seen some a foot high with ashes, but I guess I figured that was how that particular firepit was supposed to be. And what do you do with the ashes? Are they supposed to be buried? Piled somewhere? Spread in the woods? Dumped in the privy? Maybe somebody could come up with some standardized Site Maintenance guidelines that could be posted in each shelter. Or maybe the guidelines could vary for different regions. This is similar to the composting privy instructions that are often posted, instead of assuming that people know what to do.

    And the weed growth? All I typically carry is an inch-and-a-half blade. I've seen plenty of shovels and brooms at shelters, but never any tools for trimming back vegetation.

    That large bag of trash in your first photo appears much too large to be the fault of a single hiker, perhaps not even a single group. Maybe somebody picked up all the trash around the shelter, but was going the wrong way to carry the trash out to the road, so they left it for somebody going the other way? I remember one time finding some large item of trash on the trail, when we were a short distance from a shelter, but a long distance from a road. I dragged it to the shelter and left it there with the idea that at least it concentrates the garbage and makes it easier to remove.

  10. #10
    Registered User The Cleaner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by illabelle View Post
    Your efforts, Cleaner, are much appreciated!

    Aside from the trash issue, I'm wondering what could be done to make the other issues less of a burden. For example, it never would have occurred to me to "clean up" the firepit (aside from litter). I've seen some a foot high with ashes, but I guess I figured that was how that particular firepit was supposed to be. And what do you do with the ashes? Are they supposed to be buried? Piled somewhere? Spread in the woods? Dumped in the privy? Maybe somebody could come up with some standardized Site Maintenance guidelines that could be posted in each shelter. Or maybe the guidelines could vary for different regions. This is similar to the composting privy instructions that are often posted, instead of assuming that people know what to do.

    And the weed growth? All I typically carry is an inch-and-a-half blade. I've seen plenty of shovels and brooms at shelters, but never any tools for trimming back vegetation.

    That large bag of trash in your first photo appears much too large to be the fault of a single hiker, perhaps not even a single group. Maybe somebody picked up all the trash around the shelter, but was going the wrong way to carry the trash out to the road, so they left it for somebody going the other way? I remember one time finding some large item of trash on the trail, when we were a short distance from a shelter, but a long distance from a road. I dragged it to the shelter and left it there with the idea that at least it concentrates the garbage and makes it easier to remove.
    The ashes from Jerry's Cabin I put behind a big log behind the shelter where I sometimes pick out foil and burnt cans.Clean ashes should be spread out out of sight from any shelter and not piled up.As for the trash on the bear cables,I find that at many shelters.You may be right as to someone gathering them up but not packing out.It does help a bit I guess.Inside it was a gallon ziploc with about a weeks worth of a LDX hiker's trash and that not right at all.Some hikers just suck.
    Sleep on the ground, rise with the sun and hike with the wind....

  11. #11
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    Props to all the work you do. I had passed through there about a month ago and stopped for a long lunch. I cleaned out the both the fire place and the ring and put the trash bag on the cable as the fruits of that labor. So most of whatever you cleaned up had just accumulated in a month's time, which seems incredible, but there it is.

  12. #12

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    It's people such as yourself which help ensure that people from far away (like me) can eventually get there one day - and it is MUCH APPRECIATED!

    Thank you very much for your efforts to keep things safe, clean, and viable.

  13. #13
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    Thank you Cleaner. I hang my head every time I see a post like yours. It is inexcusable that I do not do more given how much I have enjoyed the trails I have been on. Your peer pressure is welcome here. I must do more.
    In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years. - Abraham Lincoln

  14. #14

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    Your a good man Cleaner, congrats on seeing that bear...funny how life works.

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    Thx for your efforts! Nothing bothers me more than lazy arse people purposely leaving there crap behind anywhere especially in the wilderness


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  16. #16
    Registered User The Cleaner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saltysack View Post
    Thx for your efforts! Nothing bothers me more than lazy arse people purposely leaving there crap behind anywhere especially in the wilderness


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    What I don't understand is this.>For SOBOs they are only 26 miles from Hot Springs,I think they have trash cans there.For NOBOs there are trash cans at Sam's Gap only about 20 miles.With all the weight saving UL gear many have these days,what's so hard about packing maybe a pound of your own trash a day or so more? Well I certainly don't expect anyone to post here any reason why they jettison their trash all along the trail.One possible answer would be for the USFS to install bear proof trash cans near most road crossings a hundred yards from the road on the trail to prevent use by passing autos.Then local trail clubs would be responsible for emptying the cans.Only during the spring thru season would these need more frequent emptying.We have a new USFS District Ranger at the office near town.I need to go and introduce myself and suggest this.
    Sleep on the ground, rise with the sun and hike with the wind....

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Cleaner View Post
    What I don't understand is this......For NOBOs there are trash cans at Sam's Gap only about 20 miles......
    I did not notice a trash can at Sam's Gap about 2 weeks ago, I did see it last year.

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    Thanks for your efforts, as I see it these are simply immature 'children' of nature and the trail, children are messy and suppose to be and do need such help, but they will learn and grow over time. We are experiencing a great deal of new hikers (which I term children), so yes things can get messy very fast. It is the care expressed to them, despite what they do or what mess they make now, which is what grows them up and has them want to give back when they are ready, so I am very thankful for people like you and others who care.

  19. #19
    Registered User The Cleaner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starchild View Post
    I did not notice a trash can at Sam's Gap about 2 weeks ago, I did see it last year.
    The trash can at Sam's Gap was in a parking lot there and probably was getting overloaded with highway users or locals who don't want to drive to the proper disposal location.That's why the trail trash cans need to be a little ways off of the road but not too far for maintainers to get to them.
    Sleep on the ground, rise with the sun and hike with the wind....

  20. #20

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    Most people probably don't know what you do simply because you are doing it. Perhaps we need more posts like this.

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