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  1. #1
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    Default Damascus Hardcore Trailwork At Traildays

    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.
    Forrest Phil

  2. #2
    Springer-->Stony Brook Road VT MedicineMan's Avatar
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    Forest Phil, e-mail me the dates so I can schedule something now.
    Start out slow, then slow down.

  3. #3
    GA-ME 02 Kilted Hiker Trail Yeti's Avatar
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    I did this last year...it was great fun and I encourage everyone to do it. I will be there again this year. Actually, I did some maintenance for Bob on my hike this past week!
    Great idea posting info about this Phil!
    Yeti
    "Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit"- Ed Abbey

  4. #4

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    I helped last year. I also encourage everyone to sign up to help. The people I got to meet were the best!

    Looking forward to helping out this year as well!

  5. #5
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    Default Damascus Harcore

    D.H. was started by Bob People, who in addition to running the incomparable Kincora Hostel in Dennis Cove, TN., is also the maintainer for the adjacent section of Trail.

    If anyone feels like working on a Trail project after Trail Days, this is a great time to do it; also, Bob has all sorts of projects going on throughout the year. When you stop at Kincora (and you should!) be sure to ask him what's going on, and if you've some time to spare, offer him a hand. This is a great way to helpthe Trail, to help a great guy, and to have a lot of fun in the process.

  6. #6
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    Forgot to mention that Bob Peoples will be at Trail Days, and there will be information available on this year's project, as well as a sign-up list. I hope to see lots of you at Bob's after Trail Days!

    Otherwise, reach him at:

    Kincora Hiking Hostel
    1278 Dennis Cove Rd.
    Hampton, TN. 37658

    (423) 725-4409

  7. #7

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    It's kinda neat to work you're arms and back for awhile after walking a few hundred miles! It can also be painfull

  8. #8
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    I stopped by to see Bob and Pat a couple weeks ago on my way south. Had an enjoyable 3 or 4 hour conversation. It looks like one of the projects for this year is the much needed relo where the white rocks mt. fire tower once stood. This is presently one of the best places to get "confused" I have seen lately. Bob had talked about building a new shelter on the relocation we did last year but got smothered in enviromental studies so that has to wait till maybe next year. He never said anything about the northern project but I'm sure Phil will live up to his name and Phil us in on what those plans are.
    I would encourage anyone that cares for the trail to make an effort to join in this year. It really is more fun than work although it is directly proportional to the age of the participant. I think the younger people had more "fun" than us older guys but I for one am going back anyway!
    It would be great if the Whiteblaze contingent showed up in force!

  9. #9
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    Lugnut,

    I hope you had a good trip. Bob mentioned that you had made it past Kincora. My response is a little long but was hoping to share with all here at Whiteblaze. Thanks for your input, (and shuttling).

    The original vision that Bob and I and the others had when The Hardcore started in 2001 was to create something that didn't exist. The Hardcore is the natural extension of what Bob and Tenn. Eastman had going. The amount of man hours that Bob Peoples is personally responsible for is staggering. Day after day during the hiking season, and throughout the year, Bob gives many, many hikers an opportunity to give back to the Trail and help the club and him. This is how I became involved with Tenn. Eastman. Hardcore represents opportunities for anyone to work. Traildays gives a convienent time to have a large number of volunteers. The clubs have the opportunity of having a unique crew that can accomplish a great amount of work in a short period of time.

    We wanted a crew that could touch and affect as many folks as possible. Bob already works with hikers during their hike, but for some that opportunity is not planned so they do not always take it. Bob and I believe that a planned event like the Hardore at Traildays is a good time for a work project. Many of the folks that have worked the last two years were not on the Trail hiking at the time of the project.

    We originally thought that the Hardcore would move from club to club. Bob feels that the crew shouldn't be club specific because he is already so succesful with the other chances that hikers have to work with Tenn. Eastman and him. Our vision was to have all these different clubs, hikers, maitainers, and others, working together to benefit as much of the trail around Damascus as possible.

    So far the response has been incredible. As Lugnut, Yeti, Baltimore Jack, Pushing Daisies and the others from last year know we had a lot of folks. One of challenges reamains moving and housing a huge group. There just isn't room at Kincora for 50-75 people. Bob suggested that we work with smaller groups. The original plan was to work for different clubs each year. With the huge turnouts we have gotten we needed another option. Everyone loves Bob and wants to help him and the club. Bob decided that we would continue to work with Tenn. Eastman each year, but would split the crew and send some north of Damascus.

    Bob and I hope that this will make some of the logistics of moving people easier. We hope that now some more folks that are hiking north of Damascus will be able to join the Hardcore without having to back track so far. We are still working out the details for both projects. Bob has always maintained the importance of having work that can be finished during Traildays so that everyone can see the finished product. That is a priority.

    Thanks everyone for your input.

    Trail Yeti, form what Bob told me it sounds like you did quite a bit of work last week. Nice job!
    Forrest Phil

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    GA-ME 02 Kilted Hiker Trail Yeti's Avatar
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    lugnut, phil, daisy, anyone else who worked on the relo last year...I hiked it this past week...it is really nice. We did a good job. Jones falls was beautiful and its a much nicer trail to it than last year! ha ha ha. There is also a really nice river walk by the Elk River...the whole thing is really good walking.
    "Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit"- Ed Abbey

  11. #11
    Registered User Peaks's Avatar
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    Default Relo

    Is the relo worth the additional 3 or 4 miles?

  12. #12
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    I want to help with hardcore. I think I might have a ride from the Shenandoah Mountains but getting back to the trail is fuzzy I heard that Bob Peoples is setting up matching rides is this true? also I was told that the work is done on the Sat and Sunday also is this true. Just want to give back and help make the trail not just hike it.
    Straydog

  13. #13
    Registered User Tennessee Viking's Avatar
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    Heading back for my 5th year.

    StrayDog: Bob usually gets help fromj TEHCC members, Hardcore alumni, and other trail volunteers to help shuttle hikers back to the certain points along the trail. Just depends exactly where you need to go and if there is available seat.

    Usual work schedule is Sunday and Monday.
    ''Tennessee Viking'
    Mountains to Sea Trail Maintainer
    Former TEHCC (AT) Maintainer
    Falls Lake Trail: 2011

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by straydog2012 View Post
    I want to help with hardcore. I think I might have a ride from the Shenandoah Mountains but getting back to the trail is fuzzy I heard that Bob Peoples is setting up matching rides is this true? also I was told that the work is done on the Sat and Sunday also is this true. Just want to give back and help make the trail not just hike it.
    Straydog
    in the past, work was always sun-mon. getting a ride back should be no problem, i had rides every year that got me back to where i needed to be, as far north as PA. you will not regret doing hardcore! i promise you that. i haven't been there since 04' :-( last year we sent bob 100.00 for gas money, just felt i needed to do something.
    thought we were going this year, but probably not. half tempted to get in my truck and roadtrip it! sure miss everything about hardcore and the great people there!
    Last edited by CrumbSnatcher; 05-11-2012 at 18:53.

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