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  1. #1
    Hug a Trail volunteer StarLyte's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Thank you Trail Crews & Trail Maintainers!

    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.

    There are also many events organized to bring together these people to discuss trail work: ATC Biennial Conference
    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 will direct you to many different articles about trail work and good deeds performed.

    Awareness.

    Thank you.

  2. #2

    Default

    Super post, Starlyte!
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

  3. #3
    Registered User
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    Default

    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.
    Last edited by emerald; 01-07-2007 at 12:33. Reason: Improved post by changing a few words.

  4. #4
    Registered User handlebar's Avatar
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    Default Volunteers needed

    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.../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!
    Handlebar
    GA-ME 06; PCT 08; CDT 10,11,12; ALT 11; MSPA 12; CT 13; Sheltowee 14; AZT 14, 15; LT 15;FT 16;NCT-NY&PA 16; GET 17-18

  5. #5

    Default

    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.
    'All my lies are always wishes" ~Jeff Tweedy~

  6. #6
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    Default

    I recently posted the link for ATC's Trail Clubs page elsewhere and am posting it again for those who may wish to learn more about these organizations.

  7. #7
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    Default Trail Work

    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.

  8. #8

    Default

    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.

  9. #9

    Default

    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

  10. #10
    Hug a Trail volunteer StarLyte's Avatar
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    Default

    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.

  11. #11
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    Default

    Trail maintainers rock!! Thanks people!

  12. #12
    Lifetime Wanderer fishinfred's Avatar
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    Default

    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
    FISHINFRED

    MY STUFF

    MY STUFF ON EBAY

  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by StarLyte View Post
    If you are curious, want to become involved a LITTLE or a lot....this link to the ATC 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...B/Partners.htm They (we) can always use more help!

    Looking forward to meeting you at the PA Ruck.
    Early Bird 2007

  14. #14
    Lifetime Wanderer fishinfred's Avatar
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    Default Does your Club need some help this year?

    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!

    THANK YOU!

    PEACE & THANKS!
    Fishinfred
    FISHINFRED

    MY STUFF

    MY STUFF ON EBAY

  15. #15
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    Default

    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 [email protected] Thanks You
    RPHC GENERATION NEXT,REMEMBER THE PAST TRAIL WORKERS

  16. #16
    Hug a Trail volunteer StarLyte's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bascomgrillmaster View Post
    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 [email protected] 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.

  17. #17
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    Default Thanks StarLyte

    HI Tim here,
    Thanks for putting up the note about Fish in fred.See you at RBH Cabin.
    Later Bascom

  18. #18
    ...your worst nightmare!
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    :banana You're welcome!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by StarLyte View Post
    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.

    There are also many events organized to bring together these people to discuss trail work: ATC Biennial Conference
    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 will direct you to many different articles about trail work and good deeds performed.

    Awareness.

    Thank you.
    I'll be going out again on April 7th...feel free to join me.

  19. #19

    Default

    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
    ad astra per aspera

  20. #20
    Registered User briarpatch's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Smile View Post
    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...rail_Crews.htm

    You can volunteer for a week or more with these crews.
    A bad day on the trail beats a good day most anywhere else.

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