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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sly View Post
    It would be awesome sitting at a road crossing cooking some burgers with ice cold soda and when a bunch of thru-hikers approached say, "sorry for work crew and trail maintainers only."
    Then you would like this.

    My brother in law was doing some trail work on the AT a few years back with his local hiking club. A a couple of long distance hikers past thru w/o saying anything.

    Then one thru hiker stopped and not only did he thanked them he asked if they wanted some help. They said yes and he spent about an hour helping them finish installing some steps.

    While that hiker is helping out, one of his buddies walks by without acknowledging the trailworkers or even his friend, when his friend called out to him.

    When they're done, the guy running the work crew told the hiker that if he is in a hurry to get to that nights campsite not to feel obligated, but there is hot dogs and hamburgers waiting for the work crew down at the parking
    lot. And he was free to join them.

    The hikers said he would love the food, but didn't know if it was right taking food meant for others being he had only been helping for a short while, the crew leaders responded, "nonsense, we don't get hikers who stop and help that often, actually I think you are the first plus Betty never brings just enough, we always have twice as food than we can possible eat "

    While they were eating one person mentions to the hiker that they thought his buddy was quite rude, and suggested he say something, to his buddy next time he sees him. The hiker responds by asking a question, "he came by us only about 10 mins before we quit for lunch, had he stopped and helped for those ten mins, would he have been invited to lunch too?" The group leader responded, "yeah, of course, you see how much food we got." The hiker responded as he picked up his fifth hamburger, "oh, then don't worry, next time I see him and tell him about lunch, he is going to seriously regret not stopping to help. Odds is that will be tonight, I'll be sure to tell him all about lunch while he is cooking up his ramon noodles."
    Love people and use things; never the reverse.

    Mt. Katahdin would be a lot quicker to climb if its darn access trail didn't start all the way down in Georgia.

  2. #22

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    I go out for two long weekends a year. My adopted trail is Lincoln Brook trail from 13 Falls to the Owl Heads slide. If you are on the Franconia Ridge it is down in the drainage to the east of you.

  3. #23
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    I think the correct balance is different for each person and likely varies over time.

    I'm one of those people who currently do a lot more trail maintenance than hiking. Plus most of my trail work is on "other trails" not the A.T. Honestly I would like to try to get more hiking in but I'd also like to get more trail work in. Family is not into backpacking, or even much day hiking anymore. I suppose there's a bit less guilt going off by myself if it's for trail work.

    Trail work seems best done for its own reward. I've almost never encountered other hikers while doing work. Even my A.T. section is far back enough in that it's only the more determined day hiker that gets to it.

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by ki0eh View Post
    I think the correct balance is different for each person and likely varies over time.
    Absolutely. I for one, would be bored to tears "owning" section of trail and going out solo to work on it. Although I can see why someone could take pride in owning a portion of a trail and taking pride in its up keep.

    My trail maintenance as always been one of those a whole group of us working together for 4-5 hours followed by lunch. Never worked on the same stretch of trail twice.
    Love people and use things; never the reverse.

    Mt. Katahdin would be a lot quicker to climb if its darn access trail didn't start all the way down in Georgia.

  5. #25

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    LOL... good story Justatouron.

    I don't think I've helped like that when hiking but I'll always stop, chat and thank trail workers. When I remember I'll ask for a photo.

  6. #26
    Garlic
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    Build one foot for every mile walked. I owe a couple of miles and I'm working on that now.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  7. #27
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    Tip Walter, those are exactly the trails and areas I was talking about. Were on the same page. Was up at Whigg's Meadow on the BMT with three campers who told me I had just missed you in Slickrock/Citco/Kilmer

  8. #28
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    No doubt, it's wonderful to feel appreciated and to show you appreciate the work of others but I wouldn't expect to always be recognized for what little trail work I do. IMO, it's really not why trail maintainers are doing what they are doing.

    With due respect, I wouldn't read too much into these types of ratios. However, I absolutely do think(KNOW) more people, especially members of the hiking community(that means YOU if you hike!), can and should be giving back to a greater extent to their activity/sport - hiking!

  9. #29
    Registered User VT-Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Murphy View Post
    I go out for two long weekends a year. My adopted trail is Lincoln Brook trail from 13 Falls to the Owl Heads slide. If you are on the Franconia Ridge it is down in the drainage to the east of you.
    I hiked it when doing the Pemi Loop last year. Thanks! The Caretaker at 13 Falls said he was told not to do any maintenance on that trail.
    -My feet are my only carriage so I've got to push on through-

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sly View Post
    LOL... good story Justatouron.

    I don't think I've helped like that when hiking but I'll always stop, chat and thank trail workers. When I remember I'll ask for a photo.

    I got to think stopping and helping is pretty rare. But my local hiking club has picked up quite a few new members when hikers walking by stop and ask what we are doing.

    My experience most people have stopped, often its to ask what we are doing and why as it is their first time seeing trail maintenance. My interaction has only been with day hikers and a couple of weekenders, because of the trails I worked on.

    Only had one negative experience. It was with two female dayhikers. And the comments probably top some of those of the most entitled thruhiker.

    We had a huge crew (~30) out doing several project all along the trail and our presence no doubt impeded the flow of hiking.

    While waiting to get by as we installed some water bars, one grumbled to the other, "do they really need to do this stuff on the weekends, when people are out hiking, couldn't they do it during the week?" The other responded, "probably do it this way to get time and half." One of the women with our group, gave them the riot act. They apologized and left.
    Love people and use things; never the reverse.

    Mt. Katahdin would be a lot quicker to climb if its darn access trail didn't start all the way down in Georgia.

  11. #31

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    I have done three thru-hikes,and i have done several sections, and i haven't done any trail maintenance I don't think a thru-hiker needs to do trail maintenance in order to give back to the trail, It's up to the person, some do and some don't.

  12. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    Tip Walter, those are exactly the trails and areas I was talking about. Were on the same page. Was up at Whigg's Meadow on the BMT with three campers who told me I had just missed you in Slickrock/Citco/Kilmer
    It's neat you ran into the group on the Whigg as here's a pic of the group when they dayhiked to the Bob. Bob Butterfield is on the right.


  13. #33
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    I am fortunate in that I live close to the AT and oversee a campsite on the trail. I average 2 trips a week to the site knowing that there will be some trash in the fire rings, new fire rings to dismantle, and huge tree limbs laying across the rings that the inexperienced hikers thought would eventually burn in two. I don't see work trips to the campsite as truly work. I get great satisfaction in knowing that I am keeping this area clean and enjoyable for folks who love the trail as much as I do.

    As far as how much does a thru-hiker owe: if he/she truly loves the trail, hiking and trail maintenance is a lifestyle, not just a one time, long hike. A thru-hiker who continues to section hike or even thru-hike years after their initial thru-hike would be more likely to be active in trail maintenance than a thru-hiker who did a one time hike and then gave up hiking altogether.

    It's a lifestyle. One who loves the trail is just as happy maintaining it as they are hiking it.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by ki0eh View Post
    I think the correct balance is different for each person and likely varies over time.

    I'm one of those people who currently do a lot more trail maintenance than hiking. Plus most of my trail work is on "other trails" not the A.T. Honestly I would like to try to get more hiking in but I'd also like to get more trail work in. Family is not into backpacking, or even much day hiking anymore. I suppose there's a bit less guilt going off by myself if it's for trail work.

    Trail work seems best done for its own reward. I've almost never encountered other hikers while doing work. Even my A.T. section is far back enough in that it's only the more determined day hiker that gets to it.
    I know that you and PA Hiker do a lot of work on trails in central PA and I thank you for that!

    As for me, most of my hiking is on trails other than the AT because it is so far away and many times these trails are not maintained as well as the AT is. I try to do some while hiking and still stay on schedule, but I haven't had a "trail maintainance only" day for quite a while.
    Does reporting fallen trees and other obstacles to the maintainers count?

  15. #35
    Registered User Akela's Avatar
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    My schedule has been so crazy this year that I had more time for volunteering than for really hiking. I take it as a good way of knowing new trails. If you have worked on it... you will not forget it. Hopefully I'll be able of adding more miles to my section hiking next year

  16. #36

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    I appreciate the spirit of this thread, and I fully support the get/give ratio equality that is implies within...

    ...but my last two sections have really motivated me to invest more time and resources into efforts related to homelessness and hunger. Suffice it to say that these issues have been brought to the forefront of my mind while on the AT.


  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustaTouron View Post
    Absolutely. I for one, would be bored to tears "owning" section of trail and going out solo to work on it. Although I can see why someone could take pride in owning a portion of a trail and taking pride in its up keep.

    My trail maintenance as always been one of those a whole group of us working together for 4-5 hours followed by lunch. Never worked on the same stretch of trail twice.
    I'd bet you're not married JustaTouron.

    Tipi is that Bob Bald? Yes that's Bob Butterfield. He, as well as the rest were great to share their site and campfire with me at the top of Whigg Meadow.

    When I was in Tellico Plains on a three day non stop rain delay I thought I might run into you at Telico Bakery(great on site homemade bakery goods and joe!) but Bob told me you moved. then I thought for sure I would see you in Big Frog. I was looking forward to picking your brain about trails in the area that I haven't hike that I know you have virtually lived on.

  18. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    It's neat you ran into the group on the Whigg as here's a pic of the group when they dayhiked to the Bob. Bob Butterfield is on the right.

    It's beautiful there!!

  19. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ground Control View Post
    I appreciate the spirit of this thread, and I fully support the get/give ratio equality that is implies within...

    ...but my last two sections have really motivated me to invest more time and resources into efforts related to homelessness and hunger. Suffice it to say that these issues have been brought to the forefront of my mind while on the AT.

    Not a thing wrong with that... we all don't have the same passion & invested our time/energy into different things. Thank goodness we do!!
    It's nice that you can enjoy the fruits of someone elses's labor- that, in turn, motivates you to help out on the homeless and hunger front... that's great. I'm not actively involved on that front but I support a 5k run every year that counts on that $$ to fund the place in Roanoke that help with this problem. We all do our part!

  20. #40
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    Everyone is different. Not everyone that hikes the trail should be expected to, or feel obligated to perform trail maintenance. Most hikers that I have met feel a desire to give back in some way to society, not just to the trail. When I completed my thru hike, I got involved with mentoring inner city kids in Atlanta. That led to opportunities to help families in need during the Christmas holiday season (gifts, food, transportation, etc). It was 2 years after my thru hike before I got heavily involved in trail maintenance. I have been blessed to have been able to have the time to give back more than an hour of trail maintenance for every mile of my thru hike. Even when I am on a pleasure hiking trip, I find myself in mainteanacne mode. I am always kicking away loose rocks and removing limb debris. I cant help myself.
    ----------------
    SMHC Trail Maintainer
    Volunteer in the Park (VIP) GSMNP

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