Monday, April 30, 2012

Hats off to the maintainers

This is Dave Coull.  I had the distinct pleasure of meeting him and chatting today (Saturday April 21st) on his section of trail north of Black Swatara Spring.  He's been working this well-kept four miles for 27 years.  Whenever I meet a maintainer I thank them for their work - often taken for granted by those of us who just pass through.  But if it weren't for the hard work of volunteers such as Dave, there would be no Appalachian Trail for the rest of us.

To all you Maintainers: my simple words of thanks are inadequate.

Yet Dave insists that the pleasure is his - a chance to commune with the wilderness and make a useful contribution at the same time.  Yes, I imagine it's a rewarding enterprise.

I hiked most of Dave's section and only about a mile more today - a short day so I could pop down to Oxford PA for a family birthday celebration.  Besides Dave's smiling face, there wasn't much to photograph today - trail crossings, a peculiar trailside tree, and one crossing of a small stream.  I'll post those on the Every Trail link that always accompanies my report, below.

The 'Rocksylvania' update for today: 200 feet of significant rock traversing (uneven rocky footing that forced me to slow my pace) in 4 1/2 miles of trail.  Otherwise there was ample smooth trail and some of the common semi-rocky stuff that makes you pay attention to where you place your feet but doesn't slow you down.

The half day off the trail was a great break - great food and fellowship ... and it assured that I would avoid the late day rain.  Here's the gang gathered to celebrate the birthdays of Dad (89), brother Jim (61) and nephew Adrian (39).

Missing from the shot above is the photographer - yours truly.  Who is this guy?  I barely recognize him with his six months growth of rambling beard and straggly hair!


Here's the promised EveryTrail link and the map of today's hike:

AT Day 101 - PA state Game Lands at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in Pennsylvania

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