The 4th annual Damascus Hard-Core work trip was another great event. The two days of work involved 99 individuals and almost 1600 hours. Eighteen were TEHCC members or program affiliates. The remaining 81 were enthusiastic volunteer hikers. They came for work and work they did! There were many rhododendrons and short terrain dips that contained about three feet of duff. Over 2000 feet of sidehill trail was built as a relocation to remove a steep and eroding section.
Also, the hikers helped install two twelve foot bog bridges, a step-over and a culvert pipe to get the new trail over a stream and boggy area. This has been a long time problem area on the A.T. This new section was blazed and opened to hikers. The old trail was brushed in and the blazes removed.
Eastman Chemical Company again graciously supplied two 15-passenger vans for transporting many of the hikers from and back to Damascus as well as to the hostels at night. The vans together with personal vehicles of hikers and club members provided all the transportation needs.
Needless to say, with this many hikers, Sunday and Monday evenings found Kincora Hostel—which was built for sixteen hikers—a little overbooked. Other hostels, pasture fields and porches filled with hikers quickly.
Sunday evening we traditionally detoured to Shook Branch Recreation Area to feast on barbecue, baked beans and salad, graciously supplied by Bruce and Mary Cunningham. The strawberry shortcake was delayed until Monday evening because of a sudden downpour. Likewise, Monday evening we retreated to Kincora Hostel for lasagna and all the trimmings. Thanks go to Baltimore Jack and Pat Peoples for preparing this scrumptious meal. Bob capped the evening by distributing the coveted Damascus Hard-Core patches. Those who had worked multiple years received rocker patches.
by Carl Fritz