Carl Fritz reporting
This 13th annual Damascus Hard Core event was Sunday, May 19th and Monday, May 20st. It was preceded by the tragic event at Damascus Trail Days during the parade on Saturday when 50 people were injured by a car. Everyone experienced more obstacles including rainy weather during the Hard Core event. But Monday ended spectacularly with everyone happy.
The key to the success was the about 50 hikers, 52 hiker alumni and 34 club members, affiliates and friends. It was an example of people working together to overcome obstacles, having an enjoyable time and creating a much better AT. By Monday we had collectively:
- Rehabbed 400 feet of trail just south of Dennis Cove with rock and log steps plus log cribbing
- Opened 2200 feet of new trail relocations on north side of White Rocks Mountain
The original trail on White Rocks Mountain went straight up the hill. It was very steep, rocky and full of roots. A series of eight switchbacks eliminated all this. It took two days to complete these because there were many sections requiring so much rock work for steps or cribbing. And a couple of sections required long runs of crush and fill to get through wet areas running off the boulders. “Camo” and his crew put in a series of 17 rock steps to just get through one switchback.
Weathermen were predicting 80% and 70% chance of thunderstorms for Sunday and Monday. Sunday afternoon just as we were leaving the work site, the rains came. Then it turned to a downpour for a couple of hours providing us with several inches of rain. Everyone got drenched but it finally cleared about 6 PM when dinner was served at Kincora.
Many hikers were thrilled with the opportunity to give back to the trail and they took advantage of that opportunity. One hiker remarked on last afternoon while painting blazes that he had always thought that the big rocks along the trail had been moved by dozers somehow. Now he knew it was dedicated people with hand tools.
AT License Plate grants generously provided funding for the dinners and some necessary items for trail like tarps and tool handles. All participants enjoyed those dinners after a hard day’s work. If you live in a state with an AT license plate consider purchasing one for your vehicle to support trail work and demonstrate your commitment.
Patches or rockers were distributed. “One Pint” provided Hard Core mementos of a collapsible drink container labeled Hard Core 2013. She also provided food prepackaged for hiker lunches for Sunday. ALDHA provided funds for hiker lunches on Monday plus water bottles for both days.
Sunday dinner was again coordinated by Ed Oliver and Monday dinner by “Baltimore Jack”. There were so many special volunteer contributions. An example is Mike and Marsha Hupko cleaned all the hard hats and disinfected them between the two work days.
Special thanks go to Reuben Potter, Trail Technician for Watauga Ranger District. He made it possible for us to transport the tools within a half mile of the work site. Since we did not have to carry all those tools 2.5 miles and 1500 feet elevation and back, we probably were able to build an extra 800 feet of trail.
In total there were 102 hikers and 34 club members, affiliates and friends or 136 volunteers contributing 2258 hours to make this event a success!
These TEHCC members, program affiliates and local friends participated: Daryel Anderson,Curtis Baird,Dean Baird,Paul Benfield,Ken Buchanan,Pat Buchanan,John Beaudet,Jennifer Berry, Rio Berry,Jim Chambers,Bruce Cunningham,Mary Cunningham,Donna Dean,Joe DeLoach,Carol Dunham,Dave Dunham,Jim Foster,Carl Fritz,Mary Jane Fritz,Marsha Hupko, Mike Hupko,Kat Johnson,Mitch Ketron,FS 2,Pat Loven,Joe Morris,Ted Mowery,Ed Oliver,Brian Paley,Bob Peoples,Steve Perri,Kim Peters,Reuben Potter,”Seiko”,Priscilla Sperling,Tim Stewart
These are the current year hikers and hiker alumni who participated: “Chef Paul”,”One Pint”,Abby Noble,Alexa McRoberts,Amithan Sebarajah,Amy Sternheim,Bill Bancroft,Bill O’Brien, Brenna McCree,Brian Sutherland,Brigid Hunt,Brielle Martinez,Britt Sutherland,Carl Doug Chenoweth,Charles Green,Charles Thoman,Christopher Hood,Dan Barry,Dan Houchins,Daniel Hintze, David Lowe,David Nightingale,Derick Lugo,Doug Corkhill,Drew Beeler,Eric Winter,Franklin LaFond,Garrett Hudson,Garrett Muno,George Joachim,Hannah Hobbs,Henry Moody,Hudson Hartson,Jack Gilbert,Jack Tarlin,Jacob Lewis, Jakobi Gerth,James Bolognani,Jim Sample,Jamie Stout,Janel Scharhag,JayDe Wilbur,Jeff Andersen,Jeff Dunstan, Jeremy Parker,Jill Byrd,Joanna Mast,Josh Isbell,Kahla McRoberts,Kayce Wilbur,Kelsey Costello,Kendall Abruzzese,Kit McCann,Krystal Magliuzzi,Krystal Miller,Kyle Castille, Kyler Cafro,Lamar Powell,Laura Volkening,Leah Lew,Lewis Moyers,Lindsey Scheider,Maggie Wallace,Marit Gay,Mark Santoski,Mark Thad,Melissa Keller,Michael Kundrat,Michael Wilson,Mike Laude,Mike Price,Nathan Voegele, Nick Amante,Nick Browne,Nicole Laeger,Page Barker,Phil Abruzzese,Rachel Evans,Ray Douglas,Richard Evans, Robert Dotson,Sam Byers,Sam Merrill,Samantha Loscalzo,Scott Benjamin,Smith Edwards, Spencer Swift, Stevie Uribe, Taru Soilikki,Trudy Hartson,Wayne Krevatski, Zack Adamson, “Easy”, “Quinoa”, “Coyote”, “Rox”, “Polly”, “Mom of Little John”, “Crispy Critter”