It’s nearly a new year, which means it’s time for membership renewal. For those who were already going to renew, THANK YOU! You can stop reading, because apparently you’re already on board with everything I have to say. So you don’t feel left out, here’s a picture of Arnold from Diff’rent Strokes meeting Knight Rider. The rest can stick around and read my top five reasons to renew.
We often joke that hiking is great because all you need are shoes, sometimes qualified with the word ‘good.’ Apparently shirt and pants are optional.
The truth is that there are not only shoes, but coats, underlayers, overlayers, midlayers, submidlayers, outeroverlayers, etc. and I’ve only made it to the top half of your body. Four outfitters in our area have graciously offered to provide our card carrying members a 10% discount, usually restricted to hiking and footwear.
Mahoney’s (Johnson City, TN) – 10% discount on hiking gear and footwear
Mountain Sports, Ltd. (Bristol, VA) – 10% discount
Mount Rogers Outfitters (Damascus, VA) – 10% discount
Highlands Ski and Outdoor Center (Abingdon, VA) – 10% discount on hiking gear and footwear
4. Funding our website
Unless you’re one of the 13 people that get the newsletter mailed to you, you are benefiting from the funds from dues used to pay our internet hosting fees (the 13 of you are benefiting from Eastman’s copiers, shhhh!)
Our website has newsletters that go back to 1976. I was born in 1976! Collins Chew was picking blueberries the year I was born and I can find that in seconds thanks to those of you who payed dues allowing that information to be online.
3. The trail wiki
“Hey! You’re double dipping” you might say, since the wiki is part of web hosting. So what, I wanted five items and I wanted to highlight the trail wiki. Our wiki has every trail that I or Vic know about in our area, plus some. If you know of others that aren’t included, please let us know. Our hope is that it can get you to the trail head, let you know what to expect when you get there, and maybe even suggest some neat non-trail things to see, eat, or do when you’re out that way. Your dues again, make that possible.
2. Supporting trail maintenance
I often like to say that our membership dues of $5 (Eastman) or $10 (Affiliates) should be considered yearly trail head fees for our section of the A.T. I’ve easily spent that in a weekend, if not on a single hike, paying for park or trail head fees.
Well over half of our revenue goes directly to support maintenance activities in our area; specifically our 134 miles of the A.T. that we have committed to maintain. Have you noticed the nicely maintained trails around Carvers Gap, or seen a fallen tree cut and thrown to the side of the trail?
Our dues are what pay for the equipment (not the time!) that people use to make that possible.
1. Being a part of the local hiking and canoeing community
If I haven’t convinced you yet, this is my final chance. As a member of TEHCC, you are part of a group of people just like you, those who love to get outdoors on a trail or on a river and just enjoy the beauty that nature has graciously provided us. We have several outings a year (check our schedule) including a renewed focus to have at least weekly outings during the primary 40 weeks of our hiking and canoeing season. In addition, we have social gatherings at least twice a year at our dinner meetings. Lastly, if you think we’re missing something that a local hiking club should have, well you’re exactly the person we want in the club; so come on! Sign up! Become a member today!