From the Chair – April 2016

By William Werner

For fair-weather hikers like me, April marks the beginning of hiking season. I’m excited to get back out on the trails, and we have a great lineup of hikes this month. I’d also like to bring to your attention two important non-hiking events in April. The first is our annual rental equipment inspection on April 20th. The club maintains a broad selection of hiking and camping equipment for rent, and each year we need volunteers to examine the items to evaluate their condition. Helping out with this process is a great way to get to know what equipment is available, and it’s just plain fun to set up tents in the middle of the B-310 lobby. Volunteers are rewarded with a light lunch of pizza and snacks, so I highly recommend you come out. The inspection is from 11:00 to 1:00 in Room 221 of the Eastman Employee Center (B-310). Contact our Rental Equipment Coordinator, Terry Dougherty, at 502-5177 and let him know if you can make it. The second event is our Spring Dinner Meeting, scheduled for the night of Friday, April 22. We have an excellent speaker this year in Danny Bernstein, an Asheville author who will present stories and photos from her visits to each of the National Parks in the Southeast. We also have some copies of her book to give out as door prizes; so be sure to attend!

Rental Equipment Checkout, April 20,11:00 am –1:00 pm

Rental Equipment Checkout, April 20,11:00 am –1:00 pm Contact: Terry Dougherty, or better yet show up. Location: Eastman Employee Center, Rm. 221 and Lobby It’s time to ensure the Club’s rental gear is ready for another year. We will evaluate all the equipment and propose necessary repairs or replacements. A light lunch of pizza, veggie tray, cookies, soft drinks and bottled water will be provided. This is a great opportunity to become familiar with available rental equipment. Come and go as your time permits. Many hands make light work. Please help if you can. Contact: Terry Dougherty, 502-5177

Bluestone River Trip 37th Year, May 20-22, 2016

Bluestone River Trip, May 20-22, 2016, 37th Year, Leader: Terry Dougherty, 423-502-5177. The annual Bluestone River Trip (37th Anniversary) is scheduled for May 20-22, 2016. We will stay at the beautiful Pipestem State Park (Mountain Creek Lodge). We have reserved a block of rooms, please call 800-CALL-WVA (ask for Pipestem State Park / Mountain Creek Lodge) and reserve your room for Friday and Saturday. To secure one of the clubs block rooms, reservations must be made by May 6. Room $ 80/night + taxes. We plan to paddle the scenic Bluestone River both Sat. and Sun. This is a Class III trip the first day and Class I the second day. You can skip the second day, if you like. Other options include family camping at the state park campground and/or driving up on Saturday morning. This is a GREAT trip with a lot of family fun, scenic river and very nice lodging. In addition to the paddling, Ed Montgomery will once again be in charge of HAPPY HOUR and libation coordination on Saturday night and is going to take this one special. Please contact the trip leader (Terry Dougherty, 423-502-5177) if you are planning to attend the trip.

Section hike the TEHCC AT Section This Year

Tim Schaefer is interested in section hiking the TEHCC section of the AT this year (Spivey Gap to the Virginia border). He’s looking for car pooling and hike partner(s). This way he won’t have to do it twice going out and back. It also fits in well with the National Park Service’s program this year to hike 100 miles of trail and earn a pin or decal (see February newsletter). Since time, and more specifically hiking days are limited, he’s looking at possibly doing this in as few as seven outings. If this sounds too aggressive, contact him anyway as he may be encouraged to tone it down to be able to accomplish this. There are also others interested in achieving this same goal in not such an aggressive manner as well and we can get you in contact with them. If interested email Tim at tim@tehcc.org for some discussion, to do some planning, and start to get some events on the calendar.

3rd Saturday Maintenance – Hiking with Tools!

Contact: Kim Peters, atmaint@tehcc.org, 423-366-0128

Hiking with Tools! is an opportunity to enjoy a day hike on our beautiful section of the A.T. while helping out with some routine maintenance, such as breaking up fire rings, cleaning out waterbars and steps, lopping rhododendron, and painting blazes.  All tools will be furnished and no prior experience required! Last year we typically had four to five people on each trip – with eight new volunteers making a contribution.  Contact Kim for hike details, including meeting time and place.

Roaring Branch Trail, Saturday, December 19, 2015

Leader: Tim Schaefer, 423-302-0846
Hike the Roaring Branch Trail near Big Stone Gap in Virginia. See the wiki for trail details and trail head.  The plan is to depart the
Colonial Heights meeting location at 8 am and be at the trail head and on the trail at 9:30 am. Contact hike leader to caravan or car
pool. Prior contact is not required, but is appreciated so we know to look for you.

F/B: Natural Tunnel, Purchase Ridge Trail, Sunday, December 13, 2015

Leaders: Tim & Carrie Schaefer, 423-302-0846
Rating: Family/Beginner

Come on this Family/Beginner hike to view the Natural (Train) Tunnel in Virginia. The plan is to depart the Colonial Heights meeting location at 12:30 and be at the trail head and on the trail by 1:30 pm. Prior contact is not required but is appreciated so we know to look for you. Contact hike leaders Tim & Carrie Schaefer for caravan or carpooling, 423-302-0846, timcarrie@tehcc.org

The week ahead – The club Expo!

We’re on the home stretch to our Fall Expo. All are welcome, members or prospective customers. The only charged event is the chili cook off with food, drinks, and desserts.

  • 8:30a – two hikes to pick from, a Bays Mountain cross-park hike, and a Bays tour of the structures within
  • 1pm – a paddling trip on the North Fork Holston River
  • 3pm – Vendor displays and topic tables for discussion
  • 5pm – “Happy Trails”/”Reception” portion
  • 5:30pm – Dinner
  • 7pm – Club business, awards, conclusion

The week ahead – November 2nd

The doldrums of winter are starting. Only one event reminder for this week.

I’ll also remind everyone that we’re less than two weeks away from our trial of “something different,” the Fall EXPO on Saturday November 14th. A day of hiking, paddling, gear, food, learning, and fellowship. Help make this day a success by letting us know if you like the idea. The most clear way is to show up and participate but if you can’t make it, send us a message.