From the Chair – January 2016

William Werner, Steering Committee Chair Reporting
Happy New Year, everyone! It’s going to be a great year for hiking, paddling, and maintaining, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve. I want to sincerely thank all of our members for the time and effort they invested in the club in 2015, and I encourage everyone to make 2016 even better. Serving on the steering committee for the past year has shown me that the officers and committee are only a small part of the club—it’s the contributions of the members that make this club great.

This coming year we have three members who are rotating off the committee: Fred Mullner, Michael Watts, and Brien Lewis.  Steve Ankabrandt will continue as past-chair, Yancey Appling as treasurer, and Vic Hasler as a non-voting representative of the A.T. Committee. We also welcome our new Committee members:  Mark Cox, Lane Daley, Kay Parker, and Tim Schaefer. With such an experienced and talented team, I’m confident the club can overcome any challenge it faces.

See you on the trail!

From the Chair – November 2015

Steve Ankabrandt reporting

Like the colder weather, our first EXPO event is coming quickly! The EXPO is replacing our Fall Dinner Meeting this year and has something of interest for everybody:

  • The cook-off is a great way to sample various chili recipes and compete for prizes donated by local outdoor vendors such as Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shop. If you are interested in competing, please let us know soon (reservation form below). Chili cooks also get free admission to the EXPO.
  • The gear swap provides a good opportunity to get out the gear that you no longer use and see if you can sell it or trade it for something you can use. You may find a good bargain on some gear you need!
  • Several hikes of various lengths/difficulties and a float trip are all scheduled for the morning and early afternoon (see article below for details and contacts).
  • A number of displays will be available on outdoor topics such as canoeing/kayaking, ultralight packing, etc.

I’ll see you there! Steve

From the Chair

April has several opportunities for the club (with more information provided later in the newsletter). Our dinner meeting is on April 19th with a program about the Roan Mountains. The Gear Swap is the following morning (April 20th) in the employee center parking lot on South Wilcox Drive; so clean out the garage/basement/attic/closet of idle outdoor equipment to sell or trade. Several day hikes are appearing on the calendar which support a partnership with Eastman Wellness. Regular trail maintenance outings are getting the path ready for increased use. And finally the APEs group is cross-listing some activities for paddling and backpacking. Hopefully, you can find something of interest to enjoy during this spring month.

From the Chair – Oct-2012

Vic Hasler, Steering Committee Chair

Our region is blessed with many places to enjoy the fall colors of changing deciduous trees.  The show starts in the highest elevations (above 4000’) by the start of October and continues down the mountains peaking around the second or third weekends.  So where to go for a “leaf peeper” hike?   Just opened last year, the Pinnacle Mountain Tower Trail (9 miles round trip) has wonderful 360 degree views in mid-October.  A shorter couple-mile hike up White Rock Trail in Buffalo Mountain Park offers views along the I-26 valley.  A five-mile hike out and back on the AT to Little Rock Knob is a forested walk to a scenic overview.  Joe DeLoach is fond of Rattlesnake Ridge Trail up Unaka Mountain to Pleasant Gardens Overlook (6-8 miles round trip).  This month is also the final push of the Mission Possible wellness program; so consider one of the Sunday afternoon hikes being offered.  Enjoy the color before it falls.

From the Chair

Vic Hasler, Steering Committee Chair

Ready to put your skills to a different use?  TEHCC is guided by a Steering Committee who informally manages the recreation club during lunchtime gatherings.  Help decide what initiatives should the club pursue?  We could use help figuring out how to best leverage technology.  Have fun selecting a speaker and menu (yum!) for two dinner meetings.  Interact with different groups to help increase our recreational opportunities.  The time commitment is not big, but the difference you can make is!  Contact a current Steering Committee member if you’re available.

From the Chair

Vic Hasler, Steering Committee Chair

This month brings the 75th anniversary for the Appalachian Trail which was originally deemed “complete” on August 14, 1937 after 15 years of construction.  Since then, the trail has been an ongoing work-in-progress with major changes to the route (such as moving to cross the Roan Mountains) and path (elimination of PUDs*), and the addition of shelters in the 1960s.  A famous quote by Frank Oglesby was “I’m now relocating my relocations!”  This labor of love continues to improve the trail experience, with the assistance of the Konnarock Crew, Hardcore, and college groups.  In addition to the trail construction activities, volunteers are always needed to keep the trail open for the world to enjoy – by clipping back the growth, removing small blowdowns, and checking the shelters along the path.  Please consider joining one of the light maintenance trips… also known as “Hiking with Tools”!

*pointless ups and downs

From the Chair

Vic Hasler, Steering Committee Chair

Would you go hiking wearing a jacket and tie?  Back in 2010, Charles Maynard spoke at our Spring Dinner Meeting about some early 20th century hikers in the Smokies who traveled in such attire with wicker backpacks and a large box camera.  How about carrying a canvas tent and cotton sleeping bag?  Hauling water around in a large metal canteen?  The improvements in camping gear during the past decades have been amazing.  The club has been steadily replacing its rental gear too.  We now have a Big Agnes Seedhouse which is a two-pound, one-person tent.  Most of our other two-person tents also weigh less than six pounds.  Almost all our sleeping pads are roughly one pound.  With the other gear improvements, backpacks are smaller and lighter.  The club’s rental equipment program allows members to check out some newer gear to decide if it’s right for their style of backpacking/camping.  The Steering Committee also welcomes ideas for future purchases.  Have fun outside and overnight this summer…

From the Chair

Vic Hasler, Steering Committee Chair

With the weather heading into summer heat, consider joining the many club activities on the region’s rivers and lakes.  Hands-on training is available for those want to learn how to kayak at the “Whitewater School” and for the experienced with the “Swiftwater Rescue Course.”  Practice time is offered Tuesday nights at the Freedom Hall pool in Johnson City.  Ongoing events include paddling Boone Lake to a restaurant on Thursday evenings and on Watauga River many Saturdays.   Some overnight trips are in the works.  Do some good by cleaning up the Nolichucky – both on the river and from the shore.  Check out the rest of this newsletter for further details.  Have fun while staying safe!

From the Chair – March 2012

Vic Hasler, Steering Committee Chair – chair@tehcc.org  

In this column, I would like to highlight a few upcoming opportunities.  First is the Spring Dinner Meeting to hear the high moments and challenges of a thru-hiker – someone who used the national scenic trail that the club spends hours maintaining.  The second is a request for hike leaders to guide local Girl Scouts on easy sections of the AT during their centennial celebration in 2012.   Several hikes have been identified, so the need is for knowledgeable folks to explain the path to the girls.  Lastly (spouses, take note) is an alert to start cleaning those storage spaces where the equipment for outdoor activities is stashed.  TEHCC will again host a Gear Swap in April – with publicity forthcoming once the details are set.  Sell what is not being used to clear out the space, or swap for what you really want to try this year.  The club is active in several ways, so join in as you are available for your enjoyment.