Recent AT Maintenance

Below is submitted maintenance activities for the last 6 weeks. Please note that trail conditions can change quickly. Or view maintenance by section.

Reporting: Paul Benfield
Date: 08/27/2015
Purpose: Mowing
Section: 14b: Bradley Gap to Stan Murray Shelter
People: Paul Benfield, Ted Mowery
Summary: Mowed the Campground and weed eat the trails as needed. Water running good. One end of the chain on the Gate to the Shelter was not locked. Shelter and Campground were very clean.

Reporting: Paul Benfield
Date: 08/27/2015
Purpose: Mowing
Section: 4b: Double Springs Shelter to TN91
People: Paul Benfield. Ted Mowery
Summary: Mowed and weed eat the trail across the Osborne Farm.

Reporting: Brian Paley
Date: 08/27/2015
Purpose: Clear blowdowns
Section: 12c: Sugar Hollow Creek to Campbell Hollow Road
People: Brian Paley, Kevin Sedgwick
Summary: Cleared blowdowns at 2 sites & trail hazards at 3 additional sites (including on section 12b).

Reporting: Tim Stewart
Date: 08/25/2015
Purpose: special AT Maintenance with Wright State Students
Section: 13: US19E to Doll Flats
People: Bob Peoples
Seiko
Greg Kramer
Pat Loven
Ken Buchanan
Kevin Sedgwick
Joe Morris
Brian Paley
Tim Stewart
Ted Mowery
George Thorpe

Jean Paul Soto
Matthew Miller
Erin Halloran (f)
Erica Kilbourne (f)
Alessandra ? (f)
Sarah Christy (f)
Greg Gammon
Charles Baron
Jacob Reynolds
Brooke Waterman (f)
Grayson Dabanowich
Hannah Seabrook (f)
Lydia Patchett (f)
Alexis Melvin (f)
Caleb Miller
Andrew Stevenson
Derek Manger
Juan Munoz
Graham Weaver
James Wright
Samantha Conner (f)
Trisha ? (f)
Megan Wertz (f)
Summary: Students from Wright State University joined us for some trail work north of Doll Flats. We rehabbed approximately 414 feet of existing trail which included about 54 feet of a rock field.

Reporting: Steve Wilson
Date: 08/22/2015
Purpose: Cut blowdowns & lopped briars
Section: 2b: Abingdon Gap Shelter to McQueen's Gap
People: Jill & Steve Wilson
Summary: This trip was to clear the 12” blown down tree that required hikers to remove their backpacks and crawl under. Using a chainsaw we cut it, and cut down three hazard trees to make the trip worthwhile. It was a beautiful morning to be the woods, and the contrast to the crowds attending the Bristol race made it especially sweet. This trail section is in good shape.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 08/20/2015
Purpose: Complete Rehab and Relocation
Section: 5: TN91 to Iron Mountain Shelter
People: Daryel Anderson, Paul Benfield, Ken Buchanan, Carl Fritz, Danny Harper, Greg Kramer, Pat Loven, Joe Morris, Ted Mowery, Bill Murdoch, Bob Peoples, Kim Peters, Kevin Sedgwick, Tim Stewart, George Thorpe
Summary: We did some finish work on the relocation opened last week. And we finished installing steps closer to TN91. We have completed our planned work near TN91 except for rehabbing the old steep road. In spite of the showers forecasted, we did not get rained upon.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 08/12/2015
Purpose: Inspect Berry Fields
Section: 4a: US421 to Double Springs Shelter
People: Carl Fritz
Summary: Clifton Avery from ATC SORO and I inspected the Berry Fields. We think the only incentive to keep the area open is for the view which primarily is of Shady Valley and Iron Mountain. Unfortunately, we were in clouds today and had very limited views. Probably we will abandon the small open area. The larger field we may be able to reduce in half and still maintain the views. We will determine if USFS would entertain doing a burn to get the undergrowth under control. Perhaps in late fall or early winter TEHCC can do some clearing.

Reporting: Ken Murray
Date: 08/17/2015
Purpose: Shelter Maintenance
Section: 20b: Temple Hill Gap to Spivey Gap
People: Ken Murray
Lotta Murray
Summary: Removed trash from area in and around shelter.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 08/14/2015
Purpose: Relocation and rehab
Section: 5: TN91 to Iron Mountain Shelter
People: TEHCC: Daryel Anderson;Paul Benfield;Ken Buchanan;Robin Dean;Carl Fritz;Danny Harper;Marsha Hupko;Mike Hupko;Greg Kramer; Joe Morris;Ted Mowery;Bill Murdoch;Ed Oliver;Brian Paley;Bob Peoples;Kim Peters;Kevin Sedgwick;George Thorpe plus 128 representing Watauga Global Community from Appalachian State University. 103 were freshmen, about 15 were upper classmen, about 10 were faculty and some of their children.
Summary: This was the 15th year that Watauga Global Community of Appalachian State University has worked on the trail with us as an orientation service project for their freshmen students. This year two thirds of all the ASU folks were female. We had great weather and a great outing. The students were willing workers and learned much about being in the woods and building trail. For many it was there first time on the Appalachian Trail. We were able to open a 1000 foot trail relocation and rehabbed many feet of trail by installing some water diversions and a whole lot of locust steps. ASU even provided some watermelon at end of day during a closing ceremony. Thanks go to the many club volunteers who insured that this major event was successful and memorable for the students!

Reporting: Brian Paley
Date: 08/17/2015
Purpose: Clear blowdown
Section: 8: Wilbur Dam Road to US321
People: Brian Paley
Summary: Cleared branches (mainly Rhododendron) that was partially blocking the trail.
Also cut some weeds and lopped the trail from the Forest Service gate to the Watauga Lake shelter.

Reporting: Steve Wilson
Date: 08/16/2015
Purpose: Painted blazes, cleaned water bars, and lopped briars
Section: 2b: Abingdon Gap Shelter to McQueen's Gap
People: Jill & Steve Wilson
Summary: We painted blazes, cleaned water bars, and lopped briars on a beautiful summer day. The Abingdon Gap shelter is in good shape with a useful broom and shovel. Note that there is a high amount of graffiti on the walls, so it would be good to repaint it is some time. We found a blow down tree at about half a mile in from McQueen’s gap. The 12” tree is leaning across the trail and requires hikers to remove their backpacks to crawl under it. We plan to go back and cut it within the next two weeks.

Reporting: Ken Murray
Date: 08/16/2015
Purpose: Routine Maintenance
Section: 20b: Temple Hill Gap to Spivey Gap
People: Ken Murray
Summary: Used swing blade on annual vegetation, silky saw on one blowdown. Some kind soul had previously removed three other blowdowns.

Reporting: Kim Peters
Date: 08/15/2015
Purpose: clear blowdowns, install sign at Jones Falls
Section: 12c: Sugar Hollow Creek to Campbell Hollow Road
People: Kayla Carter, Joe DeLoach, Kim Peters, Ken Murray, Lori Mirrer
Summary: What another fine 3rd Saturday trip! The weather was perfect and the afternoon thunderstorms never appeared even though we heard some pretty intense thunder as we got back to the cars. The tasks for the day were to clear some reported blowdowns and to install a new sign at the junction to the Jones Falls side trail. We split into two groups with some going in from Campbell Hollow Road and some accessing the trail from Elk River Falls Recreation Area. Each group cleared blowdowns, whacked weeds and lopped rhododendrons until we met up at the trail to the falls in time for lunch. After lunch we installed the new sign and then hiked back out to the cars. Many thanks to all participants especially Lori who once again drove all the way from Charlotte to help us out on the trail.

Reporting: Vic Hasler
Date: 08/15/2015
Purpose: Trim back summer growth and check shelter
Section: 19b: Curley Maple Gap Shelter - Nolichucky River
People: Vic Hasler
Summary: This trip trimmed back the summer growth from the outfitters to the shelter – and from the river to the Unaka Springs overlook. The deep haircut given this trail section back in the fall and winter really helped to keep the path open. Mostly used a swing blade to address stinging nettle, briars, and dog hobble in places. An older/heavy cordless drill was packed it into set several screws into the newly installed lathe on the third bridge. Curley Maple Gap shelter was in good condition, but not the two shovels which both had broken handles. Used one shovel head to clean the fire pit. Nearby water source was flowing slowly. Packed out trash, including jelly, catsup, and water bottles. Someone is providing logbooks. Hauled out the filled Nov 2014-July 2015 and an extra. Met a family who was packing out more trash from the shelter as referenced in the logbook, so gave them a Trail Karma pendant. Three fire circles have been established, while 4-5 have not returned. From the upcoming movie release, Katz must have visited the area as a partially consumed whole ham was discovered along Jones Branch under a tree. The kiosk at Noli bridge has been built, but no display installed yet. Finally, learned that I am not a five-tool player as packed too much weight with couple never even used, thus should only carry a couple to more focus on fewer tasks each trip.

Reporting: Joe DeLoach
Date: 08/13/2015
Purpose: Review of Roan Ridgerunner season
Section: Other (Meetings/preparation/etc.)
People: Joe DeLoach
Summary: In the third season of having a ridgerunner provide a presence to visitors on the Appalachian Trail in the Roan Highlands, Lee Farese did an excellent job as reinforced during this end of season review. Lee started on Memorial Day weekend and his last weekend in August 14-17. During that time he encountered thousands of hikers ranging from day hikers, student groups, backpackers both short duration and thru-hikers, and people just strolling on the balds. This year the ridgerunner was employed by the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy (SAHC), and Lee's weekend days of interfacing with hikers was balanced by stewardship on the weekdays. This balance helped mitigate the burnout from protracted user contacts only as has been the case the previous two years. Lee also went by "Roan Naturalist" instead of "Roan Ridgerunner", and that seemed to really help with engagement and acceptance by the users. The Pisgah and Cherokee National Forests, ATC, SAHC, and TEHCC were represented at the meeting and all agreed that the program should continue. Possible alterations include an earlier start rather than Week 1 being the very busy and difficult Memorial Day weekend, a midseason week off, better training with enhanced participation by the partners, more reference materials, and possible augmentation with volunteers during the busiest times and with large groups. The kiosk under construction at Carvers Gap will also help.

Reporting: Craig Haire
Date: 08/10/2015
Purpose: clearing blowdown
Section: 20a: Nolichucky River to Temple Hill Gap
People: Craig Haire
Helga Maria Mitchell
Duchess Vixen (canine companion)
Summary: A messy blowdown tangle blocking the trail completely a few hundred yards north of Temple Hill Gap was cleared without much trouble on a very hot August day. Ran into 2 northbound ladies who thanked us for our work.

Reporting: Craig Haire
Date: 08/09/2015
Purpose: clearing trailside undergrowth
Section: 20a: Nolichucky River to Temple Hill Gap
People: Craig Haire
Summary: Cleared undergrowth with Husky string trimmer from road to north end of switchback #2 (about 1 mile). Ran into some ground wasps and got a dozen stings.

Reporting: Paul Benfield
Date: 08/10/2015
Purpose: Mowing
Section: 14b: Bradley Gap to Stan Murray Shelter
People: Paul Benfield, Ted mowery
Summary: Mowed the campground and around the shelter and trails as needed at Overmountain. Picked up trash.

Reporting: Paul Benfield
Date: 08/10/2015
Purpose: Mowing Trails
Section: 4b: Double Springs Shelter to TN91
People: Paul Benfield, Ted Mowery
Summary: Mowed the Accessible and Appalachian Trail. Everything looks good

Reporting: Joe DeLoach
Date: 08/09/2015
Purpose: Section maintenance
Section: 15a: Carvers Gap - Cloudland Hotel
People: Joe DeLoach
Summary: Cut briars, clipped annual growth from trees, cut several blowdowns. Trail is clear.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 08/08/2015
Purpose: Replace Bridge Lathe
Section: 19b: Curley Maple Gap Shelter - Nolichucky River
People: Burts Compton, Charlie Compton, Sam Compton, Carl Fritz
Summary: Burts, Sam and Charlie volunteered and installed the heavy duty lathe on third bridge north of Nolichuckey River. Trail was in good shape. A north bound hiker did report a large blowdown in Temple Hill Gap.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 08/07/2015
Purpose: Rehab Trail
Section: 13: US19E to Doll Flats
People: Paul Benfield, Carl Fritz, Becky Kinder, Greg Kramer, Ted Mowery, Bill Murdoch, Brian Paley, Bob Peoples, Gayle Riddervold, Kevin Sedgwick, George Thorpe
Summary: We cut some weeds, and did a lot of preparation for some major rehab with Wright State University students. We plan to bury a very rooty section of several hundred feet as well as rearrange some rocks in a rock field where it is difficult to walk. We added some log steps today and back filled them.

Reporting: Craig Haire
Date: 08/03/2015
Purpose: clearing undergrowth
Section: 20a: Nolichucky River to Temple Hill Gap
People: Craig Haire
Summary: Used string trimmer to clear about 1 mile of trailside undergrowth, Also cleaned out turnouts.

Reporting: Joe DeLoach
Date: 08/01/2015
Purpose: Put up signs and fix rut
Section: 15a: Carvers Gap - Cloudland Hotel
People: Allyson Ross and Joe DeLoach
Summary: We installed a new mileage sign for distances Trail south of Carvers Gap on a post installed by the Cherokee National Forest signifying the A. T. in the gap. This post has a Foot Travel Only sign, and an older one nailed to a tree into the woods from Carvers Gap was removed. Metal diamond water signs to point out the good spring just south of Carvers Gap were installed. We then repaired a couple of holes dug into the gravel heading up Round Bald by an ATV after a recent rescue from Grassy Ridge. Clipped a few briars along the way and redistributed some gravel across some of the waterbars and check dams.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 07/30/2015
Purpose: Trail Rehab and Relocation
Section: 5: TN91 to Iron Mountain Shelter
People: Ken Buchanan, Carl Fritz, Benjamin Jack, Greg Kramer, Joe Morris, Ted Mowery, Bill Murdoch, Brian Paley, Bob Peoples, Kim Peters, Tim Stewart, George Thorpe
Summary: We continuing prepping for Watauga College. The crew completed installing a bog bridge on the relo. Several worked on trail rehab on old road steep climb by installing water dips and several waterbars/steps. We also cut more steps and stakes for future rehab plus what students will rehab. This might be one of first outings this year that we did not encounter hikers.

Reporting: Paul Benfield
Date: 07/29/2015
Purpose: Mowing
Section: 14b: Bradley Gap to Stan Murray Shelter
People: Paul Benfield, Ted Mowery
Summary: Mowed and weedeat camping area at the Overmountain shelter and weedeat around the shelter and trails as needed. Water running good. Picked up trash.

Reporting: Paul Benfield
Date: 07/29/2015
Purpose: Mowing
Section: 4b: Double Springs Shelter to TN91
People: Paul Benfield, Ted Mowery
Summary: Mowed and weedeat as needed on the AT/Accessible Trail.

Reporting: Jim Foster
Date: 07/29/2015
Purpose: Check for blowdowns
Section: 16a: Hughes Gap to Greasy Creek Gap
People: Bruce Darby, Jim Foster
Summary: Bruce and I found 5 blowdowns three of which we were able to clear and two we weren't. The three that we cleared were pretty big in volume not diameter and we were able to cut off enough limbs to clear the trail. The two we left will need a chain saw to clear they are not completely blocking the trail though. We found the trail to be in good shape otherwise.

Reporting: Tim Stewart
Date: 07/25/2015
Purpose: check section
Section: 11b: Canute Place to Bitter End
People: Tim Stewart
Summary: Went in via Moreland Gap shelter. Water was flowing at the spring. On the way to the Canute Place I removed one blow down and used the swing blade to remove weeds. The grass at the Canute Place was not too bad, but I did widen the path some. I also made the blue blazer to the water source more visible. The spring was flowing well.

Once back at the shelter, I cleaned the fire pit and picked up trash. Broom, shovel and rake were in place. The shelter looked OK.

The access 'trail' was becoming overgrown so I lopped some of the rhodos on the way out.

It was a long day. Saw one long-distance hiker who helped remove the blow down.

Reporting: Craig Haire
Date: 07/26/2015
Purpose: clearing blowdowns
Section: 1: TN/VA state line to Backbone Rock Trail
People: Craig Haire
Summary: Cleared 2 blowdowns with my 16" Greenworks chainsaw on a club hike. One was just south of the VA line, and the other was near the Backbone Rock Trail. Trail hours reflect half of the total time, as I also cleared 2 big trees between Damascus and the TN line and am trying to report those hours to the Mt. Rogers Appalachian Trail Club.

Reporting: Brian Paley
Date: 07/27/2015
Purpose: Trim weeds
Section: 8: Wilbur Dam Road to US321
People: Brian Paley
Summary: Trimmed weeds (& multi-flora roses) from US321 to the Forest Service Gate on Watauga Lake.

Reporting: Craig Haire
Date: 07/25/2015
Purpose: clearing blowdowns
Section: 20b: Temple Hill Gap to Spivey Gap
People: Craig Haire
Summary: Continuing on the club hike, I cleared at 2 or 3 more locations. One was a particularly messy spot, 1.5 miles north of No Business Shelter, with several big branches, waist- and head-high. Another was a step-over a few hundred yards up from Spivey Gap.

Reporting: Craig Haire
Date: 07/25/2015
Purpose: clearing blowdowns
Section: 20a: Nolichucky River to Temple Hill Gap
People: Craig Haire
Summary: Cleared 2 blowdowns on a club hike, one on the switchbacks coming up from the river, the other as the trail starts down from Temple Hill toward Temple Hill Gap.

Reporting: Joe DeLoach
Date: 07/26/2015
Purpose: Routine maintenance
Section: 15a: Carvers Gap - Cloudland Hotel
People: Craig DeLoach and Joe DeLoach
Summary: We started with some weed-whacking just south of Carvers Gap, painting the blue-blazed trail to the spring and removing a redundant AT Foot Travel Only sign that was nailed to a tree; there is one on the post at the road, which will soon have the mileage sign on it also. Then drove to Cloudland where we had a nice chance encounter with former TEHCC Maintenance Coordinator Ted Malone and his wife Wendy. Cut briars, two blowdowns, and painted blazes to the side trail to Roan High Knob Shelter. Painted the blue-blazed trail to the shelter and spring and picked up trash, not too much. Spring at shelter is running fine.

Reporting: Gerald Scott
Date: 07/24/2015
Purpose: Summer Maintenance
Section: 12b: Walnut Mountain Road to Sugar Hollow Creek
People: Gerald Scott
Summary: Used string trimmer to cut weeds and vines. Lopped rhododendrons, cleared several small (4-8”) blowdowns and lots of limbs. Removed and carried out trash from Mountaineer Fall’s shelter.

Reporting: Kayla Carter
Date: 07/11/2015
Purpose: Weeds, Rhododendrons
Section: 12c: Sugar Hollow Creek to Campbell Hollow Road
People: Kayla Carter
Ed Carter
Summary: My father and I went back out to check on the condition of my section. The Forest Service had already cut the legendary tall weeds along the Elk River. We walked to Jones Falls with lopper and maintained the trail corridor. I have not ventured out to the other side of my trail yet. I plan to within the next couple of weeks. I think I have been hesitant to go out there since someone was riding a dirt bike on the trail the first time I went out there.

Reporting: Kayla Carter
Date: 06/11/2015
Purpose: Weeds
Section: 12c: Sugar Hollow Creek to Campbell Hollow Road
People: Kayla Carter
Sarah Ellison
Summary: The weeds were very high along the Elk River. We used swing blades to cut them back. We ate lunch beside the river.

Reporting: Jim Foster
Date: 07/24/2015
Purpose: cut weeds and perform general maintenance
Section: 19a: Indian Grave Gap - Curley Maple Gap Shelter
People: Bruce Darby, Jim Foster
Summary: Bruce and I used the swing blade, clippers and hand saws to clean and clear this section of trail. There were no large blowdowns so our job was mostly just dealing with the small stuff. We completed the job and the section is in very good shape. We hope that John will make a full recovery and be back out soon but in the mean time we were glad to help him out we know that he would do the same for us.

Reporting: Kim Peters
Date: 07/23/2015
Purpose: Prep for rehab and relo
Section: 5: TN91 to Iron Mountain Shelter
People: Ken Buchanan, Kim Peters, Joe Morris, David LaPorte, John Botts, Pat Loven, Danny Harper, Paul Benfield, Ted Mowery, Tim Stewart, Brian Paley, Ed Oliver
Summary: We continued to prep for the ASU outing next month. We cut and staged log steps, water bars, side logs and stakes. Several large rocks were moved and the drainage improved on the first section of the relo.

Reporting: Steve Perri
Date: 07/18/2015
Purpose: Attend ATC Membership Meeting
Section: Other (Meetings/preparation/etc.)
People: Steve Perri
Summary: ATC 40th Membership Meeting “Hiking Through History” Winchester, VA July 17
Steve Perri reporting

The ATC 40th membership meeting was held this year in Winchester, VA at Shenandoah University July 17-24th. This meeting is held every other year and the coordination and location of the meeting is rotated among the trail clubs of ATC. The theme of this meeting was tied to much of the local history of the revolutionary war, civil war, and the Appalachian Trail history. The events offered in this venue included the membership meeting, scheduled hikes, workshops, excursions, training, and other informal networking. The two clubs hosting the meeting were the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club and Mountain Club of Maryland. Shenandoah University was a really great place to offer the venue due to its proximity to the AT and the interstate. I decided to stay in the dorms for my weekend attendance which was to my benefit since it was 95 degrees and humid. Many attendees camped during their stay and some mentioned the heat and humidity was not very comfortable for their stay in the soccer field. Total attendance as of Saturday was 932.

The workshops were offered on Saturday through Monday and covered 88 scheduled events with 11 topical areas including: the Trail, A.T. communities, creative arts, environment, hiking and backpacking skills, history, other trails, youth an/outreach, trail maintenance and management, natural wonders, and volunteer leaders and club management. Hikes tend to be a big effort during these events and 82 different hikes were offered with some being offered 2 or 3 times. Excursions ran Saturday through Thursday and a total of 28 were available as well as other special activities.

The membership meeting is held for ATC to conduct its required business. The business covered on Saturday evening included the reports from the Treasurer, Executive Director, Honorary Membership Award, reports on resolutions, report from the nominating committee, election of officers and board of directors, new business, general announcements and preview of the 41st meeting by Maine Appalachian Trail Club (August 4-11, 2017). Eleven board members were elected including several younger members relative to the majority of the board. The reports offered during the meeting highlighted the newly developed strategic plan for ATC and for the Appalachian Trail Park which will guide the activities and long-term plans for both. Several resolutions were proposed and approved relating to the meeting coordinators. A new resolution proposing a new committee with specific membership be formed to plan the structure and format of future biennial meetings was made. This provided an opportunity for the task force to share their high-level recommendations with the attendees and for the board to provide their current thinking. This resolution struck a chord with some attendees since there were perceptions of doing away with many aspects of the meeting activities of the past. However; it seemed evident to me that while the biennial task force’s recommendations have been provided to the board, there has not been any communication to the membership regarding these and no info on the board’s current thinking, and what their next steps will likely be. On a lighter note, we were also provided a trailer for the upcoming movie “A Walk in the Woods” to open in most theaters Labor Day weekend and a few early releases in 4 locations in which the closest to us will be in Atlanta. The movie is based on Bill Bryson’s book “A Walk in the Woods” and stars Robert Redford and Nick Nolte. ATC also revealed a Leave No Trace video that was well-done and will likely be used in future public releases.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 07/17/2015
Purpose: Paint blazes
Section: 7: Vandeventer Shelter to Wilbur Dam Rd
People: hiker "Wired"
Summary: A southbounder was concerned about some of the blazes headed south. So he repainted some of blazes from Cross Mountain to Dennis Cove.

Reporting: Bob Peoples
Date: 07/20/2015
Purpose: Check Section
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Bob Peoples
Summary: Bob walked entire trail section to Hampton. There was a huge blowdown between the two lower bridges. Its root ball was on other side of river but its 10" branches were across the AT. He was able to cut the branches with his hand saw. There is some standing water between the two lower bridges. Otherwise water on the trail was not a problem. He has never seen so much water damage to the trail in the Gorge. Areas like the steps going down to falls are washed badly. Rehab will be required. A trail junction sign has been stolen. The blue blazed trail to Hampton rehab last winter still looks good.

Reporting: Paul Benfield
Date: 07/19/2015
Purpose: Trail Maintenance
Section: 14b: Bradley Gap to Stan Murray Shelter
People: Paul Benfield, Ted Mowery
Summary: Mowed the camping area and the trail to water source and privy. Removed trash from the shelter. Hikers reported 2 blowdowns between Greasy creek friendly and Overmountain Shelter They were not sure of the exact location of the blowdowns. Lots of loose limbs on the trail.

Reporting: Joe DeLoach
Date: 07/18/2015
Purpose: Routine maintenance
Section: 14c: Stan Murray Shelter to Carvers Gap
People: Joe DeLoach
Summary: After helping with the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy Grassy Ridge Mowoff, cut blackberry briars and other annual growth along the Grassy Ridge side trail. This trail is kept in fairly primitive condition in agreement with the management partners.

Reporting: Kim Peters
Date: 07/18/2015
Purpose: Cut weeds
Section: 15b: Cloudland Hotel - Hughes Gap
People: Garry Luttrell, Kim Peters
Summary: For this July 3rd Saturday - Hiking with Tools trip we cut the weeds along the trail between Cloudland and Hughes Gap. It was a foggy 63 deg when we left the parking lot at Cloudland. The fog made the walk through the pines near the summit a magical place. One almost expected to see hobbits or elves in the woods. We lopped and weeded down to Ash Gap where we had lunch. Then the hard work of weed whacking began. Since there were only two of us, we elected to use string trimmers rather than swing blades. String trimmers are loud, but do make it easier to cut the copious weeds. We cut weeds, cleared a few blowdowns and clipped woody growth all the way down to Hughes Gap. It was only 71 deg when we got back to the car. The trail is now in good shape. What a great way to spend a hot summer day!

Reporting: Pat Loven
Date: 07/18/2015
Purpose: Routine maintenance
Section: 11a: Dennis Cove Road to Canute Place
People: Patrick Loven
Pat Loven
Summary: Used a swing blade to trim around the trail in Canute field. The field is very high with weeds and grass. Also provided an update on the oriental bittersweet invasion on the south perimeter of the field.

Reporting: Phyllis Cairnes
Date: 07/17/2015
Purpose: shelter maintenance
Section: 2b: Abingdon Gap Shelter to McQueen's Gap
People: Rolla Wade
Phyllis Cairnes
Summary: It's interesting what "left behinds" one can find at a shelter. Today it was a 2 qt stainless saucepan with its lid and the patina of charred popcorn, a small oven rack, a metal drawer pull (found in the gutter along with candy wrappers), and considerable lengths of cord clothesline strung up across the shelter. We carried these treasures out; also shoveled out the fire ring, broke up a rogue fire ring a few yards away, replaced the trail journal, and asked a hiker about the water source he had just climbed up from. He said it was flowing very well, which saved us a trip down. All told, we met and talked with 4 section hikers who stopped briefly at the shelter. All expressed much appreciation for our small efforts and for the club's maintenance contribution in general. It was a good day.

Reporting: Paul Benfield
Date: 07/17/2015
Purpose: Mow Trail
Section: 4b: Double Springs Shelter to TN91
People: Paul Benfield, Ted Mowery
Summary: Mowed and weedeat the trail across the Osborne Farm as needed. Mowed large area for Watauga College to have a Picnic on 14 Aug. Lots of hikers out. Saw very young black bear cub in the back field. All cairns are still standing.

Reporting: Richard Carter
Date: 07/16/2015
Purpose: cut overgrowth
Section: 14c: Stan Murray Shelter to Carvers Gap
People: Richard Carter
Summary: I lopped briars & other overgrowth. The rare flowers of bent avens were in full bloom, making them easy to identify & avoid cutting. Most of the section is now adequately free of overgrowth but several fairly small segments still need cutting.