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: Tim Stewart
Date: 10/12/2017
Purpose: check section
Section: 11b: Canute Place to Bitter End
People: Tim Stewart
Summary: Went in via Moreland Gap Shelter access trail to paint the graffiti board. After first coat of paint, hiked to Hard Core Cascades lopping rhododendrons on the way. Just south of Hard Core Cascades installed a water drain at a wet area. Back at the shelter I applied a second coat of paint on the graffiti board.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 10/17/2017
Purpose: Renovate Stan Murray Shelter
Section: 14b: Bradley Gap to Stan Murray Shelter
People: Paul Benfield, Ken Buchanan, Pat Buchanan, Jim Chambers,
Carl Fritz, Ted Mowery, Bill Murdoch, Hale Nicholson " Ember", Ed Oliver, Bob Peoples, Kim Peters, Kevin Sedgwick, Tim Stewart, George Thorpe, USFS: Robert Hensley, Brandon Jones, Brian Smith, Brian Thomas
Summary: The Stan Murray renovation was a multi day project with many being in the field on October 17 and 18. We moved about 1100 lbs of materials and tools from Overmountain Shelter to Stan Murray Shelter on the 17th thanks to help of Robert Hensley, Brandon Jones, Brian Smith, and Brian Thomas from Appalachian Ranger District. There was heavy frost both mornings, but weather warmed up to be great days in the mountains. Bill and Kevin camped at Stan Murray Shelter while Tim and Carl camped at Overmountain Shelter.
Thanks to the diligent work of everyone we were able to raise the back of the shelter to level the sleeping platform, make a new sleeping platform, sealed under the sleeping platform to reduce trash, repaired the rafters, installed a metal roof, replaced some battens, painted both inside and outside of shelter and stiffened the picnic table. We did remove the wooden sign at shelter so graffiti could be removed at home and it will be reinstalled.
Ted mowed at Overmountain shelter and Ted, George and Ken redug the culvert pipes below the ground surface. They also added another culvert pipe.
There was a very rare event. "Stitch" and her mother passed Stan Murray shelter on 17th and camped at Overmountain Shelter. On the 18th "Stitch" would finish her thru hike at 19 E as a flip flopper.

Reporting: Jim Chambers
Date: 10/16/2017
Purpose: Tool Storage
Section: Other (Meetings/preparation/etc.)
People: Jim Chambers
Summary: Set up Satellite Tool Storage for TEHCC in Roan Mountain, TN, and inventoried all tools and TEHCC equipment.

Reporting: Richard Lott
Date: 10/15/2017
Purpose: Clear Reported Blowdowns
Section: 12b: Walnut Mountain Road to Sugar Hollow Creek
People: Richard Lott
Jim Brooks
Summary: Removed 7 blowdowns with chainsaw between Walnut Mountain Rd. and 0.1 mile trail south of Mountaineer Falls shelter. Diameter ranged from 4" to 15". South bound thru hikers that we encountered commented that trail was clear to the north to Dennis Cove.

Reporting: Jim Chambers
Date: 10/07/2017
Purpose: ALDHA Gathering
Section: Other (Meetings/preparation/etc.)
People: Bob Peoples
Tim Stewart
Kim Peters
Paul Benfield
John Beaudet
Kayla Carter
Summary: Several club members manned the TEHCC Outreach Table during the 36th ALDHA Gathering in Abingdon, VA. TEHCC had a major presence at this year's Gathering....thanks to all involved.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 10/13/2017
Purpose: Design Cherry Gap Shelter
Section: 17: Iron Mountain Gap to FS230 switchback
People: Jim Chambers, Carl Fritz, Ed Oliver, Bob Peoples; Teacher- David Campbell; Students- Caleb Skeen, William Turner
Summary: We had our first meeting with a special STEM program at Elizabethton High School. Two students with guidance from an instructor are going to design a new shelter for Cherry Gap. We provided background on the AT, ATC, USFS and TEHCC. Also, we shared key documents related to shelter construction, key requirements plus web links. They will develop some concepts for our next meeting. And we will plan a field trip to inspect the site and the existing shelter. This looks like a promising partnership.

Reporting: Jim Chambers
Date: 10/12/2017
Purpose: Trail Maintenance
Section: 2a: Backbone Rock Trail - Abingdon Gap Shelter
People: Mike "Lumpy" Price
Melissa Stahl
Summary: Lumpy conducted trail maintenance from McQueens Gap to Damascus, VA. He removed 2 small blow downs, continued to remove the ever present green briar, and cleaned all designated camp sites and fire rings. He also removed an abandoned tent from the camp site south of the Backbone Rock intersection.

Reporting: Dan Firth
Date: 09/30/2017
Purpose: Roan Highlands
Section: Other (Meetings/preparation/etc.)
People: Dan Firth and Ben Firth
Summary: Campsites along the AT in the Roan Highlands from Hughes Gap to US19E were surveyed and impact and experiential parameters such as impacted area, condition class, exposed soil, visibility from the trail and other sites were measured. The collected data is intended to inform decisions by the myriad stakeholders for the highlands. This report collect hours from preparation and collection. The final report being prepared.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 10/10/2017
Purpose: Redesign Cherry Gap Shelter
Section: 17: Iron Mountain Gap to FS230 switchback
People: Carl Fritz, Ed Oliver, Bob Peoples
Summary: We are working towards replacing Cherry Gap Shelter. Bob has helped link us to a special program at Elizabethton High School. Some students may be able to do the shelter design. We were planning our first meeting with students.

Reporting: Joe DeLoach
Date: 10/08/2017
Purpose: Replace sign
Section: 15a: Carvers Gap - Cloudland Hotel
People: Joe DeLoach
Summary: The Cherokee NF had placed a sturdy, concreted 4 x 4 post at the Trail south side of Carvers Gap and had put an Appalachian Trail Foot Travel Only sign on it. I attached a distance sign to it last year. Someone sawed the post off and took both signs. The post is now too low to function as a signpost without splinting or splicing. I nailed an AT Foot Travel Only sign to a fencepost so there would be some sign there in addition to the blazes. After receiving permission for a ground-disturbing activity from the Forest Service, I plan to install a new post, also with concrete, down the Trail at the blue-blazed trail junction. Hopefully getting it out of sight of the road will increase the longevity.

Reporting: Lynn DiFiore
Date: 10/09/2017
Purpose: Routine maintenance
Section: 14b: Bradley Gap to Stan Murray Shelter
People: Lynn DiFiore
Robert Lamb
Summary: Replaced register in the barn & removed a LARGE amount of trash (it was conveniently mostly bagged up in 2 yard waste bags). Cut out 2 small blowdowns. Dismantled a fire ring that had been built in the middle of the trail near Stan Murray & the re-occurring one at Little Hump. Removed a small amount of trash from Stan Murray. Removed a memorial from the rocks at Little Hump. Trail was very muddy from recent storms. Springs are running very well.

Reporting: Lynn DiFiore
Date: 09/24/2017
Purpose: Routine maintenance
Section: 14b: Bradley Gap to Stan Murray Shelter
People: Lynn DiFiore
Robert Lamb
Eilidh (canine)
Summary: Removed several limbs & cut out one large blowdown near Bradley Gap campsites. Cut back the few briars that were overhanging into the trail. Dismantled the re-occurring fire rings on Little Hump. Packed out a moderate amount of trash from the Bradley Gap campsites. There was a large group camped in the barn when we arrived - had hauled up coolers & supplies in a wagon from Roaring Creek. However, they cleaned up when they left & took all their trash out with them. Springs are running well. Numerous SOBOs were passing through.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 10/09/2017
Purpose: Rehab trail
Section: 14c: Stan Murray Shelter to Carvers Gap
People: Ken Buchanan, Carl Fritz, Greg Kramer, Ted Mowery, Bill Murdoch, Kim Peters, Kevin Sedgwick UNC Charlotte: Grace Gable f, Pablo Coria, Coleman Murphy, Chloe Field f, Cynthia Vera f, Julia Nelson f, James Tullett, Katie Steele f, Haylee Pentek f
Summary: We cleaned many of water diversions from Carver's Gap to Engine Gap. We rehabbed the trail mostly on north side of Round Bald by lowering steps, removing sod from high side where it is invading the trail, and pulling more gravel back on trail. Also three of the crew installed the new Round Bald and Jane Bald signs and posts. The UNC Charlotte students were brave to join us after taking high winds and probably five inches of rain the previous day while hiking and camping in the Roans. This Venture group were very hard workers and a pleasure to be with. And fortunately by about 2 PM the clouds lifted so they had some great views after being totally in clouds for almost three days.

Reporting: Vic Hasler
Date: 10/04/2017
Purpose: Fall A.T. Partnership Discussion
Section: Other (Meetings/preparation/etc.)
People: ATC: Matt Drury, Leanna Joyner, Jason Zink
TEHCC: Dan Firth, Carl Fritz, Vic Hasler, Mike Hupko, Ed Oliver, Bob Peoples, Kim Peters, Tim Stewart
TVA: Randy Short
USFS: Cleave Fox, Keith Kelley, Wes McCall, Leslie Morgan, Tim Slone
Summary: The Fall 2017 A.T. Partnership Discussion covered a range of issues related to the Appalachian Trail and its experience. This summary shares just a few topics to inform the general club.
- The A.T. Camp app sponsored by the ATC is up and running to allow backpackers to designate up to three nights of shelter/campsite plans. The goal is to lower the impact at the locations by spreading the visitor use. TEHCC has three campsites listed at Doll Flats, Apple House, and Wilder Mine Group plus some shelters. A special communication for scouting organizations is being developed.
- USFS engineer has provided some information regarding the Overmountain Shelter structural stabilization, but the drawings are needed to really understand the scope of work to perform. Goal is to have NEPA done by February to allow execution in early 2018 before the heavy use.
- Watauga RD is considering closing the vault toilets at Carvers Gap over the winter due to the seasonal hazards of sending limited staff up to maintain them. The partnership had no major concerns, so mostly talked about providing signage to state the closure time period and nearest alternative bathroom.
- CNF Regions 8/9 are considering a sawyer database. USFS has changed liability from hitting the individual district budgets to a pool fund; therefore, other training options are now being discussed – such as allowing specific organizations to train their own sawyers, after the USFS provides a train-the-trainer course.
- NEPA paperwork for the 6600’ trail relocation south of Greasy Creek Gap (Konnarock 2020-2024) will be submitted to the Watauga RD.
- TVA reported success with interventions made at Watauga Dam Campground to reduce bear encounters. These included installing bear-proof trash cans, eliminating tent camping, providing education signs, and banning outside food storage.
- If Watauga RD pursues permanent closure of camping along Watauga Lake due to the bears, then the A.T. shelter in this section would need to be dismantled and removed.

Reporting: Dean Baird
Date: 10/07/2017
Purpose: Blowdown assessment and reroute, phase II
Section: 9b: Pond Flats to Hampton trailhead
People: Dean Baird
Scotty Bowman
Summary: We removed a portion of the smaller of the two red oak trees involved in the complex blowdown. This tree was under tension and required both axe and crosscut saw work. Using the reroute established earlier by Joe and Robin, we moved a large number of rocks to fill in two low lying areas that will invariably become mudholes otherwise. One is located where the rootball of the largest blowdown tree used to be. The other is a low spot that will be filled with water once there is sufficient rain. We noted that there is currently no water coming from the spring at the level of the trail. Our approach was from 321. We continued over Pond Mtn down the southside and removed 3 smaller blowdown trees on the way. We also picked up and removed a small amount of trash from the HBB trail.

Reporting: Vic Hasler
Date: 10/07/2017
Purpose: Measure trail distance for A.T. Data Book
Section: 5: TN91 to Iron Mountain Shelter
People: Vic Hasler, Hal Yungmeyer
Summary: The relocation opened in this section on August 14, 2015 with assistance of the ASU Watauga Global Community. It was uncertain if the official measurements were taken as no records; however, as reconfirmed today there was no change in the distance from TN91 to the stream under the bog bridges 0.8 mile south. Even with the couple weeks of drought, the stream was still trickling along.

Reporting: Vic Hasler
Date: 10/07/2017
Purpose: Measure trail distance for A.T. Data Book
Section: 4b: Double Springs Shelter to TN91
People: Vic Hasler, Hal Yungmeyer
Summary: The relocations on this section officially opened on August 18, 2017 with assistance of the ASU Watauga Residential College; however, the Thursday crew did polish the final effort with a few small adjustments. This work addresses the tread erosion, PUDS, and a major blowdown. The trail distance from TN91 highway to the Double Springs Shelter remains essentially 3.0 miles, thus keeping the previous official result. No changes for the 2018 Data Book, but one change for the guidebook as a sharp turn was removed. There is only campsite seen between the shelter and TN91.

Reporting: Vic Hasler
Date: 10/04/2017
Purpose: Remove graffiti from rock face
Section: 19b: Curley Maple Gap Shelter - Nolichucky River
People: Vic Hasler
Summary: With the Fall partnership discussion in the afternoon, I decided to swing by earlier to remove the fresh graffiti observed during the Labor Day maintenance trip. This fortunate choice got me out of Kingsport before the serious incident at Eastman had staff sheltered in place for most of the day. The graffiti, “M+L” spray painted in blue on a rock face, was located roughly half mile in from the Chestoa bridge parking. The Goof Off hydrocarbon spray was able to lift some of the paint. I then used a newly-purchased plastic brush to scrub the rough surface to remove more paint. This method does require water to rinse, so I carried in a 2.5-gallon sprayer – which failed to properly operate. I ended up dribbling the water onto the surface while brushing the lifted paint from the rock face. I judge that the treatment was 2/3rds successful as the graffiti is faded, but the blue coloring is not completed removed from the rock outcropping. Another application may be required to have the graffiti damage not readily noticed.

Reporting: Greg Kramer
Date: 10/05/2017
Purpose: Clear Waterbars
Section: 3a: McQueen's Gap - Spring 2.3 miles N of Low Gap
People: Greg Kramer
Summary: Cleaned water diversions since it is going to rain by Sunday.

Reporting: Kim Peters
Date: 10/05/2017
Purpose: Check trail and shelter
Section: 12b: Walnut Mountain Road to Sugar Hollow Creek
People: Kim Peters
Summary: I hiked out to Mountaineer Falls Shelter to assess what materials might be needed to paint it on the upcoming 3rd Saturday trip.
Along the way I removed multiple small blowdowns and threw off countless branches from the trail. I found three blowdowns which will require a chainsaw to remove.
Just about every surface inside the shelter has graffiti on it so it will be a worthwhile effort to paint it and install a graffiti board later this month.
While inspecting the shelter, I discovered a resident black snake. I wonder does this mean that there are lots of mice in the shelter or no mice in the shelter?

Reporting: Joe Morris
Date: 10/04/2017
Purpose: Blowdown assessment and re route
Section: 9a: US321 to Pond Flats
People: Joe Morris
Robin Dean
Summary: There is a very large blowdown at the water source on the summit of Pond Mountain. Rather than go straight through it we opted to re-route to the back side of the root ball. There are two red oaks in this tangle. We were unable to remove either one: one because of size and the other because of tension. We will return this Saturday hopefully with an experienced Sawyer and finish this job.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 09/28/2017
Purpose: Rehab trail
Section: 12a: Bitter End to Walnut Mountain Road
People: Paul Benfield, Ken Buchanan, Carl Fritz, Greg Kramer, Joe Morris, Bill Murdoch, Kim Peters, Kevin Sedgwick, SCA: Erika Hoad, Amy Spinden, Ted Turner
Summary: We rehabbed primarily two areas. First was along Laurel Fork. Crew did a lot of rock work with cribbing and much crush to keep trail from getting wet. The rest worked on a steep hill south of the bridge that was very rooty. They installed 12 locust steps with backfill. There are additional rehab opportunities and a needed bog bridge.

Reporting: Paul Benfield
Date: 09/27/2017
Purpose: Mow Grass
Section: 4b: Double Springs Shelter to TN91
People: Paul Benfield, Ted Mowery
Summary: Mowed and Weed eat the grass across the Osborne Farm as needed.

Reporting: Eric Middlemas
Date: 09/27/2017
Purpose: Fall scheduled maintenance.
Section: 18: FS230 switchback to Indian Grave Gap
People: Howard Guinn
Bruce Darby
Jan Marie Ballas
Lana Scott
Caro Dellenbaugh
Mike Hupko
David Douthat
Summary: This work was part of the Old Timers Hiking Club Fall maintenance trip on September 28, 2017. We cleaned water bars, lopped vegetation, removed debris left by recent windstorms, and removed blowdowns. This section of the trail is in excellent condition..

Reporting: Eric Middlemas
Date: 09/27/2017
Purpose: Fall scheduled maintenance.
Section: 17: Iron Mountain Gap to FS230 switchback
People: Rich Ritter
Wayne Jones
Eric Middlemas
Judy Middlemas
Jeannine Edwards
Tim Shipley
Summary: The Old Timers Hiking Club performed their Fall maintenance trip on September 28, 2017. One group worked from the FS230 switchback to Cherry Gap Shelter and a second group worked from the switchback to Indian Grave Gap. At least 5 large blowdowns remained in the section from FS230 switchback to Cherry Gap shelter. These will be removed at a later date. Smaller blowdowns and trail debris were removed and water bars were cleaned. A new register and a repaired rake were placed at the shelter. The springs were running well.

Reporting: john beaudet
Date: 09/25/2017
Purpose: corridor brushing
Section: 19a: Indian Grave Gap - Curley Maple Gap Shelter
People: John Beaudet
Summary: Once again, I lopped rhododendrons for as long as I could take it and then went home. I did complete the section from Indian Grave Gap to Curly Maple Gap shelter and I learned that rhododendrons grow back faster than cut up knees! I also tried out something new by making Flagging material out of strips of tyvek and writing "bees" on it and tying this up in the area of a big yellow jacket nest, it worked well and is easy to read and the only hiker to test it out reported taking off fast when he saw it and no stings. I also made an entry in the shelter register noting the location of the bees proving myself wrong when I said registers are useless and nothing good is written in them, of course my page was likely used this evening to start a fire!

Reporting: Joe DeLoach
Date: 09/16/2017
Purpose: Section maintenance
Section: 15a: Carvers Gap - Cloudland Hotel
People: Joe DeLoach
Summary: Painted blazes, badly needed, both ways from Carvers Gap to the shelter and back. Removed a half-dozen blowdowns and clipped briars and brush. Picked up some trash near shelter and along the way but it looked pretty good; plenty of space in the shelter register. The top of a post set in concrete at Carvers Gap by the Cherokee NF which held the Foot Travel Only and distance signs was sawed off, low enough where it can no longer be used unless it is spliced.

Reporting: Jim Chambers
Date: 09/24/2017
Purpose: Blow Downs
Section: 1: TN/VA state line to Backbone Rock Trail
People: Jim Chambers
Connie Squires
Summary: Cleared all recently reported blow downs on the Backbone Rock Trail, and removed all blow downs on the AT that were north and south of the AT/Backbone Rock intersection.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 09/22/2017
Purpose: Stan Murray Shelter Rehab
Section: 14c: Stan Murray Shelter to Carvers Gap
People: Carl Fritz, Ted Mowery, Ed Oliver
Summary: We obtained metal roofing and associated supplies for Stan Murray Shelter. I also cut special rafters , spacers for sleeping platform, plywood for sleeping platform, roof ridge and guttering.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 09/21/2017
Purpose: Relocation of trail
Section: 1: TN/VA state line to Backbone Rock Trail
People: Ken Buchanan, Carl Fritz, Greg Kramer, Joe Morris, Bill Murdoch, Kim Peters, Kevin Sedgwick, Tim Stewart
Summary: This last full day of summer was hot and we drank most all of our water. However, we completed the last relocation on Backbone Rock Trail. This is the 6th year we have worked on these relocations. Watauga College, Konnarock and the Thursday crew have worked on these. Backbone Rock trail is now about 2.7 miles and about 0.4 miles longer than it was. But it is much easier to hike. Yeah!

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 09/21/2017
Purpose: Rehab trail
Section: 4b: Double Springs Shelter to TN91
People: John Beaudet, Paul Benfield, Ted Mowery, Bob Peoples
Summary: They continued rehab of worst roots just north of Osborne Farm.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 09/20/2017
Purpose: Purchase chainsaw
Section: Other (Meetings/preparation/etc.)
People: Jim Chambers, Carl Fritz
Summary: A recent Tennessee AT License Plate Grant provided us funding to purchase a larger chainsaw as well as auxiliary chains and bars even for some of our existing chainsaws. Jim investigated a number of dealers in East Tennessee and East Tennessee Rentals provided the lowest price for a Stihl MS 362R chainsaw with a 25" bar. The grant has provided us the capability to deal with larger blowdowns. With the dying hemlocks we are expecting to have more needs for this larger saw.

Reporting: Kim Peters
Date: 09/19/2017
Purpose: scout trail for blowdowns
Section: 12a: Bitter End to Walnut Mountain Road
People: Kim Peters
Summary: A hiker reported blowdowns on this section a few days ago, so I scouted it to see if a crew with a chainsaw would be required.
Evidence of high winds were present via lots of leaves and small branches in the trail. I did remove two small blowdowns, one 6 inch poplar chest high in the trail and another 10" dead hemlock which was an awkward step over. I also cleared several tops of trees which were partially obstructing the trail and threw countless limbs off the trail.
This section badly needs lopping and the blazes need repainting, but there is nothing that requires a chainsaw.

Reporting: Vic Hasler
Date: 09/14/2017
Purpose: TEHCC A.T. Committee Meeting
Section: Other (Meetings/preparation/etc.)
People: Paul Benfield, Jim Chambers, Dave Dunham, Carl Fritz, Vic Hasler, Eric Middlemas, Ted Mowery, Ed Oliver, Steve Perri, Bob Peoples, Kim Peters, Tim Stewart, Steve Wilson
Summary: The TEHCC A.T. Committee met to discuss a range of issues and topics related to maintaining the trail. Here are a few key comments for the general club’s awareness.
* A motion was made by Jim Chambers and passed to have TEHCC A.T. Committee fund up to $65 of FA/CPR training for club sawyers if ATC reimbursement already used within past three years. Workflow is to submit receipt and copy of certification cards plus year ATC payment last obtained to A.T. Committee treasurer, then a check will be written to the club sawyer.
* TEHCC received a TN tag grant to buy a Stihl MS-362 chainsaw with a 25” bar. Committee members will contact dealers in TN to find best price for the order. The club has three sawyers who were officially trained on this equipment.
* Materials are now being purchased for the repair of the Stan Murray Shelter. A TN tag grant was also obtained to cover this expense. The project is expected to require two back-to-back days in October 2017.
* The committee discussed purchasing used commercial mower (48” or wider deck) to cut along the handicap-accessible A.T. section 9-12 times per year. The second location being mowed is the Overmountain Shelter camping area to maintain the view. The committee will work with local dealers about locating a good used mower.
* The Elizabethton HS student team will begin developing a replacement design for the Cherry Gap Shelter. Four TEHCC A.T. Committee members, and hopefully USFS, will be meeting with the students to provide background on A.T. and shelters.

Reporting: Craig Haire
Date: 09/16/2017
Purpose: clearing debris
Section: 16a: Hughes Gap to Greasy Creek Gap
People: Craig Haire
Summary: This is part of the report just submitted, clearing branches and debris only from Greasy Creek Gap to Clyde Smith Shelter.

Reporting: Craig Haire
Date: 09/16/2017
Purpose: clearing debris
Section: 16b: Greasy Creek Gap to Iron Mountain Gap
People: Craig Haire
Summary: Removed branches and debris from the big winds we had recently. Most obstructions could be pulled off the trail, but a few places required handsaw cutting

Reporting: Greg Kramer
Date: 09/18/2017
Purpose: remove blowdowns
Section: 3b: Spring to US421
People: Greg Kramer 7
Summary: Removed 3 major blowdowns and 2 high step over trunks, removed two last week. All blowdowns section 3 have been removed.

Reporting: Ken Murray
Date: 09/17/2017
Purpose: Scope out Mountaineer Shelter for a graffiti board
Section: 12b: Walnut Mountain Road to Sugar Hollow Creek
People: Ken Murray
Summary: Scoped out Mountaineer Shelter for a graffiti board. Mountaineer is due to be painted next month.

Reporting: Kim Peters
Date: 09/16/2017
Purpose: Paint Iron Mt. Shelter
Section: 5: TN91 to Iron Mountain Shelter
People: Lotta Murray, Ken Murray, Phyllis Cairnes, Rolla Wade, Scotty Bowman, Kim Peters
Summary: The focus of this 3rd Saturday - Hiking with tools trip was to paint Iron Mt. Shelter and cover up the every increasing amount of graffiti collecting on its walls as well as to install a graffiti board which will hopefully reduce graffiti in the future.
We carried out 3 gallons of paint and the graffiti board along with brushes, rollers and all the required tools the 4.3 miles out to the shelter on a beautiful morning, arriving just in time for lunch. After we fortified ourselves with food, we commenced cleaning and painting the shelter. This was accomplished in an amazingly short amount of time thanks to so many willing helpers. On the hike back out we cleared a few small blowdowns which were obstructing the trail and picked up trash left in the parking area.
Many thanks to the hard working volunteers especially Lotta Murray who created the graffiti boards and Ken Murray who carried in the awkward load and installed it in the shelter.

Reporting: Paul Benfield
Date: 09/16/2017
Purpose: Mow Grass
Section: 14b: Bradley Gap to Stan Murray Shelter
People: Paul Benfield, Ted Mowery
Summary: Mowed and weedeat the camping areas at the shelter and trails around the Shelter. Picked up a bag of trash. Removed a small amount of limbs and rocks off the road into the Barn. Picked up and removed rocks and limbs from the camping area.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 09/15/2017
Purpose: Rehab trail
Section: 4b: Double Springs Shelter to TN91
People: Paul Benfield, Richard Carter, Jim Chambers, Carl Fritz, Greg Kramer, Joe Morris, Ted Mowery, Bill Murdoch, Bob Peoples, Kim Peters, Kevin Sedgwick, Tim Stewart
Summary: We finished polishing the relocation and rehab work we did with Watauga Residential Community. There is still some rehab that can be done in this general area, but good progress has been made.

Reporting: John Beaudet
Date: 09/15/2017
Purpose: trim corridor
Section: 19a: Indian Grave Gap - Curley Maple Gap Shelter
People: John Beaudet
Summary: Again, I lopped rhododendrons for hours then after a brake when I should have gone on home I rounded a corner and stepped on the biggest yellow jacket nest I ever stirred up. Those suckers got inside my pants and shirt and after running a hundred yards, yes I now know I can run on my new knee, I stopped, swatted, and took off my clothes to kill bees inside! More bees arrived to sting me more and I learned after I got home that Yellowjackets release something when you kill them that actually brings more to their rescue! Since I somehow dropped my loppers right by the hive I had to run in and grab them and run off again so a few more stings! I took my loppers and went home. I still have 1/2 mile or so to trim out next time. Any nite hikers want to volunteer to kill my bees?

Reporting: Dean Baird
Date: 09/14/2017
Purpose: Inspect and maintain trail section
Section: 9b: Pond Flats to Hampton trailhead
People: Dean Baird
Summary: Removed trash, placed some more rocks at the log cribbed area beside the creek, and inspected trail for blowdowns, etc.

Reporting: Greg Kramer
Date: 09/13/2017
Purpose: Cut weeds
Section: 3a: McQueen's Gap - Spring 2.3 miles N of Low Gap
People: Greg Kramer
Summary: Several blow downs were found and made passable. Will get these and previous blow downs soon.

Reporting: John Beaudet
Date: 09/13/2017
Purpose: trim corridor
Section: 19a: Indian Grave Gap - Curley Maple Gap Shelter
People: John Beaudet
Summary: I cut back rhododendrons for as long as I could stand it then went home. If anyone is seeing this my computer skills have improved!

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 09/11/2017
Purpose: Obtain materials for shelters
Section: 14c: Stan Murray Shelter to Carvers Gap
People: Carl Fritz, Ed Oliver
Summary: We obtained most of wood and hardware for Stan Murray Shelter repair. We still lack roofing. We also obtained a few materials for Iron Mtn. Shelter.

Reporting: Jim Chambers
Date: 09/10/2017
Purpose: Weed Cutting
Section: 1: TN/VA state line to Backbone Rock Trail
People: Jim Chambers
Connie Squires
Mike "Lumpy" Price
Summary: Very long day cutting weeds and green briar from Abingdon Gap Shelter to the TN/VA state line. Lumpy provided the shuttle so we could work from McQueens Gap to Damascus.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 09/09/2017
Purpose: Clean hats and gloves
Section: 4b: Double Springs Shelter to TN91
People: Carl Fritz, Ed Oliver
Summary: We cleaned 110 hard hats and paired up gloves for storage. This should wrap up the August 18th event with ASU Watauga Residential Community.