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: Carl Fritz
Date: 09/23/2014
Purpose: Replace Koonford Bridge
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Daryel Anderson, Paul Benfield, Ken Buchanan, Richard Carter, Jim Chambers, Carl Fritz, Mike Hupko, Becky Kinder, Pat Loven, Joe Morris, Ted Mowery, Bill Murdoch, Ed Oliver, Brian Paley, Bob Peoples, Gayle Riddervold, Kevin Sedgwick, George Thorpe
Summary: We stiffened temporary bridges near Dennis Cove, cleared some stumps that were obstacles, measured pier caps, mortared some rocks to hide concrete pads, cut and drilled deck boards, beams, and sills. We used 12" cutoff saw for 3" deck boards and chainsaw for everything else.

Reporting: Jim Foster
Date: 09/22/2014
Purpose: Cut blowdowns and do routine maintenance
Section: 16a: Hughes Gap to Greasy Creek Gap
People: Bruce Darby, Jim Foster
Summary: Bruce and I cut 3 blowdowns, rehabbed some trail, cleaned water bars

Reporting: Kim Peters
Date: 09/20/2014
Purpose: 3rd Saturday Hiking with Tools
Section: 20b: Temple Hill Gap to Spivey Gap
People: Ken Murray, Lotta Murray, Joe DeLoach, Terry Oldfield, Kim Peters
Summary: The task for the September 3rd Saturday Hiking with Tools trip was to work on the 5 mile section of trail between Temple Hill Gap and Devil's Creek Gap.
The weeds and rhododendron were thick starting out of Temple Hill Gap and the going was slow, but we lopped, whacked weeds and cut blowdowns until we finally reached No Business Shelter, 2.4 miles in, at 3 pm. We picked up trash at the shelter, left a new log book, shovel and broom then continued on to Devil's Creek Gap. We stopped at the spring to install a pipe and spray a nearby wasps nest. The water level is low at the spring, but it is flowing. The rhodo's were not as bad after the shelter so we were able to move on a little faster although there were several blowdowns to be cleared. Some we could just move off the trail and others needed to be cut. We finally got back to our car at Can Lot about 5:30 and after retrieving the vehicle at Temple Hill Gap were on our way home by 6 pm.
It was a long day, but we left the trail in much better shape than we found it and it was an absolutely beautiful day to be out in the woods. We met 3-4 day day hikers and about as many backpackers also out enjoying this fine weather.

Reporting: Anna
Date: 09/20/2014
Purpose: Clear out large yellow jacket nest
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Shane Hackler
Anna Hackler
Summary: Had 2 people tell us over the last few days there was a large yellow jacket nest right in the middle of the trail heading to Laurel Falls & several people have been getting stung. It was actually in a rotted tree that had fell across the trail landing the nest right in the middle. We cleared it out & killed any yellow jackets that were present. Moved the tree off the trail. Walked another maybe 1/2 mile then came back giving it time to let any stranglers come back to the old nest (closer to dark), there was about another 15 or so we killed after that. Waited a while & left after we saw no more show up. When we were about to leave the parking area, some other hikers told us there is 2 more nest further in closer to the falls that are both on the 2nd bridge. I guess several people have been getting stung there also. It was dark & we couldn't head back in at this point.

Reporting: Jim Chambers
Date: 09/20/2014
Purpose: Blow Down Removal
Section: 1: TN/VA state line to Backbone Rock Trail
People: Bob Peoples
Jim Chambers
Summary: We removed a blow down just south of the Tennessee/Virginia State line.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 09/19/2014
Purpose: Replace Koonford Bridge
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Carl Fritz, Ed Oliver
Summary: We sorted out everyone's small tools plus the removed hardware during this past week in disassembling bridge and concreting piers. We also prepared some more materials for new bridge.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 09/18/2014
Purpose: Replace Koonford Bridge
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Daryel Anderson, John Beaudet, Paul Benfield, Richard Carter, Jim Chambers, Jim Foster, Carl Fritz, Bob Horan, Becky Kinder, Ted Mowery, Brian Paley, Bob Peoples, Kim Peters, Gayle Riddervold, Kevin Sedgewick, George Thorpe, 2 male hikers
Summary: We finished the two bank pads by pouring 1120 pounds of concrete. We also completed moving most of the old bridge materials out except for those used on temporary bridge. We completed cutting out temporary trail to bridge work site. We also build a temporary bridge at second stream crossing near Dennis Cove so we can get carts over it.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 09/17/2014
Purpose: Koonford Bridge Replacement
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: John Beaudet, Paul Benfield, Richard Carter, Jim Chambers, Alice Cohen, Carl Fritz, Bob Horan, Becky Kinder, Ed Oliver, Bob Peoples, Gayle Riddervold, George Thorpe
Summary: We built forms for two piers and poured 6 inches plus of concrete to cap the piers. Rebar and threaded rods were added. We also did majority of forming on both banks for more concrete. We hauled 1280 pounds of concrete and Jim must have hauled half a ton himself. We also hauled out much of the old bridge materials.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 09/16/2014
Purpose: Koonford Bridge Replacement
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Daryel Anderson, John Beaudet, Paul Benfield, Ken Buchanan, Jim Chambers, Jim Foster, Carl Fritz, Pat Loven, Ted Mowery, Ed Oliver, Brian Paley, Bob Peoples, Kim Peters, Mike Price, Fritz Swanson
Summary: Significant progress happened today. We completely dismantled the old bridge. We reconstructed the northern section which contained logs as a good looking temporary bridge on wooden piers. Ken and Pat with some help from Paul rehabbed the trail to allow us easier passage with wheel barrows between bridge and railroad cut.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 09/15/2014
Purpose: Replace Koonford Bridge
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Carl Fritz, Ed Oliver, Ted Mowery
Summary: These are accumulated hours over last couple of weeks, designing, obtaining materials, and making parts for the replacement of Koonford bridge.

Reporting: Scotty Bowman
Date: 09/14/2014
Purpose: removal of an 18" tree across trial and some brushing
Section: 7: Vandeventer Shelter to Wilbur Dam Rd
People: Scotty Bowman
James Lautzenheiser
Summary: James and I removed one 18" tree that had fallen across the trail and was beginning to cause some resource damage located about 2.5 miles in from Wilbur Dam Rd travelling trail north. Also, beginning at the 2 mile mark we did spot brushing up to the 3.25 mile mark.While out there we came into contact with a total of 7 south bounders, a couple doing a weekend hike and a total of 15 different folks just out for a leisurely hike.

Reporting: Craig Haire
Date: 09/08/2014
Purpose: clearing encroaching brush undergrowth
Section: 20a: Nolichucky River to Temple Hill Gap
People: Craig Haire
Summary: Completed the clearing up to the ridge and began clearing along the ridge,

Reporting: Ed Oliver
Date: 09/14/2014
Purpose: Koonford Bridge Replacement
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Ed Oliver and Bob Peoples
Summary: Ed and Bob completed mortaring rocks on northern pier to bring it to the proper level. The old bridge can now be removed.

Reporting: Vic Hasler
Date: 09/12/2014
Purpose: Measure trail relocation
Section: 8: Wilbur Dam Road to US321
People: Vic Hasler
Summary: In 2014, the club has opened yet another 690 foot relocation in this section along Watauga Lake to bypass some fishermen’s camps along the shore. The measuring wheel was used to check the anchor points as stated in the 2013 A.T. Data Book. The trail distance between US321 and Griffith Branch was found to be 1.5 miles which is 0.1 mile longer than stated in the data book and 0.2 mile longer than provided in the 14th edition guide book between the gate and Griffith Branch. The 0.4 mile trail distance measured from Griffith Branch to the Watauga Lake shelter sign is also 0.1 mile longer than stated in the data and guide books. The extensive amount of work the club has put into this section of trail is evident as an excellent and stable footpath.

Along with measuring, the never-ending growth was clipped. Griffith Branch is dry; even after the rain this week. The shelter, which is closed due to the bear activity, was found to be in good condition with water flowing in the nearby stream. A discarded pair of soaking wet long johns was removed from the campfire ring and hauled out. Since the closure notice also includes a prohibition for “consumption of food”, the bears are enjoying themselves as multiple six packs of aluminum cans and glass bottles of various adult beverages were also hauled out from the campsites.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 09/12/2014
Purpose: Koonford Bridge Materials
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Paul Benfield, Ken Buchanan, Carl Fritz, Bob Horan, Ted Mowery, Ed Oliver, Kim Peters, George Thorpe
Summary: We finished cutting, drilling and even filing the round posts and round rails plus braces for beams. We used chop saws, miter saws, hand saws, table saws, and chain saws to do all the cutting yesterday and today. It is going to be a massive bridge. Ted spent most of his time checking out rental possibilities for a scaffold board to serve a day or two as a temporary bridge.

Reporting: Tim Stewart
Date: 09/11/2014
Purpose: Thursday maintenance
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Tim Stewart
Ed Oliver
Richard Carter
Brian Paley
Joe Morris
Jim Chambers
Mike Price
Bob Peoples
Summary: We worked on the northside pier of the Koonford Bridge until it started raining around 1130. There are approx 8-10 inches left to complete.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 09/11/2014
Purpose: Koonford Bridge Replacement
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Daryel Anderson, Paul Benfield, Ken Buchanan, Carl Fritz, Bob Horan, Greg Kramer, Pat Loven, Kim Peters, George Thorpe
Summary: We cut a flat on each post 19" long to mount onto bridge and drilled two holes through them. We also cut notches for three hand rails. We cut the 4x4 bracing. We have started cutting hand rails with half laps to tie them together. More sawing and drilling remains for another day to complete hand rails.

Reporting: Jim Chambers
Date: 09/10/2014
Purpose: Information Sign Placement
Section: 1: TN/VA state line to Backbone Rock Trail
People: Jim Chambers
Summary: I hiked up from Damascus to the VA/TN State Line to put up a new TEHCC Information Sign.

Reporting: George Thorpe
Date: 09/09/2014
Purpose: Koonford Bridge Piers Upgrade
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Paul Benfield, Ted Mowery, Ed Oliver, Bob Peoples, George Thorpe
Summary: Carried in 6 bags of concrete and 7 bags of masonry sand. This material was used to add additional courses of rock to upgrade Koonford Bridge piers needed for bridge replacement.

Reporting: Jim Chambers
Date: 09/08/2014
Purpose: Blow Down Removal
Section: 2b: Abingdon Gap Shelter to McQueen's Gap
People: Bob Peoples
Jim Chambers
Summary: We removed 4 small blow downs south of McQueens Gap, and a very large blow down north of McQueens Gap.

Reporting: Paul Benfield
Date: 09/08/2014
Purpose: Mow camping area and blue blaze trails
Section: 14b: Bradley Gap to Stan Murray Shelter
People: Paul Benfield, Ted Mowery
Summary: Mowed the camping area and weedeat the trail to the privy Water is running strong.

Reporting: Paul Benfield
Date: 09/08/2014
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. Installed 1 post to mark the trail and installed 1 water diversion to stop the erosion on the Accessible Trail. The accessible trail needs to be sprayed again as the grass needs to be removed. The grass is taking over the trail. The cattle have been rotated to the front fields to include the Accessible Trail which they are fertilizing very well. They are also using the trail as an easel to conduct their cattle splattering contests.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 08/30/2014
Purpose: Sharpen and repair tools
Section: 1: TN/VA state line to Backbone Rock Trail
People: Carl Fritz, Ed Oliver
Summary: We sharpened and repaired tools after Watauga College and Wright State University outings.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 09/06/2014
Purpose: Trail Rehab
Section: 9b: Pond Flats to Hampton trailhead
People: Jim Chambers, Robin Dean, Joe Morris, Bob Peoples, Steve Perri, Mike Price, Tim Stewart, Allison Williams f
Summary: As part of the Wilderness Rally they repaired two switchbacks by adding rock and locust log steps. They did some other trail repairs. This section is in good shape according to the section maintainer, Joe. Steve also displayed our club information at a table at the Rally in the evening.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 09/06/2014
Purpose: Rehab trail
Section: 9a: US321 to Pond Flats
People: Carl Fritz, Jeremiah Bolick, Kevin O'Donnell, Tip Ray, James Lautzenheiser, Reuben Potter
Summary: We rehabbed among the switchbacks between Shook Branch Rd and wilderness boundary. One bad switchback we totally redid by crushing the rock that kept us from going into the hillside, realigning trail, and adding three rock steps. We removed many areas of roots that were difficult to hike over without slipping. We reset a locust log side crib that had fallen down the hill as well as all the rock that had comprised the trail. This section of trail is in reasonable condition now.

Reporting: Bob Peoples
Date: 09/05/2014
Purpose: Prepare for trail rehab
Section: 9b: Pond Flats to Hampton trailhead
People: Jim Chambers, Bob Peoples, Mike Price
Summary: We cut a dead locust into usable lengths for steps. This is in preparation for Wilderness Rally projects tomorrow. The locust was in a difficult location and it took a long time with limited tools to finally get it positioned on the trail where it can be hauled to work site tomorrow.

Reporting: George Thorpe
Date: 09/06/2014
Purpose: Work on Koonford Bridge
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Paul Benfield, Dave Clark, Ted Mowery, Ed Oliver, George Thorpe
Summary: We hauled in three bags of concrete mix and additional mortar cement. Used the concrete mix to partially fill center of downstream side of North pier. Made up two batches of mortar mix to continue buildup of rockwork on up stream side of North pier. Much work remains.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 09/04/2014
Purpose: Replace Koonford Bridge
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Daryel Anderson, Paul Benfield, Richard Carter, Jim Chambers, Carl Fritz, Becky Kinder, Ted Mowery, Brian Paley, Bob Peoples, Kim Peters, Mike Price, Gayle Riddervold, Tim Stewart, George Thorpe, "Flipper"
Summary: We continued to enlarge the two rock piers. Southern pier is about as high as we can go until bridge is removed. We established a significant base on upstream side of northern pier using huge rocks and cement. The crew also established a large jetty above the northern pier. About two more trips and it will be time to remove old bridge.

Reporting: Jim Foster
Date: 09/03/2014
Purpose: Remove blowdowns and put up new shelter sign
Section: 16a: Hughes Gap to Greasy Creek Gap
People: Ken Buchanan, Jim Foster
Summary: Ken and I removed two large blowdowns from the trail on our way to the shelter. We installed the new sign for the shelter and refreshed some blue blazes. The new relocations are holding up well and the rest of the trail was in good shape.

Reporting: Tim Stewart
Date: 09/01/2014
Purpose: preps for Koonford Bridge replacement
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Tim Stewart
Bob Peoples
Ed Oliver
Paul Benfield
Summary: We worked on the bridge piers.

Reporting: Joe DeLoach
Date: 08/31/2014
Purpose: Section maintenance and sign installation
Section: 20b: Temple Hill Gap to Spivey Gap
People: Joe DeLoach
Summary: Started by installing a new routed wood sign made by Steve Perri to denote the TEHCC section running from Spivey Gap to the TN/VA line. Sign was affixed to an older post next to the nice Clyde Smith-style sign very close to the gap. Then completed the Spivey to Devils Creek Gap section that was started earlier, clipping mostly rhododendron and cutting a few blowdowns from Spivey to a campsite above Oglesby Branch. Left one large blowdown within 0.1 miles of Spivey Gap that is an easy stepover for a chainsaw trip. There is a huge tree off-trail along the upper portion of Oglesby Branch, want to go over and measure it.

Reporting: Bill Fuller
Date: 08/30/2014
Purpose: Misc. Maintenance
Section: 9a: US321 to Pond Flats
People: Bill Fuller
Summary: I hiked the entire section, cutting a lot of overhanging limbs, weeds, and encroaching Rhododendrons. I also cleared one medium-sized blowdown about two thirds of the way up up the mountain. I also took care of a yellow jackets nest that was right on the trail not far from the kiosk. The spring on top of Pond is bone dry. It was a beautiful day!!!

Reporting: Craig Haire
Date: 09/01/2014
Purpose: trail inventory
Section: 20a: Nolichucky River to Temple Hill Gap
People: Craig Haire
Summary: Did a walk-through, to Temple Hill Gap and back. Trail is in fairly good shape, but still needs more clearing of undergrowth. Took my lopper and cleared some pine saplings and overhanging rhodos. Got into some ground wasps and sustained several stings. Removed a blowdown across the trail in the middle of the ridge with my 12" electric chainsaw.

Reporting: Mike Hupko
Date: 08/29/2014
Purpose: Start Fall Maintenance
Section: 17: Iron Mountain Gap to FS230 switchback
People: Eric Middlemas, Mike Hupko
Summary: Cleaned out water bars and dips, lopped small branches and loose roots, cut 4 trees and removed small branches along the trail, cleaned out the shelter and dug out a diversion ditch in front of the shelter, repaired the roof gutter, picked up trash, and left a new shelter register. Identified several sections of the trail needing tread way repair.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 08/15/2014
Purpose: Dig relocation
Section: 1: TN/VA state line to Backbone Rock Trail
People: CLUB&FRIENDS:Daryel Anderson;John Beaudet;Paul Benfield;Ken Buchanan;Jim Chambers;Carl Fritz;Bob Horan;Alexandra Hupko; Marsha Hupko;Mike Hupko;Mike Hupko, Jr.;Greg Kramer;Pat Loven;Joe Morris;Ted Mowery;Brian Paley;Bob Peoples;Kim Peters;Mike Price;Kevin Sedgwick;Tim Stewart; Mike Tuttle; ASU: Allman, Anna;Baer, James;Bentley-Gottel, Daelyn;Bergstedt, Madison;Boda, Julie;Bost, Corrina;Brown, Jaden;Butler, Kelsey; Caldwell, Lois;Campbell, Shannon;Chung, Joshua;Cooper, Megan;Donovan, Christina;Dye, Matthew;Echols, Lory;Elderkin, Hannah;Freundlich, Lindsay ;George, Thorin;Gillespie, Hannah;Glover, Anna Pate;Gray, Christina; Griffith, Kelsey;Hayes, Kelsey;Hedrick, James ;Hoover, Megan;Howerton, Victoria;Huff, Sydney;Hund, Allanah;Indermaur, Libby;Jobe, Luke;Jones, Addie;Kesselman, Jack;Kimball, Kyle ;Kucmierz, Molly; Lanier, Harper;Long, Morgan;Ly, Vanessa;Mansfield, Megan;McMillan, Kayla;Medina, Andrea;Mize, Lily;Moffett, Raven;Moser, Phoenix;Mykytyn, Christopher;Nobles, Victoria;Oakey, Taylor;Olender, Victoria; Oliver, Zachary;Pate, Katherine;Piedrahita, Lucas;Pierce, Jessica;Prescott, Markus;Prunet, Chloe;Raby, Jonathan;Scardino, Dianne;Schneider, Marissa;Scott, Alexa;Sheffield, Alex;Smith, Tana ;Streahle, Adrienne; Suits, William ;Treadaway, Cody;Weaver, Sophie;Wells, Aaron;Wood, Cameron;Zaleski, Julia;Nick Colebaugh;Leika Wright;Ebuka Ibeziako;Sunni Ryan;Alex Prestrud;Tiffany Bennett;Molly Sharp; Lorene Evans;Katie Howard;Kevin White;Nicholas Eichen;Riley Parr;Andrea Roller;Joe Bryan;Michael Dale;Huey Lu;Brandon Poult;Clark Maddux
Summary: This was the fourteenth year that Watauga Global Community of Appalachian State University has brought their freshmen to do trail maintenance as part of their orientation. The students became very involved with the trail building this year. And we should learn that Backbone Rock has a lot of hidden rocks that we were not expecting under the duff. Some of the students were enthusiastically removing the large boulders from the new path after they learned some techniques. We built about 800 feet of trail. Thanks to the cooperation of many club members and friends plus the professors and returning sophomores, the outing was a success.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 08/29/2014
Purpose: Clear blowdowns
Section: 4a: US421 to Double Springs Shelter
People: Carl Fritz, Mary Jane Fritz
Summary: We cleared the reported blowdowns. The only problem one was the 12 incher that was waist to chest high and could not be skirted. We did some brushing and kicked out some water bars. The trail is in good shape until we make a trip in the fall.

Reporting: Bob Peoples
Date: 08/18/2014
Purpose: Dig Relocation
Section: 16a: Hughes Gap to Greasy Creek Gap
People: Jim Chambers, Peter King, Bill Murdoch, Bob Peoples, Mike Price, Tim Stewart and WRIGHT STATE: Cody Sparkman, Sydney Woelfel f, Jeff Gedina, Trisha Kretzer f, Marina Honkala f, Samantha Conner f, Truong Nguyen, Emily Balon, Craig Rainby, Greg Gamon, Erin Levine f, Ashley Varner f, Shelby Busssard f, James Wright, Derek Moinger
Summary: Everyone worked on a relocation about 2.5 miles south of Hughes Gap. The group built 330 feet of new trail beginning where Konnarock Crew ended. we mainly built sidehill trail, removed trees and carried cut locust logs about 0.3 miles to job site. Students were outstanding.

Reporting: Bob Peoples
Date: 08/27/2014
Purpose: Place sign and scout for projects
Section: 9b: Pond Flats to Hampton trailhead
People: Bob Peoples
Summary: Bob installed new Waycaster spring sign in Laurel Fork Gorge. He also cleared access to spring. He scouted south side of Pond Mt for upcoming Wilderness Rally projects.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 08/28/2014
Purpose: Replace Koonford Bridge
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Daryel Anderson, Paul Benfield, Ken Buchanan, Jim Chambers, Jim Foster, Carl Fritz, Becky Kinder, Greg Kramer, Pat Loven, Joe Morris, Ted Mowery, Bill Murdoch, Ed Oliver, Brian Paley, Bob Peoples, Kim Peters, Mike Price, Gayle Riddervold, Tim Stewart, George Thorpe, "Feather"
Summary: We continued the preparation for Koonford Bridge replacement. We continued mortaring rocks to the two existing piers to enlarge them. We basically built the temporary trail for the expected temporary bridge. This required much rock and sand work to get a suitable path. And the railroad grade from Dennis Cove has been smoothed significantly by removing large rocks (some by having to break them with wedges). The little stream crossings have ben improved also. Some enjoyed the hot day by playing in the water.

Reporting: Mike Hupko
Date: 08/27/2014
Purpose: Mow Open Area and Trail Repair
Section: 18: FS230 switchback to Indian Grave Gap
People: Eric Middlemas, Mike Hupko
Summary: Mowed a short section of the AT in Deep Gap and the trail to the spring. Mowed all of the trail in Beauty Spot Gap and a short section of trail just north of Beauty Spot. Dug about 45 feet of new trail to bypass a downed tree covering the old trail. Removed trash at Beauty Spot parking area.

Reporting: Craig Haire
Date: 08/25/2014
Purpose: clearing encroaching brushy undergrowth
Section: 20a: Nolichucky River to Temple Hill Gap
People: Craig Haire
Summary: Completed clearing of switchback #5 and proceeded up toward Temple Hill ridge.

Reporting: Bill Fuller
Date: 08/26/2014
Purpose: General Maintenance
Section: 9a: US321 to Pond Flats
People: Bill Fuller, Campbell Fuller
Summary: We hiked about a third of the way up Pond Mountain (to the first fire ring at the power-line). We cut back a lot of Rhododendron and weeds along the way, and we cleared 4 small step-over blowdowns crossing the trail, and one larger blowdown.

Reporting: Vic Hasler
Date: 08/10/2014
Purpose: 2014 ATC leadership conference
Section: Other (Meetings/preparation/etc.)
People: Vic Hasler
Summary: Participated in the August 8-10, 2014 ATC leadership conference for the trail maintaining clubs and other partnership organizations at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, WV. A longer trip report will appear in the September TEHCC newsletter.

Reporting: Jim Foster
Date: 08/25/2014
Purpose: To check my section of trail for whatever
Section: 16a: Hughes Gap to Greasy Creek Gap
People: Jim Foster
Summary: I checked my section of trail and cleared one small blowdown while cleaning some water bars and cleaning up around the shelter. I have two large blowdowns that will require a chain saw to remove. One is on the Little Rock Knob relo and the other one is at the intersection of the unfinished relo and the trail on the south end. The finished relo and the water diversion work that was done a few weeks ago are outstanding. I want to thank those who helped on those projects it will make my job of maintaining the trail a lot easier.

Reporting: Joe DeLoach
Date: 08/19/2014
Purpose: Roan Ridgerunner Postseason Review
Section: Other (Meetings/preparation/etc.)
People: Joe DeLoach
Summary: The season of Roan Ridgerunner Fletcher Meadema was reviewed with Appalachian District Ranger Matthew McCombs, Watauga District Natural Resources Management Team Leader Alice Cohen, Appalachian Trail Conservancy Resource Management Coordinator John Odell, and Joe who was the primary TEHCC interface with Fletcher. Fletcher relayed that backpackers, more so overnighters and weekenders than long distance hikers, created the most impact in the Roan Highlands with trash and campfires among those impacts. Although his reports generally highlighted negative interactions, Fletcher stated that the majority of visitors were receptive to his message. He was hampered though by not having printed messenging, for example in the form of a sign at Carvers Gap, that provided Forest Service interpretation and guidance to visitors. Thus some people thought he was making things up. In my opinion, it is critical to have this guidance in order for the ridgerunner program to be successful and not frustrating. Very few visitors look at the existing kiosk in Carvers Gap, which was placed many years ago when the Trail went by it and more people parked back there instead of along the highway. Matt stressed that a welcoming message needed to be provided and we all agreed that Fletcher did so, but all also agreed that such a message could include guidance. A couple of modifications to the ridgerunner duties were suggested, one of which would cut back the field time to weekends only instead of the Thursday start, the other incorporating more stewardship duties on the slower days such as the Thursdays. This and other aspects of the Roan Ridgerunner program would be very good for the Fall ATC/USFS/TEHCC Partnership meeting. Fletcher has had ridgerunner stints in Virginia and in the Smokies and said he had the best support from ATC and a club while on Roan. However it is a very different and in many respects a more difficult assignment, so strong and consistent support will continue to be needed if the program continues.

Reporting: John Beaudet
Date: 08/24/2014
Purpose: Remove blowdowns
Section: 19b: Curley Maple Gap Shelter - Nolichuckey River
People: John Beaudet
Frances Figart
Summary: Despite reports of blowdowns between Indian Grave Gap and Curly Maple Gap Shelter, none were found. However, continuing on past the Shelter, removed 4 blowdowns between there and the Nolichuckey River. Hikers take caution: a belligerent, drugged shelter squatter was holed up at the Curly Maple Gap Shelter, and apparently had deliberately damaged the rock work around the recently installed culvert. He was obviously not a thru-hiker and not a desirable person to encounter on the trail, and seemed to be preparing to move up or down from this location.

Reporting: Vic Hasler
Date: 08/23/2014
Purpose: Measure distance of trail relocations
Section: 16a: Hughes Gap to Greasy Creek Gap
People: Vic Hasler
Summary: Two relocations have been opened in 2014 within this A.T. section. A 1625 foot switchback now replaces a steep 100 foot climb/drop at Little Rock Knob overlook. A 2300 foot sidehill route has been created in the section with Clyde Smith shelter. A third relocation is underway between the other two, but could not be adequately measured. The trail distance from Little Rock Knob highpoint to the Clyde Smith shelter sign has been increased by 0.2 mile versus the 2013 A.T. Data Book, thus is now 1.1 miles.

Reporting: Vic
Date: 08/23/2014
Purpose: Trail distance measurement
Section: 15b: Cloudland Hotel - Hughes Gap
People: Vic Hasler
Summary: The final relocations, completed to address severe trail erosion between Cloudland Hotel and Ash Gap, were measured using the wheel. As in 2013, the trip was made after a week of rain, including a hard cloudburst early in the morning, so the trail design features of rock steps and many waterbars were observed to function very well. On the newer relocations completed this year, the residual black topsoil had not yet been washed away or covered with leaf litter, so the dark mud coated my boots and legs.

The steep washed-out ditch has now been replaced with multiple gradual switchbacks. The trail distance from Cloudland Hotel to Ash Gap was measured as 1.4 miles – which increased by 0.2 mile in 2013 and another 0.3 mile in 2014 versus the 14th Edition guidebook.

Similar to Frank Oglesby’s memorable quote of: “I’m now relocating my relocations!”, Carl Fritz stated to me in reference to this specific trail section: “And yes, that area is complete for my life time… I hope.”

Reporting: John Robbins
Date: 08/23/2014
Purpose: Clear invasive species near Dennis Cove
Section: 11a: Dennis Cove Road to Canute Place
People: John Robbins
Dave Clark
Rhys Williams
Heather Waldroup
Summary: Cleared invasive species plants starting at Dennis Cove Road towards Canute. Trail is in good shape.

Reporting: Paul Benfield
Date: 08/22/2014
Purpose: Trail Maintenance
Section: 14b: Bradley Gap to Stan Murray Shelter
People: Paul Benfield, Ted Mowery
Summary: Mowed the camping area at the Overmountain Shelter and weedeat as needed. Shelter was very clean. Water running very good.

Reporting: Paul Benfield
Date: 08/22/2014
Purpose: Mow Accessible Trail
Section: 4b: Double Springs Shelter to TN91
People: Paul Benfield, Ted Mowery
Summary: Mowed and weedeat the accessible trail . Trail needs to be sprayed very badly.

Reporting: Craig Haire
Date: 08/18/2014
Purpose: clearing undergrowth
Section: 20a: Nolichucky River to Temple Hill Gap
People: Craig Haire
Summary: Finished clearing the woody undergrowth encroaching on the trail in the gap between switchbacks 4 & 5 and cleared the lower half of switchback #5.

Reporting: Steve Perri
Date: 08/16/2014
Purpose: Cut Weeds
Section: 12c: Sugar Hollow Creek to Campbell Hollow Road
People: Steve Perri, Tisha Perri
Summary: I checked with the USFS and learned that the weeds at the Elk River were cut July 1. So since it had been 6 weeks, I decided to cut the path again from the point where the AT comes off the bluff and out of the woods along the Elk River to Sugar Hollow Creek. Weeds were about knee high. The edges since the USFS cut the area were more like 6 feet high. This trip was made easily with a weed eater and loppers after access from Elk Falls USFS gate.

Reporting: Paul Benfield
Date: 08/19/2014
Purpose: Repair of Koonford Bridge
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Ed Oliver, Paul Benfield, Ted Mowery, George Thorpe, Daryel Anderson, Jim Foster
Summary: Mortared about 18 inches of piers and poured about 28 inches of foundation. Removed all but 2 of the rocks from the trail in the cut just before Koonford Bridge. Hauled concrete and other supplies needed to the bridge site.

Reporting: Joe DeLoach
Date: 08/16/2014
Purpose: section maintenance and post installation
Section: 14b: Bradley Gap to Stan Murray Shelter
People: Joe DeLoach, Lynn DiFiore, and Lyndsey Smith
Summary: Completed installing locust posts to mark the Trail across Little Hump. Clipped some blackberries and woody growth and tossed out some downed limbs along the way. Lots of people out on a nice day.

Reporting: Kim Peters
Date: 08/16/2014
Purpose: Clear weeds, paint blazes
Section: 15b: Cloudland Hotel - Hughes Gap
People: Garry Luttrell, Kristin Porter, Christopher Best, Randy Waymire, Robert Byrd, Kim Peters
Summary: For this 3rd Saturday Hiking with Tools trip, we set out to clear the weeds from the Cloudland Hotel Site down to Hughes Gap, It was a beautiful day to be out in the woods. Garry, Bob, Kristin and Chris started at Hughes Gap working their way uphill through the thickest part of the weeds while Randy and Kim started at Cloudland and worked their way down. It was sunny and a pleasant 55 degrees when we started from Cloudland. In addition to cutting weeds and annual growth, we refreshed the white blazes and painted the blue blazes to the water source at Ash Gap. Garry said the weeds were bad, but not the worst he has ever seen. We met the students from Wright State hiking up towards Roan High Knob Shelter. They were very appreciative of our weed cutting efforts. This section of trail is now in good shape.

Reporting: Ed Oliver
Date: 08/15/2014
Purpose: Koonford Bridge
Section: 10: Hampton trailhead to Dennis Cove Road
People: Ed Oliver
Summary: Ed mortared some rock to southern pier to enlarge the pier. He was able to get about 22 inches high. More mortar, rock and concrete to follow.

Reporting: Gayle Riddervold
Date: 08/14/2014
Purpose: To cut down a fallen tree
Section: 13: US19E to Doll Flats
People: Gayle Riddervold & Becky Kinder
Summary: Today we walked 3 miles up to Doll Flats sawing down one small blow down, cleaning rock steps, and clearing overhead branches that were cracked and ready to fall into the trail. Ran into Roman and his dog Duncan who were camping near the trail head. Things looked pretty good up at Doll Flats. Didn't find any trash up there and the blue blazed water trail was clear as well. There was a minimum amount of trash where the Apple House use to be and we cleaned that up as well.

Reporting: Craig Haire
Date: 08/14/2014
Purpose: clearing encroaching undergrowth
Section: 20a: Nolichucky River to Temple Hill Gap
People: Craig Haire
Summary: Completed the clearing of switchback #4 with brush cutter and started on the gap between switchbacks 4 & 5. On the way down I ran into George Osborne of Erwin, who said he knew some people in TEHCC.

Reporting: Mike Hupko
Date: 08/14/2014
Purpose: Paint Blazes
Section: 18: FS230 switchback to Indian Grave Gap
People: Alexandra Hupko, Mike Hupko
Summary: Painted blazes from Beauty Spot Gap to Beauty Spot Spring. Lopped low and overhanging branches. Cleaned up around a fallen tree, and relocated about 15 feet of trail to bypass the tree that had fallen directly on the trail.

Reporting: Paul Benfield
Date: 08/13/2014
Purpose: fall maintenance
Section: 4b: Double Springs Shelter to TN91
People: Paul Benfield, Ted Mowery
Summary: Cleaned waterbars and installed 4 new waterbars. Cut 1 12 inch blowdown. Cut fall foliage and cut weeds between campground and double springs shelter. Plenty of water at the campground and at the shelter.

Reporting: Paul Benfield
Date: 08/13/2014
Purpose: fall maintenance
Section: 4b: Double Springs Shelter to TN91
People: Paul Benfield, Ted Mowery
Summary: Cleaned waterbars and installed 4 new waterbars. Cut 1 12 inch blowdown. Cut fall foliage and cut weeds between campground and double springs shelter. Plenty of water at the campground and at the shelter.