Hard Core – Clyde Smith Shelter Remodel and Elk River Relocation (2002)

Wow! The 2nd annual Damascus Trail Days Hard-Core was a great success!

Hikers transported themselves from Damascus or were shuttled by Bob Peoples, Bruce Cunningham and Frank Williams. By the time they arrived at the improvised trailhead, all the materials (concrete, plywood, metal roofing, lumber, hardware and tools) were awaiting them to be carried the two miles up the mountain to Clyde Smith Shelter. And carry the hikers did. Even 80 lb. bags of concrete went right up that mountain on backs or shoulders. While awaiting the materials, Club members removed the old roof. The hikers then carried all the old shingles back down the hill before picking up a second load of materials to haul up the mountain. A welcome sight in mid afternoon was two hikers carrying a large cooler of ice and soft drinks up that mountain. Since a limited number of skilled carpenters could work on the shelter, everyone else worked for a couple of hours installing about 30 waterbars trail north and trail south of the Clyde Smith Shelter. At the shelter, the new rafters were installed for the new porch and holes dug for the benches. The evening ended with a dinner of barbecue, pasta salad, baked beans and strawberry shortcake complete with ice cream thanks to the generosity of Bruce and Mary and the catering of Mary Cunningham, Pat Peoples, and Mrs. Benfield. Can you believe that probably fifty hikers stayed at Bob and Pat People’s Kincora Hostel both Sunday and Monday evenings? Porches were full, as were fields and even truck beds. On Monday Bill Stowell and David Gibson, who had camped at the shelter the night before, were joined by Darrol Nichols, 8 returning hikers from Sunday, and 5 new hikers who had hiked into the shelter the night before and decided to stay to help with the project. (They had offered to stay for a couple of hours but ended up working the entire day.) Monday was spent installing the new roof, poly-carb windows, plywood wall extensions, setting the bench posts, and painting the shelter until the paint ran out. The entire crew of 16 kept hopping all day long and the shelter is more than 85% done after only three days of work. Thanks are due to the hikers who hauled about two and a half pickup truck loads of lumber, tin, and concrete uphill to the shelter site. And, special thanks to the skilled hikers who labored tirelessly to put the new Clyde Smith Shelter together.

by Carl Fritz