In spite of the rainy weather predictions, we had fair weather and a great 3rd annual Damascus Hard-Core work trip. The two days of work involved 71 individuals for over 1,000 hours. Seventeen were TEHCC members or program affiliates. The remaining 54 were enthusiastic volunteer hikers. They came for work and work they did! There were many rhododendrons and short terrain dips that contained over two feet of duff. Duff became a new addition to the hiker vocabulary. They even created Mr. Duff using duff as the head, soda cans as eyes and a rain jacket and pants for the body.
The hikers persisted by installing log and rock cribbing and back filling with dirt. The terrain succumbed. Camo led an onslaught on a long, marshy stream crossing during the two days. With the help of a cable hoist/puller, they created a virtual boulevard across the stream using nearby rocks.
Many hikers gained a new appreciation for hiking trails and the amount of work required for building them. By the end of the second day even many of these conditioned hikers were dragging. However, toiling together we built 2000 feet of trail on difficult terrain.
Eastman Chemical Company graciously supplied two 15-passenger vans for transporting many of the hikers from and back to Damascus as well as to the hostels at night. Kim Peters, Steve Perri and Garry Luttrell expertly drove these vans. The vans together with the truck of Bob and the motor home of Camo provided the bulk of the transportation for the hikers and their packs.
Thanks to Camo and Never Again, cold soft drinks were distributed throughout both days. Sunday evening we detoured to Shook Branch to feast on barbecue, baked beans, salad, and strawberry shortcake graciously supplied primarily by Bruce and Mary Cunningham and prepared by Mary Cunningham and Pat Peoples. A highlight Sunday evening was Steve Perri presenting the TEHCC Stan Murray award to Bob Peoples for his exemplary service to the A.T. and recruitment of the many trail volunteers.
Monday evening we retreated to Kincora Hostel for lasagna, tossed salad, bread and a table full of desserts. Thanks go to Baltimore Jack and Pat Peoples for preparing this scrumptious meal. Seiko supplied his famous chocolate cheesecake. Southbounders Goosebump and Chim Chim, prepared the tossed salad. Bob capped the evening by distributing the coveted Damascus Hard-Core patches. Those who had worked multiple years received rocker patches.
by Carl Fritz