2012 Damascus Hard Core

Carl Fritz reporting


Hard Core participants enjoying Sunday dinner at Watauga Point Recreation Area
(photo courtesy of Steve Wilson)

The Damascus Hard Core event was Sunday, May 20th and Monday, May 21st.  This is the largest trail maintenance event involving hikers on the entire Appalachian Trail.  In spite of the obstacles, the hikers, club members and friends stepped up and volunteered in numerous ways to make this 12th annual outing a huge success.

What was accomplished was impressive to say the least.  You can check out the new trail sections for yourself.  On Sunday, 1200 feet of new side-hill trail was built and the two final relocations on south side of Pond Mountain were opened!  On Monday, about 1300 feet of new side-hill trail was built and a major relocation of over 800 feet was opened!

Building trail meant some side-hill digging, some side logs, but especially a lot of rock work.  Significant parts of these trails are paved with large rocks or crushed rocks.  “Camo” said it best, “This year we moved more rocks than we did in the last three years combined.”  And that is saying a lot!

To move those rocks and soil required many tools and we were still short of rock bars and sledges.   But these were utilized:

  • 180 lb of rock bars
  • 60 lb of sledges
  • 120 lb of pick mattocks
  • 200 lb of cutter mattocks
  • 250 lb of pulaskis
  • 150 lb of rakes
  • 40 lb of loppers
  • plus shovels, buckets, etc.

Well over 1000 lb of equipment went up the mountain with 90 people on Sunday and about 80 people on Monday.  Additional tools were available for more people.

Since much of the trail is built with rock, it should hold up for our lifetimes.  Near Cloudland, with the wet conditions and poor soil, rock trails are about all that will hold up.

At noon on Monday at Cloudland, there appeared to be no way we could open up a relocation that day.  But everyone buckled down and was determined to open some trail.  Some regular “Hard Core!” chanting in the afternoon continued to inspire them.  Finish and blaze a trail they did.  A couple of other relocations had significant amounts of trail built, but they were not opened.

This wouldn’t have been accomplished without all the volunteers who supported the effort.  Volunteers provided rides for the hikers from Damascus, shuttled workers to and from the trail access, handed out and gathered tools and supplies including hard hats, cooked dinners on both Sunday and Monday evenings, provided snack lunches for hikers on both days, guarded vehicles and gates, and provided transportation to hikers back to as far as Pennsylvania.

The Tennessee AT License Plate program generously provided the funds for the Sunday dinner.  It was coordinated by Ed Oliver and consisted of barbecue sandwiches, baked beans, tossed salad, pasta salad and brownies at Watauga Point Recreation Area.    Oh, how we will miss Watauga Point Recreation Area reserved for us by U.S. Forest Service.  Our future relocations will not be close enough to use this site.

The Monday dinner coordinated by “Baltimore Jack” consisted of soup, spaghetti, tossed salad, garlic bread and ice cream.  It was funded by Tennessee Eastman Hiking and Canoeing Club (TEHCC).

The Appalachian Long-Distance Hikers Association (ALDHA) contributed $200 which was used to purchase snack lunches and bottled water for the hikers primarily for Sunday.  “One Pint” generously purchased snack lunches for the hikers on Monday and Hard Core 2012 tote bags for everyone.

The Tennessee AT License Plate program also provided patches for all the volunteers.

In total, 78 hikers and 36 club members and friends or 114 volunteers contributed 2120 hours to make this event a success!

These TEHCC members, program affiliates and local friends participated:

Curtis Baird, Dean Baird, Paul Benfield, Ken Buchanan, Pat Buchanan, John Beaudet, Jennifer Berry, Rio Berry, Richard Carter, Donna Dean, Joe DeLoach, Carol Dunham, Dave Dunham, Jim Foster, Carl Fritz, Mary Jane Fritz, Seth Grindstaff, Marsha Hupko, Mike Hupko, Kat Johnson, Charles LaPorte, David LaPorte, Ruth Ann Mowery, Ted Mowery, Ed Oliver, Bob Peoples, Steve Perri, Kim Peters, “Seiko”, George Summers, Tim Stewart, Bill Ristom, Diana Ristom, George Thorpe, Ben Trotter, and Steve Wilson.

These are the hikers who participated:

“Chef Paul”, Amy Sternheim, Annalise Abruzzese, Anthony Venturini, Bethann Swartz, Brandon Blunderman, Brian Sutherland, Carl  Doug Chenoweth, Cassandra Follett, Charlie Kinney, Charlie Tucker, Chris Hood, Daniel Gunter, Daniel Streif, Daniel Wilcox, David Lowe, David Miller, David Skelly, David Tador, Deb Tucker, Derick Lugo, Emily Egersdorf, Ethan Ellington, Frank Burley, George Mudge, Grady Garner, Harrison Garner, Jack Tarlin, Janel Scharhag, Jay Wilbur, Jeanine Kinney, Jeremy Isard, Jeremy Jones, Jessica Mastors, John Alexander, John Butts, John Cowart, Jolene Koby-Burley, Joshua Martin, Justin Goldman, Kathleen Krevatski, Kayce Wilbur, Keith Combs, Kendall Abruzzese, Kevin McDowell, Lamar Powell, Levi Johnson, Lewis Moyers, Lindy Wenner, LuAnne Anderson, Marcus Siu, Mark Agricola, Mason Murphy, Matthew Mason, Michael Aphemizteg, Michael Phemister, Mike Laude, Mike Price, Mitchell Murphy, Nate Gregory, Page Barker, Patrick Cochrane, Paul Heintzelman, Phil Abruzzese, Randy Anderson, Ray Douglas, Richard Evans, Rusty Packard, Ryan Stoneking, Sean Girfy, Sebastian Behnews, and Shirl Funderburle.