Relocation of Backbone Rock Trail with ASU

Carl Fritz reporting
Event Date: August 17th

The Watauga Global Community College of Appalachian State University (ASU) offers their incoming freshmen an optional orientation event to get acquainted with each other.  For the twelfth consecutive year they have partnered with Tennessee Eastman Hiking and Canoeing Club (TEHCC) to do a trail maintenance event!  Trail maintenance in groups provides many social opportunities in a work environment.  On this Friday August 17, we started the first relocation of the Backbone Rock Trail just south of Damascus.  Ninety seven students and five professors of Watauga College showed up in spite of a 70% prediction of rain (which did not materialize).  And very importantly we had 17 club members and friends who helped acquaint the students with trail digging.

The trail relocation was about a half mile in from parking lot.  We were somewhat unprepared for the many rocks encountered.  Many were just under the duff.  But everyone preserved within their physical capabilities to make a new trail.  Except for a couple of random bee stings, we had a great day.  Probably we completed the equivalent of about 1000 feet of trail.  This first relocation totals over 2500 feet.  120 people put in 1085 hours.

Club members and friends participating were: Daryel Anderson, Paul Benfield, Ken Buchanan, Richard Carter, Jim Foster, Carl Fritz, Mike Hupko, Pat Loven, Joe Morris, Ted Mowery, Bill Murdoch, Ed Oliver, Bob Peoples, Kim Peters, Tim Stewart, India Watkins and Reuben Potter.