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Ray
2009-08-10, 08:36
"Hard Core" trail maintenance, the event hosted by Bob Peoples and TEHCC after Trail Days, attracts some attention and I'd guess it has probably introduced a lot of people to their first trail maintaining event.

Everyone knows there's a lot more maintenance going on a smaller, quieter scale. And one of those little events is this weekend. There will be some differences ... smaller group, hotter weather, it's not on the AT, bring your own lunch and the only patch we can give will be for blisters on your hands.

It's in Georgia on the Duncan Ridge Trail in the Coopers Creek wildlife mgt area, west of Suches, 20'ish miles from Woody Gap. There's a mile and quarter or so of trail that's been dug out by wild hogs. Not the whole section, just parts of it. We're going to try to re-establish the footpath along a sidehill. The good news is that it's all on the north side of the ridge so it'll be shady and the dirt is mostly pretty loose thanks to years of those damn hogs through-rooting the trail. This will probably be the first time footpath maintenance has been done on this stretch of trail since it was laid down about 40 years ago.

I'm staying overnight Saturday to walk through the area again Sunday to make sure all the markers, signs and such are taken down.

So here's the invite: Come on up early Saturday and we'll put you to work. Come up late Saturday and have some smoked hog at my campsite. Or do both. The road to the work area has a few campsites beside a small mountain stream, I'll be at one of them.

PM for details.

I mean, what? You got something better to do?

Ray
2009-08-13, 09:42
I figured about a dozen people would sign up for this work trip. It's August and not on the GA portion of the AT with all it's cool sexy new relocations and it's not easy to get to the site and it's a longer drive than most GATC projects, a lot of folks haven't heard of the DRT before, blah, blah, blah. There were lots of reasons not to expect people to sign up. I was wondering if we could get everything done. I even tried recruiting Hobos.

Yeah, I was getting desperate.

32 signed up at last count. Just damn! Now I'm wondering if there's enough work to keep everyone busy and if there's enough parking room at the work site.

Ray
2009-08-14, 21:11
<...chirp, chirp, chirp...> Damn crickets.

Now over 40 folk have signed up. I'm scared shitless. Seriously.

I've got people congregating at 5 different meeting sites to head into the worksite, a safety speech to deliver, a truckload of tools to pass out, teams and team leaders assigned then re-arranged to match car pool plans. I have e-mailed directions from every possible angle except skydiving into the site. As those who've been hiking with me know, detailed planning of outdoor activities is so not my gig. That's too much like work, man.

Gotta go load the van now and get ready to hit the door at 5 freakin' AM Saturday morning. It looks like I lucked out on the weather, with highs only in the upper 80's at the worksite and no rain chance until the evening when we'll be finished. That's hitting the Superball bonus jackpot in Georgia mid-August.

Let it rain Saturday evening. I'll either be sucking down beer or filling out incident reports at a hospital or Ranger station. With luck I can outwit Murphy and be sucking down celebration beers.

Wish me luck.

Oh, btw, this all started Jan 1 when I bumped along a rocky road with Kanga and scouted out a parking area in the middle of nowhere. Tomorrow I'm going to fill that parking area to the max.

Bulldawg
2009-08-14, 21:41
<...chirp, chirp, chirp...> Damn crickets.

Now over 40 folk have signed up. I'm scared shitless. Seriously.

I've got people congregating at 5 different meeting sites to head into the worksite, a safety speech to deliver, a truckload of tools to pass out, teams and team leaders assigned then re-arranged to match car pool plans. I have e-mailed directions from every possible angle except skydiving into the site. As those who've been hiking with me know, detailed planning of outdoor activities is so not my gig. That's too much like work, man.

Gotta go load the van now and get ready to hit the door at 5 freakin' AM Saturday morning. It looks like I lucked out on the weather, with highs only in the upper 80's at the worksite and no rain chance until the evening when we'll be finished. That's hitting the Superball bonus jackpot in Georgia mid-August.

Let it rain Saturday evening. I'll either be sucking down beer or filling out incident reports at a hospital or Ranger station. With luck I can outwit Murphy and be sucking down celebration beers.

Wish me luck.

Oh, btw, this all started Jan 1 when I bumped along a rocky road with Kanga and scouted out a parking area in the middle of nowhere. Tomorrow I'm going to fill that parking area to the max.


Damn, and here I was seriously thinking about easing up that way Saturday afternoon after work. Now I think you simply have too many folks up there. Definitely too many for me to get my fair share of BBQ and beer. Good luck!

JERMM
2009-08-14, 21:53
Ray- if it helps you any i won't be there...

Ray
2009-08-14, 22:13
Ray- if it helps you any i won't be there...No Dawg, no Jermm?! See, there's always last minute changes to the plan. Now I only need half the amount of beer.

Skidsteer
2009-08-15, 00:00
No Dawg, no Jermm?! See, there's always last minute changes to the plan. Now I only need half the amount of beer.

This is great! You have so many people committed that I don't even feel guilty for not showing up.

If your crew gets bored, Ray, just call me. I have sweet corn to put up.

Ray
2009-08-15, 03:32
If your crew gets bored, Ray, just call me. I have sweet corn to put up.Let me get this weekend's TTD list out here....

OK, there. On the bottom of the third page I wrote: 'Drunk dial Skids'.

Austin
2009-08-15, 04:14
Let me get this weekend's TTD list out here....

OK, there. On the bottom of the third page I wrote: 'Drunk dial Skids'.

I have Minnie smith's email addy if you want it! :biggrin:

Thanks TOW!

peanuts
2009-08-15, 10:27
i wont be there either......:burnout:

Ray
2009-08-15, 18:53
Back home already. First, the GATC crew kicked ass. No credit to me, like a good supervisor I just stayed out of their way. They cleaned up four times as much trail as I thought they would and did it three times better than I expected. I carried a fire rake around as if I might use it if anyone needed help. Never used it but got a blister from carrying it. I felt the blister and so I dropped the pretense and the rake off at the tool truck.

Remember Mama Cat from WB? She got down in the dirt and installed a series of log steps that I didn't ask for. One of Mother Nature & Smokestack's friends supervised the rehab of the worst trail section and that lady kicked ass too.

So with nothing left for me to clean up tomorrow I moseyed on back home to have the celebratory beer.

There was a downer. We got a call while out on the Trail that one of our friends, a GATC member and committee chair that a lot of us worked with, collapsed at a Boy Scout event and died today. He's younger than me. Had a kid in high school. A member of W-B and HHQ too. He's been to SoRuck. I'll give the name later, ok? Let me confirm first.

Wonder
2009-08-15, 18:57
That's so sad to hear! Please keep us up to date with the info

Ray
2009-08-16, 23:38
One more thing about the trip: At the end the supervisor gave me a bag of stuff, t-shirts and hat that I guess I was supposed to pick up at some previous event that I didn't go to. Maybe the Christmas party or something.

So I got home and looked through it. 2 t-shirts that say "maintainer" with a cartoon, one purple print on yellow, one yellow print on purple. Purple (no, I'm not kidding, purple) with yellow print hat. And a bandanna.

The bandanna has GATC embroidered on it, that's nice, and a weird picture. The picture is the bed of a pickup and a kinda fat guy sitting on it, hat pulled down so you can't see his face. He's dirty and muddy and is slumped down looking dead tired. He's holding a can of coke. Strange picture to put on a bandanna. Ugly as hell.

I was wondering who I'd pissed off that they would give me such an awful bandanna. I showed it to my wife. She said "Honey? That's you!"

She's right. On closer inspection, it is. Photo was taken after we through-sawed the DRT last year.

It's now my favorite thing in the world.

peanuts
2009-08-17, 08:56
thanks for the laugh this morning ray!!!:laugh: