Shenandoah National Park, July 27, 2017 — It’s been a routine summer. Personal business has kept me off the trails for the most part. Everything else has gone as planned.
My section of the Appalachian Trail has had its hair cut twice. That’s six to seven hours running a string trimmer 1.3 miles up Compton Peak and 1.3 miles back. The back ache, the sweat and the heat have been chronicled in this space before.
There’s a spring on this section about two-thirds of the way to the top of Compton Peak. It’s a favorite place for hikers to stop and eat lunch seated in the dirt.
A storm dropped a tree near the spring about six weeks ago. It was on the ground, and an easy step-over, so not an immediate priority. Park rules to not permit sawyers to chainsaw alone. So, Thursday I arranged for an off duty ridgrunner to swamp for me.
We sawed the log into an appropriate length, wedged it between some trees, and made this bench on which hikers can sit while eating lunch. We tried it out and it worked perfectly.
The wildlife is abundant. The soft mast, mast being what you call bear food, is going to be plentiful this year. The blackberries, wine berries and apple crop are prolific.
Best of all, found a source for Long Trail Ale near my house!!!!