Northern Virginia, April 20-23, 2019 — In the space of four days our Hoodlums trail crew work party cut 13 blowdowns in Shenandoah National Park, then I turned out to help move repair materials to the Rod Hollow shelter located further north where the infamous rollercoaster starts.
Our Shenandoah ridgerunner joined the Hoodlums and helped schlep the chainsaw on a five mile loop we hiked hunting stray blowdowns.
With about three fourths of the day gone, I flooded the chainsaw thereby switching it to the manual mode. Sharp as it may be, the chain doesn’t cut much without the assistance of the internal combustion engine. Fortunately we were equipped with pruning saws and another member had a chainsaw handy in his nearby car, so he disposed of the final three blockages.
Several of us spent the night at Indian Run where one of the supply boxes had accidentally been left open all day. Fortunately all was in order.
The following day, Sabine spent the final day of her patrol helping me clear blowdowns from the AT section I maintain. We also cleaned the waterbars and rebuilt several. Now it’s good to go for the season. Turns out she has more than a passing interest in botany.
With a day’s rest an ad hoc group gathered to bushwhack building materials a mile up hill to Rod Hollow. Fortunately the weather was cool, but the work was hard.
The floor joists had rotted out. Now the shelter has been repaired with new gutters, fascia boards, and floors. It’s ready for hikers once again.
Picking up some folks at the airport tonight. Tomorrow we head for the Flip Flop Festival in Harpers Ferry. Flip flopers are hikers who start hiking the AT somewhere other than the northern or southern termini. The idea is to spread out the hikers and expand the trail’s carrying capacity. The benefit? Better weather. No crowds.