Blackburn Trail Center, Round Hill, VA, July 18, 2019 — Once a month in June and July we bring our Appalachian Trail ridgerunners to Blackburn for a little R&R and a short business meeting. Outside guests from the Conservancy, NPS and our trail club are often invited. In August they travel to the Scott Farm training center outside Carlisle, PA where they rejoin their mid-Atlantic peers for an official seasonal debrief and a personal comparing of notes.
Our MO is pretty standard. We show up Thursday afternoon for some social time, prepare a meal and have some beer. Friday morning we do cook-your-own pancakes with a 9 o’clock hard start for our meeting which varies between 90 minutes and three hours. Lunch is leftovers if there are any.
Ridgerunners are usually fairly stoic people. They are selected for their maturity, judgment, commitment and intelligence. But what are they really like when they let their hair down and no one else is looking? Here’s a snapshot of the dinner hour last night.
Food prep was pretty standard. The main course was grilled burgers. Catherine, our PATC intern, was our slicer and dicer for the fixin’s.
Seems like gender neutral nail painting is a thing with hikers this year. I appears to have started with hikers painting their black toenails to cover up the grossness of it all.
Next thing I know, they’re all doing it.
Checking for purity?
That was hard work.
Ok. Everybody outside to cook. We were joined by Gary Seizer, host of the podcast “Stories from the Trail.” He recorded an episode after dinner that will air in two to three weeks.
What’s this? The food was yummy.
A good time was had by all.