Shenandoah National Park, November 26, 2021 — While Black Friday shoppers ravaged suburban malls and cyber stores, we five chose a day of service to prepare a bit of the AT for winter.
I packed the car while the turkey was cooking yesterday. The chainsaw comes along for the ride in case it’s needed to obliterate a blowdown too large for a pruning saw.
An unanticipated snow squall nearly forced us to stop at one point on Skyline Drive in the park.
Not much snow. Most of it melted, but it did cover the tool cache when we picked up some tools.
We hiked to the top of the mountain and then fanned out to rake leaves out of the waterbars. The power of five did the job in two hours. That’s 10 hours of labor, about average, so it all makes sense.
We want the leaves out so they don’t freeze and dam the flow of water through the waterbars which are features that shunt rain and snow melt off the trail to prevent erosion.
After work we retired to the Rappahannock Pizza Kitchen in Sperryville, VA for wood fired pies.
This is the last required maintenance of the year. Next up will be the monthly inspection hike in December looking for damage and blowdowns.