Shenandoah National Park, December 28, 2021 and January 1, 2022 — PATC’s newest certified sawyer had a brand new Stihl electric chainsaw that was burning a hole in the bed of his pick’em up truck. The park had blowdowns to give. What a coincidence.
The rain stopped right on time for a First Day Hike a couple of days later. Shenandoah is truly the magical “The daughter of the stars.”
Dan Hippe is a recently retired geologist who spent the summer banging around with the Hoodlums and taking on trail maintenance projects. His energy and enthusiasm earned him a seat in the park’s newest chainsaw certification course we just finished.
Last Wednesday we met at the Thornton Gap entrance to pick up a park radio and chase a few blowdowns that had been languishing on the AT and side trails. His electric Stihl was up to snuff. I scratched together a short video using an iMovie template rather than post 50 photos of our escapade.
This year’s First Day Hike was the Gang of 4 minus three plus Jessica Say, one of our newest maintainers. We originally planned to start at 10 a.m., but the rain gods forced a two-hour delay. We quickly scrambled up North Marshall for what turned out to be a much better view than the expected fog.
Along the way we camouflaged some non-compliant campsites and broke up an illegal fire ring. Campsites must be 60 ft. from the trail. Most are within 10 ft.
Eventually the sun poked its head through the cotton candy clouds.
We had a relaxing walk before the long drive back to reality.
Happy New Year everyone!