After the heavy rain a week earlier, returning to the AT north of Doyles River, where we worked a month earlier, seemed a good idea to see how things worked, and to complete maintenance and remodeling of drains. To ensure she would be home in time for guests, Marit Gay went to her section of trail, joined by Eric Christenson, both of whom have made major contributions to the trail section the rest of us went to. The day almost fizzled when I did not have a toolbox key with me, but Marit showed up with a key. This month I took a shovel after last month’s experience. AS we drove north, we stopped to look at valleys east of Skyline Drive filled with clouds as shown in the picture taken by Don Davis.
On the trail, we noticed some sloped sections of trail, waterbars and grade dips which needed a little cleaning or remodeling after last month’s work. I stopped to pull some fresh bittersweet growth from a patch where we have cut and pulled large vines in the past. Then we saw some drains which had an impressively large amount of material caught in the run off sections, and a badly eroded section of trail, despite grade dips uphill. Eileen Seaman took the lead in filling the holes in the trail with reclaimed soil, while Don Davis opened up the openings to the run offs. Eileen also cut some logs which obstructed the run offs. Then Don found why the erosion occurred. One drain sent water to the west of the trail because the east side was higher than the trail. However, the water soon found its way back on to the trail to cause erosion. Don directed the movement of a log and debris to send the water away from the trail, and dug a new drain to get water of the trail.
After lunch we improved some other drains which had run water off the trail, and finally moved past the overlook where we often stop. After reopening several more drains, I decided it was time to go after another productive day trying to slow down erosion of the AT.