|Going for gold, Larry Linebrink |
(top) and John Shannon
did more (Larry) or less (John)
Appalachian Trail maintenance,
to continue their quests for
Gold Service Awards from
National Park Service.
At Blackrock Gap, we were pleased to see Larry Linebrink, a member of the chapter from its founding days who was recently awarded a Silver Service Award from the National Park Service for 25 years of service to the Appalachian Trail. We talked about other people from the early days, some of whom are still in the area. Leon Gorman is the only person among the original members who has hiked with us in recent times. Then Larry left to help another trail overseer, starting work toward a Golden Service Award for 50 years service.
We started the hike in fog, and most of us were glad we wore long pants. Ken Moss and John carried saws because of a report earlier in the month of trees down near Blackrock. We did come across some small fallen trees, which we cut away from the trail.
At Blackrock, we did not climb the rocks because of the fog and instead headed toward Trayfoot Mountain. Along the way, we saw that exotic invasive plants have reached this area.
While we were heading down Trayfoot Mountain, the fog lifted. By the time we reached our west-facing lunch spot, we could see into Shenandoah Valley. John’s pumpkin cake was so good, that at least half of us ate two pieces of the delicacy, which led to conversation about Krispy Kreme and Spudnuts donuts. Soon after we started back on the trail, lunch expert Marian Styles pointed to a flat rocky overlook facing the main ridge of the mountains, a better spot for lunch than the one we’d chosen.
As we walked uphill along Paine Run, Don Davis carried out an abandoned foam pad. Closer to the top, Sue Tansey summed up the feeling that after looking at the site of the former Blackrock Hotel once, there was little to gain in looking at this area again, so we continued up.
|Shenandoah Valley from Trayfoot Mtn|
on an overcast day
|Lunch on Trayfoot Mountain by |
How Charlottesville PATC started: In 1986, Rita Wyatt Beard moved to Charlottesville to start a chapter of PATC, in part as her way of recovering from being violent-crime victim. She sent invitation letters to PATC members in Charlottesville, and sat on the appointed evening in the Unitarian Church wondering if anyone would show up. Twenty or so people did, including Howard Parsons, who offered to lead a hike a week or two later. On Sept. 24, 2011, we repeated the route that Howard led 25 years before—the first hike of Charlottesville Chapter. Ten years after founding the Charlottesville Chapter, Rita Wyatt-Beard died relatively young from cancer after returning to Colorado. Nevertheless, the spirit of her policy of having a Chapter activity every Saturday has endured for 25 years.