The Flying McLeods project for today was maintenance of waterbars on the Appalachian Trail south of Frazier Discovery Trail. Waking up to rain, I looked for a cancellation notice, but seeing none, I headed off in the drizzle, then fog on reaching Skyline Drive. At Loft Mountain Wayside, I found the other crew members, and noticed that the ranger station and restrooms building had gone.
The section of trail we went to is high maintenance because the lack of trees leads to heavy undergrowth
leaving the overseer little time
for treadwork. Al Dahler cleaned out countless waterbars while Mark Gatewood
and I had the same reactions, -berm removal, regrading. We cut away a build up
of earth and out sloped the trail to reduce the future burden on waterbars. While
doing this, drizzle kept us damp, and caused glasses to fog up. Further along,
we found some bittersweet which had been cut in dead trees-a revenge killing. I
cut some more bittersweet to slow damage. Mark declared lunch close to a huge
blowdown. The district managers had considered clearing this obstacle
themselves, but instead texted 256 369 6466 (blo dow ngon) (actually the park
service trail crew). The crew decided that lemon raspberry cake made the wet
conditions more bearable. After lunch, we completed some regrading, touched up some
waterbars and headed out. On the way out, a backpacker remembered passing me
while on the AT the previous week near Brown Mountain Creek
|Mark Gatewood regrading AT on|
I headed south through the fog, with little traffic. At McCormick Gap, I cut some shrubs bent over the trail in part because of rain, and also removed more garlic mustard, which had either flowered or come out of hiding since the previous trip, and noted that multiflora rose is expanding.
Then it was home to start cleaning wet, muddy tools and clothes.