Rocky Top to Derrick Knob Shelter
Crew Leader: Amy Allamong
Assistant Crew Leader: Ben Royer
Session Overview: This week we had a full 8 person crew! The weather held off through the day and rained at night. We accomplished some grade A work. Group dynamics were on point and everyone had a great time!
Specifications: Again, this week we cut back the blackberry bushes and other perennial growth. Continuing to focus on beech, cherry, and birch sapling removal from the corridor. As we hiked through, we worked on the drains that could be cleaned easily and efficiently and we did install a few new ones. We also finished removing one downed tree from last session. The crew practiced solid safety principles while working and hiking to the worksite.
Day 1: We hiked in from Tremont on Middle Prong and Greenbrier to the AT. This hike had a steady increase in elevation, but was very gradual. These trails had quite a few blow downs (about 5-10) and could use some brushing, but all in all they were in good condition. Our hike in was much faster this week! We stopped to see the waterfall and a couple people took a dip.
Day 2: We began work at Derrick Knob shelter and worked south. We completed 1.1 miles of trail after a group brushing and drain clearing demonstration. We made note of a lot of too-long stobs that were about a foot high that abruptly stopped our swing blades and damage them. We've also noticed unsightly stobs coming from the tree branches where they have not been cut back (should be < ½ in) to the main stem or trunk.
Day 3: We kept working south and made it another 0.9 miles. On the sections with a steep side slope we focused brushing more on the uphill side of the trail and left more brush on the downhill side to keep users away from the critical edge. This is very important in some of these areas, the drop off is steep and dangerous in some sections.
Day 4: We made it a little past Brier Knob brushing 0.5 miles. We hit a few thick blackberry sections here.
Day 5: We went back to the section we did not finish last session between Derrick Knob and Silers Bald. We worked north to the Miry Ridge intersection and got about 1.3 finished. We removed one of the blow downs, but there is still one more.
Day 6: Hike out and breakdown at Soak Ash.
Week Summary: We had a great week of weather! It kept everyone in high spirits and we were able to work hard. Looking forward to next week! We will continue working south from where we left off.
We also did some evening yoga!!!