Session Six: Big Progress

Session Overview:  Session 6 went very well; we had our oldest member yet! At 76, he was one of the hardest workers and would not give up. He had a great attitude and tenacious spirit. Addy’s 10 years of trail work experience was a tremendous help and Joanne’s hard working military background brought a lot to the group. This is Mary’s 4th session; she is a regular assistant to our crew. JR and David will be here again next week.

We got about 4.0 miles of work accomplished this week. We also saw a Mama bear and two cubs that we steered clear of!

We did not finish the mile between Spence and Russell because we figured our time would be better spent working south of Mollies. Franklin seems to be very active in his section so we wanted to get to the other part.

Results and Measurable Accomplishments: 

·         Total Trail Mileage: about 4.03 miles
·         Logs Cleared: 1
·         Water Bars Installed: 1
·         Check Steps Installed: 3
·         New Drains Installed: 15
·         Drains Cleared: 76

Day 1: We hiked in from Cades Cove via Anthony Creek Trail and Russell Field Trail. The crew did great and we made it to Mollies Ridge Shelter Safely.

Day 2: We covered 1.22 miles of trail we installed 6 new drains and cleaned 20 existing along with brushing. We put in 1 log water bar.

Day 3: We worked on 0.8 miles of trail today and had a visit from Dick Ketelle with some brownies! We installed 8 new drains and cleaned 18 existing drains.

There is a section of trail just south of the Ekaneetlee spring that is in need of some steps. It is badly eroded and the trail is 4-5 feet wide. There are plenty of rocks available. This is something I would like to schedule for next year’s S.W.E.A.T crew to work on. 

Day 4: We brushed and cleaned 23 drains on 1.21 miles of trail down to Doe Knob. We also added three steps to an existing series. The crew really enjoyed building these!

Photo: Step installation before and after

Day 5: We installed 1 new drain and cleaned 15 existing drains covering 0.8 miles. We had a Boy Scout and his father joins us for a couple hours. We taught him how to clean a couple drains and allowed him to brush a little. His father said he could use that time for a badge!

Day 6: Hike out to Soak Ash and break down.

Week Summary: This was a successful week. We were glad we got down to Doe Knob. I wish we could have installed some rock steps in the badly eroded area, but hopefully they can next year.