SWEAT Crew Session 2
Pecks Corner to Balsam Mountain Trail
After eating a wonderful breakfast prepared by our Chloë, Matt and the crew headed out with Sean to Newfound Gap. The first day consisted of the crew- Matt, Sean, Bryce, Greg, Britt, Jessie, Evan, and Brad- hiking 11 miles in to Hughes Ridge Cabin where we set up camp. Once making it to camp it was discovered that both Britt and Bryce had forgotten to empty their packs after crew fit and had ended up carrying in a few extra pounds in the form of sandbags! Thankfully, Sean packed the sandbags out when he headed out Saturday. Around camp, Bryce made himself comfortable, having packed in two roll pads and two sleeping bags, while that night Britt found out his roll pad had a hole in it.
Today we cut the cheese – a two-pound block of cheese that Chloë sent in to the field with us- and in less than 48 hours the crew devoured it.
Katie hiked in today to meet the crew after attending her brothers wedding, meeting the crew as they were enjoying their lunch at a nice overview and from there we continued on cleaning waterbars and brushing throughout the afternoon. Bryce, who had left basecamp wearing a white shirt and white pants, was a sight to see as his once white clothes were now stained by dirt and mud and was a testament to all the work the crew had been doing. After dinner had been cooked by our chef Brad, and dishes had been cleaned, we caught up on the latest interworking’s of the National Park Service via our radio and then we piled into Hughes Ridge Cabin to sleep (which to Matt felt like summer camp all over again).
This was our big push day – Matt, Brad, Evan, and Bryce hiked 5.3 miles to Tri-Corner while Greg, Britt, Jessie, and Katie worked from the day four stopping point towards Tri-Corner. After arriving at Tri-Corner, the group ate lunch, filled up on water, and then began working back towards Pecks Corner and the other group. The day was filled with long miles of work and the crews came within a couple of 100 yards of meeting each other to finish our section. After another great mean, we listened to Greg and Britt’s childhood stories!
Hike out day/shower day! The crew was up and at it by 6:30am and then we were on trail by 8:00am. Instead of hiking out on the A.T and to Newfound Gap, we took Hughes Ridge trail to Bradley Fork trail, where we cleared a blowdown along the way, to Smokemont Loop trail, about 11 miles of downhill. Finally, we arrived at our crew van and made it back to Soak Ash for a late lunch and crew dinner made by our beloved camp coordinator, Chloë.