SWEAT Crew Session 4

SWEAT Crew Session 4

Dry Sluice Gap to Hughes Ridge Trail

Day 1

The crew, consisting of the Conservation Leadership Corps -Adri, Ni, Lucy, and Jay-

Cal, our wonderful and only non-CLC volunteer, and Chloë, who was standing in for

Matt who had to attend his sisters wedding. We headed out from Newfound Gap,

hiking towards False Gap. On our hike in we lunched at Icewater Spring Shelter, and

later passed Charlie’s Bunion. We also ran into two lovely ladies right before False

Gap that we had met at Mollie’s Shelter the week before! After making it to camp

and setting up just in time, it began to rain, which then turned into a thunderstorm,

but due to Cal’s great tarp work, we were able to stay dry before settling into our

tents for the night.

Day 2

After some decision making, we decided False Gap was not the best basecamp for

our crew, so we packed up and headed out to relocate at Hughes Ridge Cabin. We

avoided rain and thunderstorms on our way to our new camp, catching gorgeous

views from Laurel Top and Bradley’s View. Both of these views were untouched by

signs of civilization for as far you could see! After arriving at Hughes Ridge Cabin, we

took a short break and then began to set up camp, once again just in time as it began

to rain again. That night we were once again lulled to sleep by the sound of thunder.

Day 3

Our first day of work! We hiked up to Bradley’s View, where we took our morning

break, and were Chloë left us, and just enjoyed the gorgeous view of mountains

stretching out before us. We worked south on the A.T., clearing a heavy brushing

area and waterbars. Leanna met us around two, replacing Chloë! She was a welcome

sight to see and brought much energy to the group. That evening around dinner, we

caught Leanna up on what we had done the first two days and it once again rained

as we got ready for bed.

Day 4

Today we split up into two groups, one headed out to False Gap and the other group

worked from our stopping point from the day before. Maury, the ridge runner,

joined us today, which was awesome! We were able to clear all the waterbars

between False Gap and Bradley’s View, and hit the very bad grown-up sections of

brush. Maury also joined us for dinner that night, which was finally a storm free

night and we were able to eat out from under the tarp!

Day 5

We worked under a beautiful blue sky and sun today, working back from Bradley’s

View to Hughes Ridge trail. We finished clearing all the waterbars and brushing

through that section as well as installing one new waterbar. We then finished the

day out by clearing a few waterbars on the Hughes Ridge trail on the way down to

Peck’s Corner Shelter and then tiredly tromping out way back to camp. We made

jokes and Jay gave us some replays of what had happened on the radio today as

Shepard’s pie was prepared for dinner. That night we went to bed with showers on

our minds.

Day 6

Hike out day! Our hike out was along Hughes Ridge trail, then onto Bradley Fork

trail, eventually coming out into the Smokemont Campground. We were packed,

done with stretch circle, and on trail by 7:40! The crew crushed the miles as we

made our way down the mountain, passing over many blow downs from all the

storms. We were lucky that is did not rain on us as we hiked and the clouds actually

gave way to sun as the day progressed. When we finally made it to the Smokemont

Campground, Cal, Jay, Leanna, Lucy, and Adri, waded their way into the creek to cool

down their tired feet and enjoy the cold water. The crew was glad to back at the van

and we made our way to back to basecamp for some ice cream and pizza!