S.W.E.A.T. Session 1

Working on AT from Gregory Bald to Little Bald 

Crew season started out on a great foot with session one. Joining Davis and Katie were: Hans, who carried up enough food to feed the entire crew and basically had his own concessions stand all week; Caitlin, who uttered the infamous line, “I just raked that s**t off” after Andy re-naturalized the area Caitlin had just debermed; Paul, the traveling Englishman; Matt, who was our daily reminder to just breath; and Andy, the crews tireless drain cleaner (and is also banned from playing PELT).

The crew enjoyed a challenging 9-mile hike up Russell Field Trail to the A.T. and then on to Mollies Ridge Shelter, where we set up camp for the week. The crew was able to meet Hopeful, the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club maintainer for this section, and his brother, Wayne for the first three days of the session. The work section was from Doe Knob to Gregory Bald Trail, a 4-mile section, that the crew did an excellent job of maintaining; 118 drains were cleared, 548 feet of trail were debermed, 15 new drains were built, 1,258 feet of tread was redefined, 4 miles of brushing, and 8 feet of closing off trail braiding (when people start to make social trails around the trail itself).
All the work was done under beautiful blue sky and nice temperatures, except for about thirty minutes of rain during lunch on the fifth day.

The crew week was also full of wildlife sightings; a couple of grown hogs were spotted on the hike to work, as well as some baby hogs that were sighted around dusk one night, some fearless dear were seen around the shelter, and a momma bear with her two cubs, the cubs climbed a tree and then scooted back down, were noticed on the hike out. Thank you to all our volunteers on session 1 for making this a great first week of crew and for all the hard work that was accomplished!