....musings of PATC North
|Posted by PATC North - Blogger on May 29, 2015 at 9:25 AM||comments (1)|
Contributed by Gary Bruner, Overseer for Reese Hollow Trail & Shelter
Now is the time of year when PATC overseers come out of hibernation and start, well, overseeing. That means trail and shelter projects, and when I said ³Spring Work" I was being quite literal.
The Reese Hollow Trail is a feeder trail to to the Tuscarora Trail just west of Mercersburg, PA. The recently-completed Reese Hollow Shelter boasts a lovely setting among the ferns, and a reliable spring for water.
The shelter is part of the Little Cove Cabin rental property that PATC owns (I¹m the overseer for the trail and shelter).
The piped spring dumps its water into a splash pool that sometimes does not hold water. When I see that has happened, I just toss a shovelful of sand into the pool and it temporarily plugs up the holes through which the water drains out. That works for a couple months. But having a reliable splash pool under the pipe is a desirable thing, to serve as a repository for food/beverage items that hikers and users of the shelter may wish to keep cool.
So with the help of my 7 year old grandson, Tristan, a couple weeks ago we went up to the shelter to repair/create a better splash pool under the piped spring. The semi-permanent fix for the splash pool was to install a piece of rubber lining left over from my water garden. Then we rebuilt the surrounding stepping stones to make it the spring look completely natural again.
--It should be noted that Tristan absolutely did NOT get wet while working on this project (I also have a bridge in NYC I¹d like to sell you).
--No post about springs is complete without the mandatory lawyerly statement that no backcountry water sources should be presumed safe for drinking without treatment.
|Posted by PATC North - Blogger on May 29, 2015 at 12:05 AM||comments (0)|
|Posted by PATC North - Blogger on May 28, 2015 at 1:50 PM||comments (1)|
Contributed by PATC Blogger
“Give me a lever long enough, and I can move the world” (Archimedes) or even more appropriate......"Better to slide it than roll it; better to roll it than carry it; and don’t carry it alone.
As a relative 'newbie' to AT trail work in Pennsylvania, I've learned a new language, which includes waterbars & check dams and it all involves very big rocks. In PA, rocks abound near the AT and for check dams & waterbars......the bigger the better.
I have learned that you need 'trail eyes' not only to find the largest boulders available, but also to assist you in 'thinking like water'. In fact, I hear the goal is to 'learn to see water flowing down the trail, even on a sunny day'. But the reward, after toting 'boulders' & tools for several miles, then building a plethora of check dams or waterbars.....is to take a nap near the trail, which one of our team has mastered. (as seen above)
Here is some of the work done in May by Yankee Clippers work crews.....
|Posted by PATC North - Blogger on May 28, 2015 at 1:50 PM||comments (0)|
Contributed by Pete Brown, PATC North District Manager
Known as a wild corridor, the Tuscarora Trail requires significant maintenance to keep it open for hikers, including dealing with large blowdowns. Sometime you just make the trail move 'through' the downed tree.......
as shown by the skills of Patrick Willson making this bore cut step-through with his new Stihl 661. Lugging this size equipment up & down the trails is definitely for the rugged & determined....plus this work crew in May got hit by rain & thunderstorms before the day was out.
PATC teamwork was the perfect description of this crew which included the Overseers, plus members of the Blue & White crew, HQ & Yankee Clippers. The team broke into 3 subteams working multiple parts of the south two trail sections at the end of Tuscarora Mountain before it becomes road walking to the C&O Canal.trail. Speaking for this summer's hikers......THANK YOU !!!
Crew members were:
Gary Bruner & George Alderson (TT Overseers)
|Posted by PATC North - Blogger on May 28, 2015 at 1:10 PM||comments (1)|
Contributed by Andy Wolfe, PATC North Overseer of Rocky Knob Trail
Ever tend to take a bite of life that is more than you can handle......
...much like this Banded Water Snake that has a 'grasp' on a much larger BullFrog. The bullfrog is fresh out of hibernation based on the dark color from algae. The snake wasn't letting go and the frog appeared to be a bit more than he could chew. Wonder who won & how long this standoff lasted ??
|Posted by PATC North - Blogger on April 30, 2015 at 7:45 AM||comments (0)|
Contributed by Andy Wolfe, Overseer of Rocky Knob Trail
The trails of Pennsylvania are well-known to be filled with 'toe bangers'....very rocky & with exposed roots. So this rare photo.....
is a collectors item, being considered for a wall at the ATC museum in Pine Grove. This section is a favorite of Helen Keller and Stevie Wonder since it can be traversed with your eyes closed or easily at night with a full moon. Many AT trekkers will not remember or recognize this section of trail..... because it is the only one in the State!
Trail crews have tried & failed to breed this section with the typical PA trails below.....filled with horribly disfigured rocky toe bangers. In some sections, crews have taken to filing down particularly sharp rocks.....to the delight of Pennsylvania thru-hikers. Just remember....when hiking PA trails.....keep an eye on your feet !!
|Posted by PATC North - Blogger on April 29, 2015 at 1:15 PM||comments (0)|
....then the Tuscaroara Trail is for you......and needs your help. A 250-mile loop trail started in 1963 & primarily maintained by PATC North Chapter. Eventually it is planned to be part of the Great Eastern Trail which will extend from Alabama to the Finger Lakes in New York state.
The trail traverses a significant amount of private property so please respect the privilege hikers are being given. Your assistance with maintainence and/or using the trail would be greatly appreciated.
HOW CAN YOU HELP ??
Join a mid-week workday, a weekend workday or become an overseer of a section. Contact Pete Brown
Boots on the trail help keep it open, so lace up & go.....especially if you are looking for a sense of wilderness.
You can also read about the Trail's History Click Here
|Posted by PATC North - Blogger on March 31, 2015 at 12:30 AM||comments (1)|
Provided by Pete Brown, PATC North District Manager & Marion Orlousky, ATC - Mid Atlantic Region
Yes, we can 'Weed 'Em & Reap' .....in fact, many invasive plants/weeds were introduced by European settlers for use as food, medicinal purposes and/or to prevent erosion. Garlic mustard is one of these.....
.....1st recorded in Long Island around 1868. It was used as a vegetable for its high Vitamin A and C content, a garlic-flavored herb in cooking, planted to prevent erosion and used for medicinal purposes, treating gangrene and ulcers.
Try one of these:
Garlic Mustard Pesto
• 1 cup garlic mustard
• 1/2 cup basil
• 3 cloves garlic
• 2 oz. toasted pinenuts
• 4 oz. olive oil
• juice of 1 lemon
In food processor combine all ingredients except olive oil. Puree and then add olive oil with processor running.
Warm Potato Salad with Wilted Garlic Mustard Greens
• 2 Red bliss potatoes (quartered)
• 1/2 cup Caramelized onions
• 1/4 cup rendered bacon
• 1/2 cup garlic mustard greens
• 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
• Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350. Quarter potatoes, and toss in canola oil. Roast for about 30 minutes. In a saute pan, heat bacon. Add onions and potatoes, and add salt and pepper to taste. Deglaze with vinegar, and toss in garlic mustard. Serve warm. (serves about 6)
Garlic Mustard Couscous Salad
1/2 tbsp sweet basil leaves
1/2 tbsp garlic and herb
1/2 tbsp parsley flakes
1/4 tbsp garlic powder
1/4 tbsp thyme
4 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp garlic juice
2 cups garlic mustard
1 package of roasted garlic and oil couscous
3/4 can tomatoes and juice
1 cup parmesan cheese
Chop garlic mustard, cook couscous, and add all ingredients together in a bowl. (serves about 6)
Creamy Garlic Mustard Egg Salad
6 hard-boiled eggs, chopped fine
1 T fresh garlic mustard, chopped fine
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 T prepared mustard
1 tsp. Creole mustard (can use Spicy dark mustard)
1/2 tsp. horseradish
1/2 tsp. Jane's crazy mixed-up salt (or any seasoned salt)
1/2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
Mix well and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
Cheesy Garlic Mustard Quiche
1 cup chopped, steamed garlic mustard leaves
1 pie crust
1 diced onion
1/2 cup diced sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup diced muenster cheese
1/2 cup diced Monterey cheese
5 large eggs
1/2 cup 2% milk
1 clove minced garlic
1 tsp dry parsley
1/4 tsp ancho chili pepper
salt and pepper (to taste)
Hungarian sweet paprika
Preheat oven to 350. Grease pie pan with extra virgin olive oil. Place pie crust in greased pie pan. Mix eggs, cheeses, milk, onion, chili powder, garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper together in bowl. Pour mixture into the pie crust. Top with paprika. Cook for 1 hour at 350 or until firm.
|Posted by PATC North - Blogger on March 30, 2015 at 1:35 PM||comments (0)|
Contributed by Mary Clark, PATC North Overseer
The weekend of February 21-22 found six members of PATC’s North Chapter Yankee Clippers taking a wildland firefighting class in Mt. Holly Springs, PA. Sponsored by PA-DCNR, the class was organized by Michele Miller of ATC-MARO. Instructors included Philip M. Bietsch, District #1/ Michaux State Fire Forester, as well as other DCNR staff.
This class in basic wildland firefighting and two online courses are required to receive the basic PA wildfire certification. The series of courses qualifies a person to assist with prescribed burns. In the spring, DCRN plans to conduct a prescribed burn of 500 acres at Deadwoman Hollow on the AT near Michener Cabin in the Michaux Forest. The burn is intended to help restore native habitat in that region.
The six Yankee Clippers attending the February class included North Chapter President Bob Wise, PA District Manager Dewey Clark, Lee Fischbach, Ken May, Dee Utz, and Mary Clark. Topics covered in the class included wildfire behavior, fire suppression techniques, the command structure used to manage a fire, and information on personal safety. For example, personal protective equipment (PPE) required to assist on a prescribed burn and the proper use of firefighting tools were covered.
In addition to the North Chapter members, about 15 local volunteer firefighters took the class, so they could certified to serve on wildfire fighting crews. Several times during the weekend, the Mt. Holly Springs fire company volunteers had to dash out of class to respond to a 911 call in the community.
As an added bonus that weekend, North Chapter members recruited some local fire company volunteers who expressed an interest in upcoming AT and TT work trips.
|Posted by PATC North - Blogger on March 30, 2015 at 11:10 AM||comments (0)|
Contributed by Dewey Clark, PATCNorth Overseer & PATC Invasive Plant Committee Chair
NEEDED: Volunteers to hike trails, identify & map invasive plants
WHERE: AT; Shenandoah; National Parks in/around DC; PA - Michaux & Caledonia; MD - State Trails
WHAT: Details Below
HOW: Sign Up Sheet
PATC and Partner Agencies to Work Together to Control Invasive Plants on Public Land
On December 2, 2014 PATC leadership including John Hedrick (then President), Dick Hostelly (President-Elect), and Bill Downes (Supervisor of Lands-Elect) met with senior ecologists from our partner federal and state agencies at Blackburn Trail Center. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss PATC assistance in combating the spread of invasive plants such as wavyleaf basketgrass and Japanese stiltgrass throughout the trail system. The agencies were represented by Jake Hughes (SNP), Mark Frey (NPS-National Capitol Region), Marian Orlousky (ATC-MARO), Kerrie Kyde (MD DNR), and Andrew Rohrbaugh (PA DCNR).
The group determined that there is a role for PATC in this effort and PATC leadership felt the club should be involved. Each agency is combating the problem of forest destruction and habitat loss resulting from the spread of invasive species with very limited resources. Many policy makers have not yet fully grasped the extent of the issue nor its implications for all aspects of modern society. As a group of regular forest users, PATC members have become aware of the spread of invasive species and their negative effects on the health of our forests.
It was decided that a critical first step that PATC can help with is collecting invasive plant location data (inventory). Gathering detailed information about which species occur where is essential for effective management of invasives.. Once location information is gathered species control efforts can be prioritized using information about rare plant communities and the invasiveness of the plants reported. Inventories are also useful for detecting invasives just getting started in an area, the stage when control is most likely to be successful. There are several professionally developed smart phone apps that use GPS and plant ID guides to assist in collecting the data needed. While virtually all PATC members enjoy walking the trails, not all have the ability or desire to perform trail maintenance. This project provides a great way for more members to become involved.
This is a call for volunteers to assist in the inventory of invasive plants within the Mid-Atlantic forest. It will involve recording species and their location along the trails (no cross country trekking involved) as outlined by the agency or land area to which the volunteers will be assigned. Different land management agencies or sites may have different lists of target species. The training and supervision for volunteers will be provided by the agency they sign up with. Time commitments required will also likely vary by agency or site, but scouting throughout the year, with more effort given during the growing season, will be needed.
You should be willing to commit two days a month to this work; but it is essentially hiking the trails and documenting specific plant species when you encounter them. No off trail work and no set schedule other than what you and your land manager agree to.
Assignments are available with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (Mid-Atlantic Office), Pennsylvania DCNR, Maryland DNR and the following National Park entities:
Shenandoah National Park
Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania National Military Park
Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
Monocacy National Battlefield
George Washington Memorial Parkway
Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts
Manassas National Battlefield Park
Rock Creek Park
This is an excellent opportunity to work directly with some of the top ecologists in the region. You will be invited to the same training opportunities provided to paid staff. Some of the agencies require very little initial experience because of the methods and training they will provide. In particular, we are looking for Master Naturalists, Master Gardeners, trained Weed Warriors, and individuals with college level coursework in ecology. Volunteer hour credit for Master Naturalists and Master Gardeners will be available for this work.
If you are lacking experience in these skills but you want to help improve the health of the forest, please do send me your information. Several land managers made it clear they will work with untrained volunteers who are seriously and genuinely committed to helping with improving health of the forest.
If you would like to be involved in this invasive species work, please use this sign up form (click on underlined text fto sign up). If you cannot access the form, email Dewey Clark at email@example.com
|Posted by PATC North - Blogger on February 28, 2015 at 12:00 AM||comments (0)|
Contributed by Ken May, PATC North AT Overseer
ISSUE: Do you have to relocate the trail when human traffic is the source of consistent, significant water damage ?? ANSWER: Build A Turnpike !!!
In May 2009, the PA Work Trip was a major undertaking.....building a turnpike on a section of the AT between Old Forge Rd and the Tumbling Run Shelters.....and it is still in place & working well in 2015.
This is a very heavily traveled section and the tread was worn so bad there was nowhere for water to drain away. According to the Forest Service Trail Construction Handbook, turnpikes are used to elevate the trail above wet ground using natural resources as fill material. Our work crew used a downed tree, which they split as well as a plethora of local rocks to 'turnpike' this section, allowing a fabulous causeway beside a natural water drain. Be sure to view the full set of photos at https://www.flickr.com/photos/125062623@N03/sets/72157650349622260/ AND a great last photo showing how we all feel at the end of a typical workday.
|Posted by PATC North - Blogger on February 27, 2015 at 2:20 PM||comments (0)|
Contributed by Daniel Smith, PATC North Overseer
A snowy day hike at Mont AltoState Park can be a challenge & also a fabulous experience of the pure beauty of the forest in winter.
Jane Axman & Daniel Smith didn't let the cancelled February worktrip for the Yankee Clippers stop them.....not just because of a little snow & ice. They did a dayhike from Mont Alto State Park up through Tarburner Springs on the west side of Snowy Mountain, near where the AT crosses the east side of Snowy Mountain. And.....since my hiking has been mostly the armchair version this month......thank you for the fabulous photos !!!
|Posted by PATC North - Blogger on February 27, 2015 at 11:50 AM||comments (0)|
Contributed by Rick Canter, MD District Manager
On Valentine’s Day, the South Mountaineers cleared their biggest tree in the 22-year history of the crew's history.
Overseer Mike Trettel first reported a monster oak tree across the Cat Rock Trail near the junction with the Old Misery Trail in Cunningham Falls State Park on February 8. The South Mountaineers mobilized, with 4 volunteers and 3 chainsaws ready to tackle the challenge on Valentine’s Day morning.
One cut would not break through, so it was necessary to cut a wedge just to accommodate the head of the chainsaw. Eventually, one log broke free and rolled downhill, then another. Some minor cuts were made for aesthetics and now the obstacle is clear of the Trail.
Mike Allen, Rob Lauchner, Bill Van Tassell and Rick Canter collaborated to clear the oak. Once cut, the “Valentine’s Day” tree was measured as 34-42” in diameter, depending on where it was measured.
|Posted by PATC North - Blogger on February 3, 2015 at 8:45 AM||comments (0)|
Greetings! This is a "voice from the past:" Dave Startzell. I hope this message finds you well.
I am writing because, over the past several weeks, I've had an opportunity to backpack the northern Virginia, Maryland, and southern Pennsylvania (as far as Pine Grove S.P.) sections of the Appalachian Trail and I came away from that experience with great appreciation for the time and energies expended by PATC volunteers in maintaining those sections of the A.T.
Of course, Bears Den and the Blackburn Center both are outstanding facilities (they even compensate for the justly infamous "roller-coaster" section!) but I was especially impressed with the tread work along the A.T.--in particular, the large number of well placed rock water bars, as well as occasional turnpike, puncheon, and foot bridges.
In my humble opinion, however, the "Blue Ribbon" goes to the southern Pennsylvania section and the PATC North Chapter for their work there, as well as to the shelter caretakers. That section surely must include some of the nicest shelter/campsite facilities anywhere on the A.T., including Tumbling Run, Quarry Gap, Birch Run, and Toms Run shelters. The group-camping areas at several of those shelters proved to be most welcome since I encountered in that section two freshman-orientation groups of a dozen or more students from two Pennsylvania colleges. (I also shared a site with about a dozen Boy Scouts at the Sam Moore Shelter in Virginia). The southern Pennsylvania section also includes a great many well constructed rock water bars and I do appreciate how challenging it can be to put those in place.
So, if you would be so kind, I hope you will pass along to the appropriate maintainers, caretakers, and overseers for the above-referenced sections of the A.T. my heartfelt kudos for their good works and dedication.
Dave Startzell (aka-"Ghost")
|Posted by PATC North - Blogger on December 9, 2014 at 8:50 AM||comments (0)|
Yup.....the web now allows us to hike the AT without ever leaving the comfort of home. You will particularly like this video since it depicts the AT from PenMar just past Pine Grove Furnace.......a view of the PA District that we maintain. Daniel Hooven, an avid hiker from PA, created this tribute, which is a fabulous perspective of the trail, the shelters, the cabins & the beauty of the AT. So if it is too cold for you to venture it this winter.... TRY IT NOW......Virtual Hiking !!!
|Posted by PATC North - Blogger on December 9, 2014 at 8:50 AM||comments (0)|
Borrowed from our sister Chapter website, South Shenandoah
Now this is Trail Work.......sit back & do some virtual hiking with these videos of building the AT in the 1930s.
They were created for the opening of the ATC museum in Pine Grove Furnace & are narrated by past President, Tom Johnson.
|Posted by PATC North - Blogger on December 9, 2014 at 8:45 AM||comments (2)|
Contributed by the Rocky Knob Trail Overseers
Come and hike Rocky Knob Trail this winter. It's a great 4 mile State "loop trail" off the AT at Ridge Road and Birch Run Road in the Michaux State Forest. The trail offers the winter hiker great views, vistas, and ascents and descents that will keep you warm and challenge your boots.
Pictured are Overseers Jim Jengeleski and Gail Wolfe who have clipped and cleared a path all can follow easily with blazes and markers to show you the way. The Rocky Knobbers need your footprints on our trail this winter. Nothing keeps a trail cleaner than your boots.
MERRY CHRISTMAS from the Rocky Knobbers,
Gail, Jim, Andy, and James
|Posted by PATC North - Blogger on November 18, 2014 at 8:40 PM||comments (0)|
Please follow these instructions:
- Lift your right arm straight up
- Bend your elbow & drop your hand behind your head
- Vigorously clap yourself on the back
Over 6,756 hours of sweat equity was given to the trails, shelters & cabins of the PA District by the Yankee Clippers.
This labor of love covered the 168 miles of trails of Appalachian & Tuscarora Trails as well as 12 shelters and 6 cabins during 929 overseer trips.
From building bridges to weed-whacking, building firepits or painting blazes.....this group of volunteers is obviously dedicated to ensuring the footpaths are open and available for all.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTION !!!
|Posted by PATC North - Blogger on November 17, 2014 at 4:25 PM||comments (0)|
UPDATE: Since Pete received his award from his hospital bed after knew surgery (and likely remembered little due to the painkillers), members of PATCNorth took the party to Pete's home on Nov. 23rd. Read his official award nomination or see photos of Pete's Avery Award Celebration.
By the way, Pete is recovering exceptionally well due to his dedication to the therapy, which he takes as seriously as his role as PA District Manager. GET WELL SOON, Pete !!!
CONGRATULATIONS PETE on receiving the Myron Avery Award at the annual PATC dinner, presented by Club President, John Hedrick. Pete Brown, the PA District Manager, demonstrates below both the hard work of trail maintenance & the well-deserved breaks.
The most prestigious award given by PATC, the Myron Avery Award honors the 1st PATC President, who is credited as the man who got the trail built & 'bullied' clubs of volunteers into maintaining it. Pete was mentored by then PA District Manager Charlie Irvin when he joined PATC in 1995 as an Overseer. Now as the PA District Manager, Pete has led many thousands of volunteer hours maintaining the 168 miles of trails in the PA district. This year alone, he led us in providing over 6,700 hours of trail & shelter maintenance as well as delivering the Silberman Bridge, Little Cove Cabin & the Charlie Irvin Shelter.
Our fearless District Manager is back home, after knee surgery which will keep him housebound for several weeks.....albeit doing his therapy daily. Dewey Clark will be managing our worktips until Pete is back directing us to drag the biggest rocks that can be found in Michaux to build engineering masterpieces in the wilderness which keep the AT excellently maintained.
If you want to send him a Get Well note, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Posted by PATC North - Blogger on November 17, 2014 at 4:10 PM||comments (0)|
The Pennsylvania ATC Specialty license plate is now available !! Get Yours Today !!!
Personalization of the license plate is available with five letters or numbers in combination. There is a one-time plate fee of $50, with an additional plate fee for any personalization. A disabled symbol is also available.
As a revenue sharing plate, $21 of the $50 fee is transferred to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy to help support their mission.
ATTN: Accounting Department, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, PO Box 807, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425-0807.
All fees are to be made payable to the "Appalachian Trail Conservancy". For more info on tax deductions, please contact a tax specialist or the IRS.