|Posted by PATC North - Blogger on February 3, 2015 at 8:45 AM|
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")