We've loved seeing so many folks recently at events like Trail Days (both Damascus and Troutville), Hiker Happy Hours, working with Hardcore & Konnarock Trail Crew, at Garlic Mustard pulls and so much more!
It's been a very eventful summer so far, and we greatly appreciate the involvement of all A.T. volunteers, members and Trail supporters!Mountain Valley Pipeline: What you Need to Know
You've likely already heard about the Mountain Valley Pipeline and/or the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, two fracked natural gas pipelines that are proposed to cross the Appalachian Trail in Virginia.
Recently, there have been developments in the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) project that are worth noting. On Friday, June 23rd, the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee (FERC) released its Final Environmental Impact Statement regarding MVP. In it, the FERC concludes that the Mountain Valley Pipeline project would have limited adverse environmental impacts, a conclusion the Appalachian Trail Conservancy disputes.
Joining with local communities, landowners and numerous concerned groups, the ATC believes the Mountain Valley Pipeline is an unprecedented threat to the Appalachian Trail landscape, clean drinking water sources and local jobs in the surrounding communities.
By lending your voice, you can tell your representatives know that we all deserve greater scrutiny for poorly planned projects like the MVP that could permanently damage the surrounding economy and irreplaceable landscapes forever.
Let your voice be heard. Join our efforts by visiting appalachiantrail.org/mvp.
ATC Biennial: Views from the Maine WoodsBecome an LNT Master
Every two years, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy holds a week-long conference. This event includes over 240 hikes, numerous workshops, and excursions to local areas of interest. The conference will also include ATC’s 41st membership meeting. Each evening there are exciting adventure presentations and stellar entertainment. The event draws people from around the world, but primarily from locations along the Appalachian Trail.
The 2017 ATC Biennial will be held in Waterville, Maine(at Colby College) from August 4th-11th. We hope you can join us!
More Biennial information and full program details.
*Registration is required, registration information here.
A Master Educator that is! The Appalachian Trail Conservancy will be holding a Leave No Trace Master Educator course August 28th-September 1st in the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area.
This course is designed for individuals who are actively teaching others backcountry skills and ethics or providing recreation information to the public. Through classroom discussions, lectures, demonstrations and a four-day camping trip, this course will cover the seven principles of Leave No Trace and will give the participants the tools and techniques necessary for disseminating these low-impact skills to other users of wild lands.
Space on these courses is limited due to our desire to keep group size small. More details and registration information can be found here.Two Virginians Join A.T. Hall of Fame
This years Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame inductees included two Virginians, Charles Parry and Matilda "Tillie" Wood.
The Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame was developed in 2011 by the Appalachian Trail Museum to honor individuals "who have made exceptional and positive contributions to the Appalachian Trail or the A.T. Community." Charles and Tillie join such illustrious Hall of Famers as Benton MacKaye, Myron Avery, Earl Schaeffer, and Emma Rowena "Grandma" Gatewood.
Charles Parry was described as a relentless Appalachian Trail volunteer. He served as the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club's trail supervisor from 1976 until his death in December 2010, shaping nearly all of the 120 miles the club maintains and playing a pivotal role in the return of the A.T. to McAfee Knob in the late 1980s. His was a time of numerous trail relocations. As a former club member said, on a work trip, "he emphasized the 'work' part."
He held master’s and doctorate degrees in mathematics from Michigan State and spent his career teaching at Virginia Tech with the same passion he brought to the Trail. At the time of his death at 68, he was professor emeritus in the College of Science.
Tillie Wood and her husband Roy were newlyweds in 1939 when they discovered a run-down cabin in the mountains south of Pearisburg, VA, just a half mile from the Appalachian Trail. They kept the cabin while Roy pursued a career preserving national forests and state parks. After Roy retired in 1981, they decided to fix up the cabin as a hostel for A.T. hikers. Sadly, Roy passed away just after the work was finished in 1986.
Tillie spent the next 21 years giving hikers a place to rest, shower and warm their bellies with a Southern breakfast. Woods Hole became known as one of the most beloved hostels on the A.T. In 2007, Tillie learned she had cancer with only six months to live. Her granddaughter Neville felt called to keep up the family tradition. If anything, Neville's husband Michael was even more enthusiastic. Under the stewardship of Neville and Michael, the tradition of Tillie Wood and Woods Hole hostel continues to this day.Community Supporter Spotlight: Mount Rogers Outfitter
In each newsletter, we highlight one of our region's official A.T. Community™Supporters. Supporters are businesses and organizations in designated A.T. Communities™ that provide support to the hiking community, the A.T., ATC and/or a Trail Club. Look for this logo in the storefronts next time you're in an A.T. Community!
If you've ever set foot in "Trail Town USA", you know that Damascus is a great place to be a hiker. That's not just because of the yearly Trail Days festival and the famous small-town charm. Since ___, Mount Rogers Outfitter (MRO) has been helping hikers gear up, plan their trips, shuttle vehicles and rest up at the "Dave's Place" hostel.
Just about every type of hiker passing through Damascus on the A.T. stops in MRO, whether they are looking for advice, a cool new sticker for their water bottle, or a new tent or backpack. They can be sure to find an impressive inventory of trail-ready gear, and an extremely experienced and knowledgeable staff, up to date on gear trends as well as current trail conditions.
You can also check in at MRO for Dave's Place hostel or arrange for a shuttle. Next time you're in Damascus, be sure to stop in and thank MRO for all they do for hiker!
Hot Topic: Heat Stress
This month's 'Hot Topic' is very literal. With the summer weather in full swing, it's important to be mindful of the heat's effect on yourself and those you're with. When you're enjoying activities outdoors, and especially if performing trail work or other strenuous activities, it's crucial to be aware of the signs and symptoms of heat stress and illness.
Some common signs & symptoms of heat illness include:
If you or someone you're with experience the signs of heat stress, you should stop your current activity, and rest (in shade if possible). Taking just small sips of water is recommended as well. Over-Hydration can occur when an individual drinks an excessive amount of water, lowering the sodium levels in the body.
- Unsteady Walk
- Weakness or Fatigue
- Muscle Cramps
More severe symptoms require further attention, these can include:
If any of these symptoms are experienced, seek immediate medical attention. More information can be found here.
- Hot Body/High Temperature
- Altered Mental Status
- Involuntary Bowel Movement
- Weak or Rapid Pulse
In This Issue
Contact Our Clubs
How I'm spending my summer
You may think a mouse like me spends the summer relaxing in shelters, watching the hikers pass through. In fact, it might surprise you to know that I spend much of my summertime with the Konnarock Trail Crew. Sure, I can't do as much of the "heavy lifting" the volunteer crew does, but I wear my hard hat just the same!
I recently spent time working with the Crew for the annual Hardcore project near Damascus. Hardcore is a unique program that offers thru-hikers the opportunity to give back to the A.T. and learn about trail work. I got to work with the incredible Konnarock Staff, volunteers from MRATC and other trail clubs, as well as a bunch of dedicated thru-hikers...what a treat!
The project at hand focused on the Buzzard Rock formation, which was in need of some rehabilitation where the trail had washed out and was in need of drainage and other issues. Like I said, I wasn't able to do much heavy lifting (which was definitely needed for this project), but I hope I provided some encouragement for the rest of the crew!
You can read more about the Hardcore project on the blog, here, and see all the photos from the project here.
Follow along with the rest of the Konnarock Trail Crew's 2017 season with the blog: konnarockcrew.blogspot.com.
Or better yet, sign up for one of the remaining weeks! More info on signing up here.
In Memoriam: Stacey Levin
Stacey Levin, an active Mount Rogers Appalachian Trail Club volunteer, sadly passed away recently after a long battle with cancer. Everyone who has ever met and worked with Stacey will miss her passion, energy, and good cheer.
Her husband Doug, MRATC co-Trail Supervisor, shared a few words about Stacey:
"After moving to southwest Virginia in 2011, Stacey and her soul mate Doug found themselves drawn to the Trail. In just a few years Stacey volunteered over 800 hours with the Mount Rogers A.T. Club as a maintainer, section and boundary monitor, remover of invasive plants, rare plant monitor and even served on the club board and co-chaired the Nominating Committee.
The cliché is that someone “battles” cancer. Stacey pinned it to the ground by the ears and denied nearly every symptom of the disease or treatment the least satisfaction. Her personality was bubbly and she had an infectious laugh that spread a smile to all around her. She will be sorely missed and remembered by all she touched."
Volunteer of the Month
Gail Lehman - Nantahala Hiking Club
Gail Lehman of the Nantahala Hiking Club (NHC) has been a regular Appalachian Trail maintainer for more than 20 years. She also serves on the NHC board and is a Trail Ambassador, a hike leader, and the club’s hike coordinator. She has worked closely with ATC in assessing NHC’s section of the A.T. and was hiking cochair for the 2013 ATC biennial conference, working with hike leaders to develop a schedule of 65 hikes.
Gail first learned about the Trail in 1973 when her father gave her a copy of The Appalachian Trail, a National Geographic Society book by Ronald M. Fisher. Within a few years, she had joined NHC and began participating in club hikes, including several with Dr. A. Rufus Morgan, an Appalachian Trail pioneer and a founder of NHC.
After moving away from the area for eleven years, she returned in the late '80s and began hiking with the club again. She was invited to join a club work trip and has been volunteering ever since.
*For more information, contact Kathryn Herndon firstname.lastname@example.org*Hiker Happy Hour w/ NBATC
-- July 5, 2017 -
Hiker Happy Hour with OCVT
-- July 11, 2017 -
Hiker Happy Hour with RATC
-- July 19, 2017 -
Hiker Happy Hour w/ NBATC
-- August 3, 2017 -
-- August 4-11, 2017 -
Hiker Happy Hour with RATC
-- August 16, 2017 -
Hiker Happy Hour w/ NBATC
-- September 6, 2017 -
Family Hiking Day
-- September 30, 2017 -
Leave No Trace
Master Educator Course
Sugar Grove, VA
-- Aug 28-Sep1, 2017 -