Monday, May 18, 2009

Sun 5/17/09 Pinxters, Bears, and Chicken-Of-The-Woods

SUNDAY, MAY 17, 2009

Andy, Drew, Jake and myself patroled on Sunday. The numerous backcountry camping groups were being washed out into the parking lot by the evening's rain. Between the evening downpours and forecasts for more rain during the day the mountain was fairly empty on Sunday.

Patrol duties involved mostly anwering questions and picking up a little liter. There were no fire problems. medical incidents, or park violations. We set a line in the squeeze portion of the rock scramble in anticipation of alleviating future backups on upcoming croweded days.

Chad had patrolled solo on Saturday and was kept busy with dehydrated and seperated hikers.

The classic morning muster; equipment check, agenda planning and NPS morning meeting.

The friendly and knowledgable fee station staff, Mike and Diane.

A prolific profusion of Pinxters perfumed the woods. No Mountain Laurel blossoms yet.

A few more Lady Slippers spotted.

A newly built section of trail is pictured below. Three cheers for the maintainers.
There is an intricate web of relationships between SNP employees and various volunteer groups and or individual volunteers that keep the trails maintained. A large amount of the work is done under the direction of organizations like PATC who have been trained by NPS to take on the primary responsibility for maintaining certain trials. The PATC Blue and White crew discussed in an earlier blog is a great example of this. Some of the work is done by NPS seasonal employees who do these tasks during the summer. Some of the work is done by regular full time NPS employees.
It is my understanding that work pictured was planned, managed, and done by NPS Central District staff whose efforts were bolstered with the help of 6 PATC volunteers.
If you or an organization you belong to want to help build stuff while enjoying the out of doors check with the Park Service for opportunities to volunteer. If you are interested specifically in SNP Central District this blog has links at the top right part portion of this page as well as sprinkled through the text that are good places to find out more about volunteer opportunities.
Three Cheers to all those concientious hikers who not only practice Leave No Trace but also pitch in by picking up a little bit of litter that was not theirs during their visits.
Considering all the trafffic Old Rag has been relatively clean of litter so far this spring. Knock on wood.

I was elated to see my first two bears of 2009. They appeared to be siblings spending their first spring on their own. I only got a picture of one of them as it was fleeing deeper into the woods.

Weather shaped Pine on summit.

Looking down on Graves Mountain Resort area.

Hikers on false summit.

Chicken Of The Woods

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