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 .........All in the name of a good cause. 
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 .........All in the name of a good cause.
When I was in the grip of 48 fever I began contemplating the idea of taking part in that something special called the adopt-a-trail program. With the list thirst in me, however, I decided to save this idea for a later time. When I finished on Moosilauke in September it was time to begin considering this more heavily. I had mentioned my eagerness to adopt a trail to mine and Jen's good friend Jim (Silentcal). He said to me "I would love to help out." I asked if he would like to join me and my sister Jen as a co-adopter. With his saying yes, this team of three became a cohesive unit, ready and willing to give back.

I contacted the Adopt-a-trail program director, Alex Delucia, an started the paperwork ball rolling. All that was needed was to pick an orphaned trail. Since the trail I had originally hoped for was not available for adoption I decided to let Jim pick. He was eager to take a section of the AT, and from what we had to chose it was either the section of Garfield ridge between Lafayette and Garfield, a couple sections deep in the Mahoosucs or the Wildcat Ridge trail from Rt.16 up to Wildcat D. Despite it being notorious for its steep inclines, the Wildcat Ridge trail offered the opportunity of being able to work a "roadside" trail. With that decided it was time to set up a Basic Trail Maintenance workshop. The date was set.......May 19th. The day we would become "official" adopters, and the day we were able to finally "officially" work our trail.

First off, all did not start under a good omen. Friday night, while my mother was out putting gas in my pick-up, a brake cylinder blew out. With minimal brakes it was obvious we could not take that. Add to the fact my mothers car has been ailing as of late. But with no other option available to us we crammed every cubic inch of that tiny Ford Escort with tent, gear and clothes. We set out at 4:30 am Saturday morning, bound for Camp Dodge at which the workshop was located. We arrived to a light mist falling that slowly melted away....at least one good sign. Not too long afterwards Jim arrived. He had stayed in Lincoln the night before and had the luxury of a good nights sleep and a short drive. While we stood around talking a man came out of the main building and introduced himself as Alex Delucia, the man who I had been in contact with for these many months. It was a pleasure to finally meet him, and he seems the perfect fit to run this program as his demeanor, attitude and friendly nature puts you at ease immediately. He told us we could go and get a lunch ready as we waited for the rest of the soon to be "official" adopters arrived.

With lunch made the others began arriving. There was Keith, a police officer from Berlin who adopted the section of the Mahoosuc trail from the summit of Hayes to Trident col. Zach and Ginger, a husband/wife combo had a section of the Pine Link trail (which also required them to take a secondary "Alpine zone" workshop.) Finishing out the group was Emily, who was an AMC employee taking the workshop to teach these skills to children. Alex began the class with introductions and a short lecture on what the adopt-a-trail program and its volunteers do, and mean, for the hills of the White Mountain National forest. With the lecture done we headed over to the tool shed where we were introduced to the number of tools we would be using, and how to safely use them. After that was done we took a brief break so we could gather our backpacks and other gear for the portion of hands on training. With a few tools selected we piled into the AMC van and Alex drove us out to the Ethan Pond Trial parking lot.

We all put on hardhats and grabbed a Hazel Hoe each as well as clippers, loppers and saws. From the very start we began a hands on learning work session. Alex ran down the various types of water bars and how to properly clear and fix them. The day would progress as we learned about blazing, proper brushing techniques, side-hilling and its causes and fixes, and lastly braiding and how to eliminate it with brushing in techniques. The last part of the work session ended in how to properly read large blowdowns to determine where to cut them safely. With everything accomplished Alex drove us back to Camp Dodge for a wrap up lecture on filling out work reports and the passing out for Adopter t-shirts.

The three of us had intended to pitch tents in the back field, but we learned that bunks were still readily available. So we grabbed our sleeping bags and staked our claim in the lower bunkhouse, which we would have all to ourselves. We got into clean clothes, freshened up and drove into Gorham to eat dinner at Mr. Pizza. We enjoyed a nice, quiet dinner as we watched the swollen Androscoggin River hustle past the back deck, which was now only feet from the waters edge. After dinner we headed out to check the infamous water crossing at the beginning of our trail. We sat around talking over ideas to try and make it easier, and then decided to check out Glen Ellis falls. At 64 feet tall and a high water flow rate the water was crushing down the falls like no ones business. It was spectacular and a cap to a wonderful day. We headed back to Camp Dodge and settled in for the night. We sat around talking and joking until about 9:30 where it was lights out.

We all awoke to the sound of rain pounding the roof of the bunkhouse. The metal roof made it sound worse then it was, but it was coming down at a good clip regardless. We dressed back into work clothes and gathered up our gear to head over to the Pinkham Notch visitor center for breakfast. We partook of the good breakfast while we sat around waking up for the task ahead. When we were ready we headed back out to the parking lot and dressed in rain gear and grabbed our Hazel Hoe's and clippers. We set off along the Lost Pond trail, since our water crossing was raging a bit too much and we did not want to wade across. By now the rain was coming down harder. We ambled along the trail, over boulders, submerged bog bridges, and the waterfalls that had made their way into the trail. At one spot, as Jim was crossing a waterlogged bog bridge, he wiped out and soaked his leg badly. He brushed himself off and tucked back his ego as we once again set off. Arriving on the eastern side of the water crossing we decided to start here. From the river we cleared a water bar and began brushing back, which it seems will be the hardest part of this trail.

We brushed the .1 miles between the water crossing and the trail junction. The rain was now falling very heavy, but we troopered on. We moved forward, brushing as we went. After a while Jim was growing weary, so we decided to drop the Hoe's and move up the trail a bit to scout a bit more. We learned that there were more water bars than Jim thought, many of which are in bad shape. There is also plenty of brushing to be done. Re-blazing is also going to be a later need as the old blazes are all over the rocks.....which is now a no-no. After moving up about 1/4 mile I asked Jim how far up he wanted to go. He said "I don't want to sound like I am complaining, but I want to go NOW." There was little complaint from me and Jen as it was becoming difficult for me to see. My hat put up a valiant effort to hold back the torrential rain, but it had become so waterlogged that a stream of water was running onto my glasses and making it impossible to see well. We headed back down to collect our gear and made the return trip. As Jim was in the lead I came around a small bend in the trail to hear loud yelling and the end of a Hazel Hoe sitting in the water. Jim had fallen in once again....and at the SAME bridge as before!!!! His ego once again bruised, and now soaked from elbows down, we pushed on to finish off this nightmare trip.

Back at Pinkham we got out of our wet gear and started the process of drying off. True to form, mother nature showed her humor to us and the rain stopped. We stuck around a bit longer to see skiers heading up to Tucks, and 2 large group of french speaking Canadians each head off on their own adventures. We said our goodbyes and set off with a good sense of what we will need to accomplish on our next work outing.

So, even though the weekend started out with a headache, it progressed into a spectacular day Saturday. Sandwich this into a miserable Sunday and you have one perfect example of the White Mountains experience . But it was not a waste since it was done all in the name of a good cause.

B.


Sun May 20, 2007 5:59 pm
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Utterly sopping wet. While it sounds like it's not fun, the weekend was certainly a learning experience. I'll be looking at trails in a much different perspective now.

Someday we may have an exorcism on this rain curse that seems to keep following us around.


Sun May 20, 2007 7:35 pm
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SilentCal wrote:
Utterly sopping wet. While it sounds like it's not fun, the weekend was certainly a learning experience. I'll be looking at trails in a much different perspective now.



It sure was! There is A LOT more that goes into maintaining a trailthan I thought. We sure have a lotof work to do, and I am eager to get ito it!

B.


Sun May 20, 2007 7:48 pm
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SilentCal wrote:
Someday we may have an exorcism on this rain curse that seems to keep following us around.


I dont think it is you SilentCal. New Hampshire seems to be able to upset the weather gods on any given day. :lol:

That rain curse seems to follow New Hampshire around....

Keep up the great work!

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Mon May 21, 2007 5:11 am
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ScenicNH wrote:

I dont think it is you SilentCal. New Hampshire seems to be able to upset the weather gods on any given day. :lol:

That rain curse seems to follow New Hampshire around....




Gee I hadn't thought of that. :roll: Good point Erin! I guess I should invest in some heavy duty rain pants and a good tight fitting pack cover. Never seemed to need those until I started hiking with a certain someone. :roll:


Mon May 21, 2007 6:22 am
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 Helping out
All joking aside.....
If you guys need any help let me know. I think I can put my gear down for a day and help out.



Ps Jim you may also want to bring mace just in case New Hampshire tries to charge you. :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Mon May 21, 2007 6:08 pm
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Thanks for offer Erin! Looks like our next day might be June 3rd.

I don't need mace to handle New Hampshire either. :lol: :lol:


Mon May 21, 2007 6:39 pm
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SilentCal wrote:
Thanks for offer Erin! Looks like our next day might be June 3rd.



Yeah, Jen needs help carrying boulders up. :lol:

B.


Mon May 21, 2007 6:50 pm
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New Hampshire wrote:
Yeah, Jen needs help carrying boulders up. :lol:

B.

No question the General needs help..... :) :)

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Mon May 21, 2007 7:23 pm
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Way to go!!!!!!!!

and thank you, and all others that help maintain the trails.

and to think that just 2 years ago you didn't think you'd make it up Mt Martha. :wink:

You done good!

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Tue May 22, 2007 2:26 pm
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Pucknuts61 wrote:
and to think that just 2 years ago you didn't think you'd make it up Mt Martha. :wink:



Yeah, and who would have thought that day SILENTCAL would be the one not to make it up Martha!!!???? :lol: :lol:

B.


Tue May 22, 2007 5:02 pm
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Yep, Too much sun the day before.

I will agree with Bill, you've come a long way.


Tue May 22, 2007 6:29 pm
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SilentCal wrote:
Yep, Too much sun the day before.

I will agree with Bill, you've come a long way.


Hey, it was all worth it to see you in the flourescent orange hard hat talking about you Hoe! :lol:

B.


Tue May 22, 2007 7:37 pm
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Chiming in late on this tread Bri but congrats to you, Jen, and Jim on your new venture. It sounds like its going to be a lot of fun and rewarding hard work....I'll make sure not to dirty it up to much as I pass.....

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Wed May 30, 2007 2:47 pm
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Yo Bri! We need to get you and Di out for some hiking....SOON!!!!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

(I don't know how you do it.....I would have gone mad not hiking this long already!!!!! :wink: )

B.


Wed May 30, 2007 4:57 pm
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