Just another little snippet about this “hogback” think. Many of you have heard of sports teams named the Razorbacks. That’s another take on these hogs, as they are long and lean (lots of lean bacon) and their back does come up to a sharp ridge.
Those who hunt them claim you have to get a broadside shot at them as you can’t see them coming or going. They even claim that their ears are so far from their mouth that they can’t hear themselves squeal. OK, enough on the wild pig business, but now you know why these narrow ridges between two valleys are called hogbacks.
A group of us spent part of June 4, on the Ridge Trail, the first segment of the STS going clockwise from Mile-0. Unfortunately this trail has no hogbacks, being mostly flat and rolling terrain, which invites low-lying mucky spots.
This was our mission, to try to make these wet spots more hikeable. We used a combination of wooden pallets and cordwood — also we did a lot of lopping and debris tossing, and ran the DR mower along both sides to keep the briars, ferns and saplings in check.
Our team for today was Wanda Shirk, John Zimmer, Chad Rugh, Henry Rugh, Lori Szymanik, Curt and Penny Weinhold, and me. It was another nice morning on the trail and enjoyed by all.
I’ve long wondered if hikers starting out on the Ridge Trail would be lulled into thinking that, boy, this is like a walk in the park, only to be snapped back to reality when they encounter the B&S Trail, Cardiac Climb, Cherry Run, Ole Mountain and the many other hills farther south.
Most assuredly, this is not your walk-in-the-park. But if you enjoy the adventure and solitude of a backcountry trail, this is one for you.
Our club has received a tentative plan from a young man, a long-distance trail runner, who plans to run the STS sometime over Labor Day weekend. Seems he has it calculated that he can run this route of 84 miles in around 22 hours.
Of course our group, most of whom are senior citizens, are pretty much in awe of this plan. We’re thinking, wow, go for it. More power to him, and he’ll need some of that power. There will be support teams at many road crossings, and our duty will be to see to it that the STS is in top condition.
Actually we are currently working toward that goal already, as we plan to nominate the STS for “Trail Of The Year.”
Being in the “green” phase and under the current guidelines, we plan to hold this month’s meeting at Lyman Run State Park, on June 13. This will be our first meeting since February, but it has not slowed our trail care any.
In fact, our trail care hours are way ahead of last year’s at this time. Plus, we still have the mowing and brushcutting season ahead of us and we hope to build another trail shelter.
If you are someone who might enjoy getting out on the trails with a great group of people, feel free to join in. Or go by yourself if that’s your choice. Either way, you’ll like it. You can’t get lost and the bears won’t bother you. Just guard against ticks, and you can encounter them in your backyard. Just get some permethrin and read the directions. Stay safe.