The good news is hikers and backpackers will now find shelter for the night, or at any time the weather turns for the worse, along the Gravel Lick Trail, near mile 60.
This may be especially welcoming after making the 10-mile trek from Cross Fork through the Hammersley Wild Area. This is our fifth shelter along the STS, including the repurposed dynamite magazine at around mile 11. The others are near miles 30, 42 and 68.
The frequent wet weather slowed the progress of getting this one put together, but it is now ready for use. These will no doubt be a big help during inclement weather; there aren’t many things more annoying to backpackers than erecting a tent in the rain, and then packing up a wet tent in the morning.
Now for the remainder of the summer and fall, we hope to turn our attention to a few more bridges, some bog-bridges, mitigating some of those muddy sidehill seeps, and even some benches placed at some “rest up” spots along the trail. All of the above can be made on site, using our Alaskan chainsaw mill, which enables one to mill a slab off of a log, leaving a flat surface.
As you are reading this, some of our members will be heading to Ole Bull State Park for our annual Camporee. We will be doing some trail care while there; Friday will be the main day for this.
The crews will be working on the STS both north and south of Ole Bull. Some fondly refer to this annual event as a “Workaree,” but it’s still a “do what you want” weekend, especially Saturday. Saturday evening at 5 p.m., we have our dish-to-pass dinner at the main pavilion, followed by the monthly meeting, and then a speaker for the evening.
When club president Wanda Shirk was asking Dr. Deb Nero, retired Cornell University professor, if she would serve as a speaker for our Camporee, Dr. Nero asked about the age of our Camporee attendees. Wanda told her, “Oh, about 70.”
Dr Nero paused, and then said, “Oh, I thought camporees were for children.” So Wanda simply says “Be young again, come to our camporee.” And we would like to add: all are welcome, even at our campsites there is plenty of room for more campers.