As you are reading this, STC members will be gathering at Ole Bull State Park for the annual Camporee. Some will arrive on Thursday, but more will show up on Friday to take part in a trail-care day.
This trail-care is not mandatory, just a matter of convenience, as it gives us a chance to look after some parts of the trail in the vicinity. We’ll have our trail-mower there along with an assortment of tools for anyone who wishes to help.
The STS runs through the park. The nearby sections are Ole Bull Trail, which comes down the hill from Hungry Hollow Road, goes through the park and then ascends Ole Mountain, drops into Impson Hollow and then ascends to 12-Mile Road. From there the trail goes through Spook Hollow (be careful in there; read the signs and you’ll be OK) continues on down past Big Springs, to cross Big Springs Road. These are just some of the sections we try to pay attention to while we’re in the area.
This Camporee might well be referred to as the 50th anniversary, as the first one was held in 1971, at the Lew Baker Campground (a private campground). I’m not sure if any were skipped along the way, but they were held at several locations. These days we seem to prefer Ole Bull Park, as it appears to be a convenient location for quite a number of people, besides being such a great park.
This year it will be kind of special in that, along with the dinner on Saturday evening followed by a brief business meeting, a documentary film will be shown of the lives of Bob and Dottie Webber, a couple who lived in a log cabin, off the grid, near the Grand Canyon. It’s like “dinner and a movie,” if you will.
Last I checked, there have been over 1,240 circuit-hikers, those who have completed the entire 84 miles, turned in a log of their journey, and been approved by a committee. This earns them a certificate and the circuit-hiker patch.
I believe that 1,240 times 84 miles comes to around 104,160 miles. That, my friends, is a lot of boots on the trail. This doesn’t take into account those who hiked it but didn’t turn in a log, those who have hiked it several times, and those who have hiked different sections. Not to mention all of the maintainers who last year put in over 3,000 hours of trail care.
So I would not be surprised if that figure were closer to 200K miles. Happy trails.