Hogs are still making a mess. The awesome trail maintainers are getting ahead
of the weeds. It was a beautiful patrol on the AT this week.
Here's what I've been up to this week'.
Day One: I hiked from Cades Cove up Anthony Creek to Bote
Mountain and on to Spence Filed Shelter. It was another hot and humid hike out
of Cades Cove. Backpackers greeted me with tales of an aggressive bear at
Spence Field Shelter. Wildlife Rangers Jay and Courtney came in and darted the
bear and tagged him #513. We ran the bear off when he came to and he left us
for a quiet and peaceful evening. I hiked a new tarp in and left it in the tool
box at Spence.
Day Two: We had an early morning visit from bear #513.
The Wildlife Rangers decided to close the shelter. This was the first Shelter
that had to be closed this season. I carried out some old torn up tarps and
other trash from the tool box. I hiked out to Thunderhead Mountain and then
back down to Russell Field shelter. We saw a Hog rooting around Spence Field
Shelter. I sprayed out a few yellow jacket nests and left the remaining spray
in the tool box at Russell Field Shelter.
Day Three: I hiked down the Russell Field Trial and out. I
walked over some awesome trail work the last few days. There is a cable broken
at the Russell field shelter. The pulley is in good shape. I put the broken
cable in the tool box. I was very impressed with the clean water bars, good
work and awesome mowing from Thunderhead to Russell Field.
Day Four: I came in from Clingmans Dome and hiked to Silers
Bald. I carried a new Tarp in to Silers. The shelter was clean. The trail
from Clingmans and out past Double Springs Gap shelter looked great. About a
half mile past Double Springs to Silers Bald Shelter has a lot of briers growing
over the trial. I encountered two day hikers at the Double Springs Gap Shelter
eating sandwiches on the bunks with two little Shitzu Doggies. It was a great
opportunity to educate some of our visitors.
Day Five: The Hogs at Double Springs Gap shelter spent the
night rolling up the sod and loading it on to pallets and selling it to
landscapers. But seriously, the Hogs kept me awake most of the night tearing
up the field around the shelter. It was the coolest morning in the mountains
since early June. Fall was defiantly in the air!
I really enjoyed working with our Wildlife Rangers on
some Bear Control. Bill Stivers' crew really do some great work. I hope the
Bears will leave them alone so they can do more Hog Hunting. I am encountering
less and less trail that needs cutting back. Great work volunteers! It was
another fantastic patrol. Fall is in the air and that means the leaves will
start turning signaling the beginning of football season. While I was on Rocky
Top I put in a word with the Man Upstairs about our beloved UT Volunteers. Go