An "Interview" with J. It's only when you have some trouble and difficulty in doing things, as you are having now, that you really appreciate them. When you get a trip down to the mountains now, you really do appreciate it. You no longer feel it's a place you can go just any week you please. Now you can go only occasionally, drive along at 30 miles per hour, but you enjoy the country on the way. I will never forget our first trip to the Blue Ridge. Ricker and a whole bunch. We used to go on camping trips in the Catoctins and so on.
They moved so slowly though, looking at flowers, that they didn't cover much territory. Ricker one day said to me, 'They are thinking of forming a trail club. Would you be interested? A few days later, November 22,we went down to Andy's office in the Metropolitan Bank Building for a meeting. Myron Avery was there, Appalachian trail deer lick cabin.
Ricker and Homer Corson. We decided to form a trail club and discussed what to call it. Myron was to act as president, Dr. Ricker was vice-president, Andy was secretary, and Schairer was treasurer, and if there ever was a lousy treasurer it was one J. The auditing committee two years later audited the books.
They said, 'The treasurer's accounts are in order but he keeps no books. He said to me, 'We will create a new office and you will be the Supervisor of Trails. This was in October Then we would report on how the situation was-how hard it would be to cut a trail.
None of us knew anything about it and we had a terrible time finding our way. Appalachian trail deer lick cabin and I had a topographic map, a lot of ambition, and lunch.
Anyway, when we got together again, Andy and I reported that it was going to be a tough job to cut a trail. Myron and Judge Cox said there would be nothing to it. They had old wood roads; we didn't. Incidentally, it took several months of week-ends to get even a narrow trail cut. The only people who had any interest in the Trail were people from New England. That is where Schmeckebier knew it and he had taken part away back in in meetings in Washington when Benton MacKaye as Field Manager was trying to get the Appalachian trail deer lick cabin.
Myron had just come down to Washington after a year and a half at Hartford, Connecticut, where he had been closely associated with Arthur Perkin.
Judge Perkins was Chairman of the Trail Conference and was beginning to revive the project after two or three years of inactivity. Thus our interest in Washington fortunately coincided with the time when Judge Perkins was beginning to get things going again on the A.
He soon came down to encourage us. Charlie Thomas used to lead wildflower trips. Ricker had wildflower things to do. Nobody had any cars, and try and persuade somebody to go to the mountains on the terrible Virginia roads!
They thought we were crazy to go down and work all day for nothing and said nobody would ever use the trails we cut anyway. Nobody knew anything about it except around Skyland. The only active hiking club in Washington was the Red Triangle Club, and they went in largely for Sunday afternoon hikes. Once a year they scheduled a hike from Bluemont to Harpers Ferry and always had a dance at the little hotel at Bluemont.
There was no continuous trail on the mountain. We wanted to convince them that The Appalachian Trail was a going thing. Our objective was to get the Trail from Bluemont all the way to Harpers Ferry done in time to Appalachian trail deer lick cabin a Red Triangle hike over it in the spring.
There was a bridge across in those days. We had to learn from sad experience how canteens are needed in the Blue Ridge, and we didn't have the kind of tools used todayclippers and weeders. We learned our trail technique the hard way. We used, that day, mainly Boy Scout axes. We were all dying of thirst after getting to the top. It took us all day to get from south of Chimney Rock to a point about half mile beyond.
Our axes got so dull we couldn't cut with them-we just had to saw off the twigs. When it came to Trail markers, we had a few copper ones that Major Welch had made at Bear Mountain and had given to us as his contribution to getting started. Ricker's idea was that we needed something to mark turns, so we bought those little wooden garden labels-little slats an inch wide and a foot and a half long or so.
Ricker printed on them 'Appalachian Trail' or 'Spring' or 'Viewpoint. I guess there may be a relic or two left in the Club stuff Appalachian trail deer lick cabin a reminder of the old days.
We would go on Saturday afternoon and would get up at five in the morning. The trouble was that we only had three or four workers and they were all inexperienced. After the first trip, we got to using pruning shears.
Each fellow had to buy his tool. The Club hadn't any money to buy tools. We couldn't pick the perfect route then because it was too tough. Remember, between Harpers Ferry and Bluemont there was at that time no decent road through Keys Gap-only a cart path.
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You could get up on the west side, but you had to have a high-hung car. Just to show how difficult it was: You had to go to Harpers Ferry, drive quite a distance on a dirt road to Millville, and get a mountaineer out of his cabin to take you across the river by a hand-operated ferry.
Finally, you would get to the top of Appalachian trail deer lick cabin Gap if your car was high hung. If it wasn't you never got there. You couldn't get up the east side; there was no road through to Charles Town. We worked from both ends-from Bluemont and from Harpers Ferry. I remember one trip in February westarted on Sunday morning and it was nearly twelve o'clock noon before we arrived at Keys Gap.
We were working near the Deer Lick and the Trail was really bad. By the time we walked to the Deer Lick it was three-thirty or a quarter of four, and we figured we had only fifteen minutes to work before we had to start back.
It started to sleet and the sole came off my shoe and there I was. We put in fifteen minutes of hard work and had to race to get back to Keys Gap before dark. The Trail was so bad and it took so much time to walk in that we were convinced we couldn't get much work done when we started from Washington on Sunday morning.
Harold, you know, was the first Editor of the Blue Ridge Guide. It was an open car and I remember riding in it in February, with the temperature about zero. We drove down to Snickers Gap.
The road through the Gap was a winding dirt road. A car could seldom make it in low, but would have to be pushed. On such trips we never got home before midnight. It finally came to the time when the Red Triangle trip was the following Sunday. Andy and I were the trouble-shooters for the last sprint.
Our assignment was to get the last two miles of Trail in shape. The Trail Appalachian trail deer lick cabin wood roads beyond Keys Gap and then swung down around the west side of the mountain. It was a faint path, solid with locust briars for two miles. We hedged a little. We got to Keys Gap and walked down to a log cabin and talked to some mountain people, finally persuading them to let a couple of their kids help us the next day. Well, the next day the two boys didn't show up.
But they sent two others in their place and we worked as hard as any four people could. We had two throw out and two cut and then we alternated.
We got the two miles done. We paid the fellows fifty cents for the day out of our own pockets. This was big pay for mountain boys-they beamed.