|Restoration (Hinge)||3/4 Mile|
|Corridor Clearing & Brushing||1 Mile|
|Drainage Features||3 complete, 1 underway|
|Type III Switchbacks||2 complete, 1 underway|
Our second hitch at Hidden Valley was marked by some notable improvements. After enjoying four days off in the Charlottesville area, we all headed back to Hidden Valley to set up our second camp. Though we stayed in the same campground, we made serious progress in our camp-making faculties. We put up a sturdy tarp shelter, which lasted the entirety of the hitch with ample head clearance for the entire crew. Having learned from our very itchy first hitch, we stocked up on citronella candles. The food was as delicious as ever, especially with the liberal application of Sweet Baby Ray’s barbeque sauce. On Wednesday, Angelika put up a solar shower for the group, complete with a tarp for privacy and a demarcated path for poison ivy avoidance. After going food shopping on Friday, John neatened up our provisions. He even provided tours of the bear box for the crew in order to make the transition into organization easier.
We were well prepared to continue our work on Bogan Run. In total, we had three switchbacks to restore on the eastern side of the trail. We divided up the crew to work on the switchback restoration that we had started at the end of our first hitch, and to start work the switchback above it, which required the same treatment. It was a definite team effort to get the first switchback and rock retaining wall completed on Wednesday. We completed the second one a day later, and then began intensive brushing of the trail from top to bottom.
Bogan Run has an impressive population of mountain laurel. Unfortunately, some of that population infringed on the trail. We spent much of Thursday through Monday battling it. Armed with gas-powered brushers, fire rakes, and a chainsaw, we pushed through until the trail was once again visible and passable without a helmet and eye protection. Our other big project was to repair the hinge – the place where the tread meets the back slope of the hill - throughout the trail. Leaves and other organic matter had sloughed off the hill and piled up onto the side of the trail, narrowing the tread. Using grubbing tools like the Pulaski and hazel hoe, we cut down the detritus and widened the tread. Hinge work, along with beginning the third switchback and retaining wall, occupied us until the Wednesday, when we started work on Muddy Run.
On the second Monday, we were fortunate enough to get a tour of the Warwick estate, a house on Forest Service property that is operated as a bed and breakfast by Pam and Ronny, an impressive couple from Ohio who completely restored it. They furnished the building with period decorations and furniture, and did much original research into the history of the property and the Valley as a whole. Pam was so generous as to show us around the bed and breakfast, and to share some of her knowledge with us.