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Great Appalachian Valley Conservation Corps

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Shenandoah or Bust: Blog 3

IMG_1149.JPG#asset:414Caitlin begins clearing vegetation off the trail caused by a recent blow down, while the crew rallies after break.

October 5, 2018 | We finally completed a full 9 day hitch! The first half was super soggy and rainy, everyone had to dry their sleeping bag at least once. Sleeping in a tent in the rain inevitably means you will get wet; thankfully we were fortunate enough to have front country access to laundry! After pushing through the rain, we were blessed with some incredible weather for the last few days. We had plenty of sunshine and beautiful views. We did mainly vegetation work again, but this time we worked in the backcountry. We spent most of our time working on the Rocky Mount Trail and Gap Run Trail, so we became quite familiar with these trails. They are absolutely beautiful and I would highly recommend them to hikers. There is a 1.1 mile climb up to the summit, but it is definitely worth it. One of my favorite moments from this hitch was our lunchtime view at the summit of Rocky Mount Trail. We spent morning snack break at this spot a different day as well. 

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This hitch we also had our first volunteer event! On September 29th, we had three different groups with our GAVCC members, Shenandoah park staff, and the volunteers working on trails around Matthew’s Arm Campground. It was great seeing everyone come together and make a difference in the park. We had people of all ages from different points in life working together for a common cause; that is one of the beauties of the outdoors. The work we completed consisted of cleaning out water bars, clearing up vegetation, removing culverts, and moving big logs. Our volunteers all proved to have some serious grit, from hauling heavy logs on their shoulders down the trail and across a stony river bed to working in the mud and water to remove a culvert. As the liaison, I was able to hike from group to group and document the event. I loved being able to see each group at work and interacting with all of our volunteers. I was also able to conduct brief interviews with multiple volunteers about their love for parks and their experience volunteering. 

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Special thanks to everyone who came out!