Orange Friday on the MST

MST maintenance - Beaver Dam OV

We seem to have started a tradition of doing our end-of-year trail maintenance on the day after Thanksgiving. The last thing we want is to be with shoppers and the maintenance has to be done anyway. This year was no exception. In addition, our son and family were visiting. We stuffed ourselves yesterday – OK stuffing, Bernstein style, which would have been considered pretty light. So today we took our granddaughter trail maintaining on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail.

MST maintenance - Hannah clippingLenny maintains a two-mile piece of trail  from Beaver Dam OV to Big Ridge OV. It’s in a narrow piece of the Blue Ridge Parkway, surrounded by Pisgah National Forest so we wore orange.

She had her own clippers and gardening gloves. She took  weed clipping very seriously. At first, we discussed every weed that she was going to clip. Then she developed a test. As she walked, if she could feel the vegetation, she clipped it. Otherwise she gave it a pass.

MST maintenance - waterbarsMeanwhile, Lenny was cleaning out  waterbars. Some times, he was ahead but most of the time, he was behind us. His clipping test was more stringent since he is so much bigger and could feel more weeds around him.

Hannah and I discussed why we wore orange.MST maintenance - with hunter I skipped the part about the Parkway being a national park and there’s no hunting in a park. Sure enough, on the trail, a man and his four-year old son walked toward us in full hunting gear. See to the right.

They weren’t having any luck, he said, and they were just walking.

So the moral of the story is that whether you want to encourage hiking and trail maintenance or hunting, you have to start them young.

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