Failure is not something I make part of my life. When road blocks of failure present themselves to me I just find another way. Sometimes that is pushing my way through by brut force and sometimes it is just by looking at things from a different angle. This hike to Springer Mountain, the terminus of the AT trail, had already shown me, I was not mentally or physically ready for a 15 mile strenuous hike in cold weather. My plan now was to visit the park visitor center and then head back to my cabin in Cartersville with my head hung in defeat.
Sometimes, the universe has other plans for me.
I had not planned what I was about to accomplish, hiking the Appalachian Trail (aka AT) but my internal clock was ticking. The month of unexpected changes to my pretty dull life had me thinking I had better just go, try to hike the five miles into and out of Springer Mountain. I have always admired the few who have attempted the grueling thru-hike from Georgia to Maine. A six to nine month commitment of lightweight wilderness backpacking along the longest footpath in the world. But, I was inching my way towards another birthday in two weeks and I did not know if this opportunity would ever be possible again in the future.
As I tried to figure out how to salvage the time and money spent on this trip to Georgia, I pulled out the Visit Georgia package out of my suitcase.
No, I haven’t jumped on a plane and to escape the Dutch winter to tell you about this place, I blogged about Fish Trap Lake in a prior blog in Dec 2017, but I have news that I wanted to share about this project.
The trail project at Fish Trap Lake Washington is now complete! You can read about it here, Spokane News article about Fish Trap Lake Trail
I feel a real sense of ownership and pride that I helped clear some of this now completed trail that will now be used by hikers for generations.
The conditions for cutting a trail through these rocks was not an easy task.
Flora along the trail.
The rocks are everywhere.
Trip Report from April 2017 first published on WTA website by The Cedar Journal
Today was one of those perfect Spring workdays for WTA. Sunny, not to hot, a bit of rain the day before so the ground was not hard, except for the rocks, and very few bugs. The view overlooking Fishtrap Lake was the perfect lunch location.
We had a team of 8 that included Jane our Trail Team Leader and completed 375 feet of trail. Most of it was new trail with about 70 feet some reworking of older trail.
Volunteer Gary was the “rock” workhorse of the team and it seemed that the winter in Spokane had him full of energy for busting through the hardest rocks in the trail. We were all very impressed with his rock skills and by the end of the day all of the large rocks were very scared of him so much so that they just rolled under his finger tips.
Being that I am not from the Eastern Washington area was not an issue for this wonderful team. They were open and welcoming to my long trip to help volunteer.
On our 1 1/2 mile hike in we were greeted by mule deer just jumping for joy that we had arrived to work on the trail. The day ended with a horseback rider who gave us a thumps up and a wave after she had rode on the new trail durning the day. This was an instant response to our hard days work. Very rewarding!
For me, this work is so helpful to my inner peace. Working outdoors, seeing the beauty in the natural world, knowing that these natural places will be enjoyed for generations to come as I have enjoyed them in my short time. The people we work with are always interesting, helpful,understanding, and happy no matter if it is raining or storming. I have learned so much from everyone in WTA.
Thank you Jane for being a team leader and sharing your knowledge with us.
Donations to the Washington Trail Association help in purchasing tools, snacks for the volunteers, and trail safety classes for trail construction leaders. The Association has trail volunteer work programs throughout the year available for those who want to help construct or maintain current trails. They are also the best resource for finding cool trails to hike in the State of Washington with a huge network of hikers that add trip reports about the trails they have hiked.
Congratulations to all the volunteers and trail bosses that planned and worked hard to complete this trail!!!
Have you hiked this trail? Worked on a WTA project? Please share your experiences below in our comments.
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