Thursday, September 15, 2016

AT Museum Volunteer Newsletter - September 2016

September 2016
Brought to you by Joe Harold, Appalachian Trail Museum Manager

We are starting to get some nights that cool a bit more than the height of summer and the mornings are really refreshing at the Museum. Our season is winding down, but we still have some busy days to prepare for as we head towards October and the end of our seventh season.

Thanks to all of you for your help.  It is certainly appreciated.


Renovations Progress 

Ron and his crew and Jack and his have been busy all this season.  The basement is getting the finishing touches of track lighting for the Trail Walk and the second and third floor are moving along very nicely towards their next manifestation.  The ramp is very near completion and the trees are going up all around it, thanks to Howard and his crew, to blend it into the environment.  Needless to say, we truly appreciate all the hard work that everyone has donated to our cause and we can't wait for the day when we open the second floor as the main floor and have all our collections up in the resource library.  

Check out these recent pictures of the progress all around the Museum.

Figuring out the track lighting in the basement
Ramp progress
The "bridge"
Moving some dirt
Ed pounding a stake
End ramp and retaining wall. Ready for gravel and bricks
Second floor restroom layout.  The stud walls are actually already up.  Need a new photo.
Chestnut inspects the duct work. (Greg and Ron assist)
Third floor ceiling complete. Ready for some paint.

Stay tuned as the transformation continues.


THRU Makes Top Five List 

The Museum's intrepid traveling author, Richard Judy, just returned from a hike through the 100 mile wilderness, capped off with a summit of The Greatest Mountain (Katahdin) and he passed on this link to an interesting website. His book, THRU: An Appalachian Trail Love Story, made a list of the top five travel books ever written for women. You can check out the list here.

Have you read THRU yet?  We know you would enjoy it.

Happy Hiking and as Richard always says, "Stay vertical and keep walkin'".


Old Guide Books and the Tales They Tell 

Some recent artifact donations have given me some "wayback" pleasure lately.  I love maps and old guide books and love checking them out when someone donates interesting historic items.  Two items that I really enjoyed were donated by Douglas Harris.  The first one was the Guide to Paths in the Blue Ridge, published by the PATC and dated 1941.  I found it interesting that we are basically concerned about the same things when it comes to Trail Etiquette.  

Here is an excerpt from that chapter.
"This subject would seem a matter upon which comment should be totally unnecessary.  Rules of ordinary courtesy and consideration for others would seem an all-sufficient guide.  Unfortunately, of late, there have been increasing occurrences which have seriously threatened the continuance of the goodwill of those over whose lands the route passes."
In 1941, the trail passed through 50% of private land.  There was a real threat that a landowner would get fed up with bad behavior and remove permission to cross.

"Every traveler on The Appalachian Trail should realize that he is an emissary of the Conference, that his conduct and method of procedure will be beneficial or detrimental to those who follow."

I like this one:
"Again, recognize the sensibilities of those you come in contact with on the matter of too abbreviated clothing."
It continues:
"A word might be said as to the matter of beards.  It is somewhat unfortunate for the impression created that many hikers consider a trail trip as an opportunity to grow a beard which has little except its originality for commendation."
"In short, there is no problem presently more pressing or serious in the keeping open for public use of these Trail systems than these unnecessary abuses of privilege.  Particularly wanton have been the abuses experienced at lean-tos and public campsites...  These problems can't be overemphasized.  If trails and shelters are to remain available, those who make use of them must be worthy of them."
Looking at the maps that are included in the book was also super fun.  It is very interesting to see that back in 1941, the trail crossed the Susquehanna one mountain south of Duncannon.  Well, it didn't actually cross.  To get from the bottom of North Mountain (now called Blue Mountain on both sides of the river) on the Western side of the river at Overview, to the Eastern side, you had to take a bus down to Enola, then a trolley would take you across the river (toll 5 cents) and then up the other side to Linglestown Road, where you would continue your hike.  The whole trip was about 10 miles.  

An interesting side note, more of a disclaimer, followed the transportation instructions:
"The Pennsylvania Railroad bridge crosses the river app. 1 m. north of Overview.  It is used locally although there is no footway; persons crossing the bridge are trespassers and liable to arrest for violation of law.  This bridge is no part of The Appalachian Trail."
Something I found fascinating was looking back in history to the different routes the trail took across Cumberland Valley and through our own area.  Using another map from 1974-84 that Carolyn "Freckles" Banjak donated, I was able to track three distinct routes across the valley.  The three images below are a graphic presentation of the re-routes over the years.

1941 - After running along North (Blue) Mountain, the trail crosses the valley on roads to rise back up at Center Point Knob.

1984 - Running through Duncannon now and up Cove Mountain.  Still a lot of road walking before Center Point Knob
2016 - The Trail as it runs today.  Now going through Boiling Springs
and hardly any road walking as it follows the small ridge (Stoney Ridge) and field edges.
I have known for awhile that the trail had run a little different around Pine Grove Furnace State Park.  The old maps confirmed it.  Heading Trail South, after coming down Piney Mountain, the trail crossed Mountain Creek right at the Park boundary and ran up to Pine Grove Rd., where it led to Old Shippensburg Road, continuing on towards Toms Run, past a long gone one hundred year old cabin that hikers could use called the Farm House, before heading towards the CCC camp.  

Here are the remnants of the bridge that used to cross Mountain Creek.
One of the other artifacts was a pamphlet from 1949 (the year after Earl Shaffer's Thru Hike), titled Suggestions For Appalachian Trail Users.  

I found this passage interesting, under the title of Use of the Appalachian Trail:
"The Appalachian Trail is intended for use generally by those who find pleasure in woods walking.  The desire to walk and the physical ability to make the trip undertaken are the only requisites...   
The Appalachian Trail was originated as a trail which for all practical purposes should be endless.  It in fact affords a route where one may spend vacation periods or the lesser time of weekends for practically a lifetime, yet always find some new terrain or area for exploration or further travel.  This condition, however, does not imply that the Trail is maintained for use only to travel from one terminus to the other as a through trip.  Such expeditions are somewhat in the nature of "stunts"... 
The availability of the Trail for one- or two-day trips should not be overlooked."

Appalachian Odyssey completes our Sunday Public Program Schedule 

Jeff Ryan, author of Appalachian Odyssey, came by the Museum at the end of August and presented a very good program on his new book.  He had a lot of great photos and stories and read a page or two from his writings.  It was a great way to finish the program season and we had a great turnout.  Next season, we hope to have many interesting topics to present.  If you have a topic you want to see or even present, let us know.

Jeff enthrals the crowd.

Things Coming Down the Trail

September 19th, 2016 - Road Scholar Hike
October 10th, 2016 - Road Scholar Hike
October 15th and 16th, 2016 - Fall Furnace Fest
October 30th, 2016 - Museum closes for the season
October 31st, 2016 - Road Scholar Hike
November 20th, 2016 - Volunteer Recognition Dinner

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