Archive for September, 2017

Work Trip on the AT – 8-11-2016

Every year around late June or early August I gather up anyone crazy enough to volunteer to help me on my trail section of the Appalachian Trail that I have been maintaining now for over 26 years as a member of the Carolina Mountain Club. This year those lucky volunteers were my son Tyler ‘Little RAT’ Tarpley and my dear friend Tommy ‘Bol’Dar’ Warden. Some major changes have taken place since last year that made things much different for me in that the club decided to shorten all their sections if possible, in an attempt to have them not exceed 2.5 miles in length. Since mine was over 5 miles I was given a choice of taking the upper half from Whistling Gap to the top of Little Bald or the lower half from Spivey Gap to Whistling Gap. I was not in favor of this and I am having a hard time letting go of any of my section to someone else after putting in so much blood sweat and tears not to mention a few years of building new relos on both halves with the Konnarock crews and personally building the rock steps up the backside of High Rocks etc., so it was a very hard decision for me. Being forced to choose I chose the upper half which although is harder, it would give me a key to access through the USFS gate that I have been trying to get for all these years. This allows me to drive in via a 4WD forest road behind an always locked gate all the way to Whistling Gap. The other major change was my good friend and former co-maintainer Doug Corkhill would no longer be able to pick me up at Spivey Gap to ride with him to the summit of Big Bald which has enabled me to walk one way (down hill mostly) to do my section for the past few years,  as he no longer has the section above mine due to being relocated as a result of a job promotion.


Upper Relo on the lower realm of Little Bald


Posted on 28 September '17 by , under RATtreks. No Comments.