Trails Volunteer of the Month - August 2008

Bill Dotchin

I started thinking about early retirement sometime in 1997. At that time I had no idea what I would do with myself while retired and I began wondering if I should retire at all. I talked about this with my youngest son. He was already into hiking and backpacking and he thought I might be interested in the sport. During the next year he began introducing me to hiking and backpacking. We started out with a 3 day backpack across the Mahoosuc range, 2 weeks backpacking across NH, 2 weeks on the Long Trail, and many day hikes. After all of that I was really hooked on the sport. By the time I actually retired in 2000 I knew exactly what I would be doing to pass the time and keep active.

I started out four days each week working on the most popular hiking lists: the NH 4000 footers, the NE 100 highest and the NH 100 highest. Then I repeated them all in the winter. During all of this I started getting interested in bushwhacking so I started doing the New England 3000 footer list. As of this writing I have finished the MA, VT and NH 3's and about half of the ME 3's.

Since I was thoroughly enjoying myself out on the trails, I decided early on to give back something to the hiking community by adopting a section of the Carter Moriah trail from Zeta Pass to Middle Carter. I worked on this section from 1999 through 2004. Up until the spring of 2005 I was unaware of the Corridor Monitor Volunteer Program, but in June, 2005 I attended an introductory program presented by the U.S. Park Service and the AMC Trails Department. During the presentation I found out that compass skills and bushwhacking experience would be very useful to a corridor monitor. This seemed right up my alley and I was already getting a little bored with regular trail work.

So in 2005 I adopted 2 corridor sections in the Mahoosuc Range between Dream Lake<>

- Bill