Guider Pond Spike Crew 8/9-14/09

What a beautiful place to be a trail crew! We spent our week on the north side of Mount Everett, between Guilder Pond and the Glen Brook Campsite. The trail definitely needed some work, but the area was otherwise quite beautiful. Our campsite was only half a mile from our drop-off/ pick-up location, and it was even closer to the work site. Our convenient location meant less time hiking to and form work, and more time for swimming at the beautiful Guilder Pond. Just minutes from our work site was a rock outcropping that sloped right in to the refreshing water. It was the perfect spot to hang out, unwind, and wash up after a hard day of work.

Our campsite wasn’t half bad either. It had a lovely stream, a privy, and plenty of open space. We pitched a tarp over a tent platform to make a kitchen area, and set our tents up around it. The only concern at our campsite was the wildlife. Black bears abound in the Northeast, and if they don’t find your food, the mice will. But never fear; bear hangs are here! We used two different ropes to string our food high out of reach of the bruin bandits and murine mooches. Bear hangs can seem like a bit of a chore sometimes, but when one participant found a bear footprint, I think we could all agree that they were worth the effort.

Our food was definitely worth protecting. G.O.R.P. quickly became the snack food of choice, and our meals included: eggs made to order, extra cheesy mac&cheese, miscellaneous Mexican madness, candy bars, and chocolate chip pancakes. We also had a special treat when another member of the AMC staff brought us burgers and potato salad.

Sometime between all the eating, swimming, and relaxing, we got quite a bit of trail work done. Native bog bridging, lumbar bog bridging, turnpike restoration, waterbars, drainages, brushing – we did it all. Good thing we had plenty of helpful visitors. We received visits from some DCR staff, the AMC’s Southern New England Regional Trails Coordinator, an AMC ridgerunner, and two thru hikers who where eager to help. The thru hikers, who called themselves Poppins and Aesop, even inspired some of our participants to give themselves trail names like Ninja-Squirrel and Young Duff.

Working on the trail was great, but our coolest work assignment was a piece of campsite maintenance. We got to sledge and burn a broken picnic table. After staying dry for the first half of the week, the weather took a turn for the wetter on Wednesday evening. To keep our spirits up during the dampness, one of our leaders, Jim (a.k.a. The Firebender,) started an amazing fire despite the wet conditions. We burnt the picnic table, dried out clothing, and had some good laughs.