|Pittsburgh Council previously a member of American Youth Hostels|
|To provide inexpensive educational travel, intercultural understanding, and an understanding of the natural environment through hostels, hostelling, and outdoor recreation.|
The first-ever, Annual Meeting of the AYH trail maintainers took place on March 1, at the Crooked Creek Environmental Learning Center. In spite of the "mixed-bag" weather, warm but on the verge of rain all day, twenty trail people (21 counting Shane Hummell) participated in the meeting. Trail people tend often to be private types, keeping to themselves out in the woods, or at least that is the stereotype, so 20 was a good number. This was the first time many of these maintainers have met their own kind face-to-face, so it was a good experience.
The agenda included personal introductions, a review of trail activity during last year, 1996, and a look at the objectives for 1997. The discussion of objectives revealed the Gerry Vaerewyck can solve about half of our problems single-handedly. I thank Gerry for coming and offering his assistance and "we will be in touch". A couple of new volunteers showed up, Steve Theiss, from Sharon, PA and Chuck and Sally Martin, from Pittsburgh. Steve just wants to get involved and Chuck and Sally want to adopt a section of the Rachel Carson and promote an extension of the trail to the Harmony Trail in the North Hills.
As a matter of information, it was noted that 66 individuals participated in AYH Trail Maintenance last year, contributing 851 hours of labor (not including travel time to and from the work sites). There are 18 open slots on the Baker Trail, out of a total of 29, and there are 6 open slots on the Rachel Carson Trail, out of a total of 16. So, if you have an interest in taking care of your own section of the Baker or Rachel Carson Trails, give Jim Ritchie a call at 412-828-0210.
After the formal meeting, a short hike down to the two new bridges constructed last year by Walter Teresciewicz and installed with help from Patti Scheuering, Bob Roth, and Brian Koehler, gave us all a chance to stretch our muscles a little. We were also able to see the old gondola cable used by Apollo Gas Company to cross Crooked Creek; we are considering the use of this structure to replace the now-defunct cable bridge at Cherry Run, a pet project of Vince Roolf.
Soon it will be time to get on the old clothes, open up the can of paint and get out there and put on the 1997 coat of paint. It was emphasized at the meeting, the blazes make the trail a trail and that is why it is so important to get the blazing done each year. Watch the AYH Golden Triangle over the next 6 months for a variety of "maintenance hikes" you can sign up for, including a couple of weekend camp-out projects.
"To provide inexpensive educational travel, intercultural understanding, and an understanding of the natural environment through hostels, hostelling, and outdoor recreation."
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This page was last updated January 21, 2006