Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Ghost Gourds and Trail Work

Image credit Gary

Ysetertday was a good day.  A very good day.

I painted these small homegrown birdhouse gourds for a loved one to use as Halloween decorations for a "Haunted Hospital" function at her vet's office.  Coffee cup included for scale, besides the fact that coffee is everything.

The bulk of the day was spent doing some trail work along the Tuscarora Trail north of here.  This was with a crew of 3 long distance hikers who were at Shippensburg University for a hikers' annual gathering with the group ALDHA (Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association). 

The gathering being over, these guys remained to donate a day of trail work. We weedwhacked and cleared blowdown trees from 2.5 miles of the trail, which has been kinda neglected for a couple of years as there is no volunteer overseer for that stretch.

Sunny blue skies, common purpose, stunning autumn foliage along a Pennsylvania ridgetop....doesn't get much better than that!

Which brings me to the topic of nicknames.  The ALDHA hikers I worked with--whose work was greatly appreciated--were trail named Canada Goose, Cool Breeze, and Spirit Hawk.

As we sat around at a picnic table at a convenience store on the way home, enjoying a cold soda, the hikers addressed each other using trail names.  Like "Hey, Canada Goose, how long will it take you to drive back to Quebec?"

Though we had just shared blood, sweat and tears along the trail (literally!), I just could not bring myself to use trail names in conversation; it just seemed too strange.  Of course, as I have previously blogged, I have a strong aversion to nicknames.  You may want to go read that post, here.

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