Trail work continues in the winter too. It’s 20 degrees and the third day of a New Year. Before continuing to the work site, students had to repair a washed out culvert.

Nine intrepid students from Grand Valley State University in Michigan volunteered to work the first week of Winter BreakAway on the CT. Their mission was to carry several hundred board feet of 2 X 10 and 2 X 4 lumber 1.6 miles into the trail. The job required six round trips. The lumber was used to replace a 60 foot stairway and ladder that burned during a fire in 2009. After that, the students picked up with building over 300 feet of trail on the upper approach to the stairs.

The next week, University of Kansas students weren’t so lucky. After arriving Sunday afternoon and a hearty dinner and briefing, they awoke to nine inches of snow. Instead of melting in a day or two, the normal pattern in this part of Tennessee, the snow and low temps persisted. The school headed home on Thursday after a hike on the snow, several snowball fights, a hike on a snowy trail and constructing a large snow fort. But we thank them for their willingness to volunteer in the dead of winter.