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The Blaze

This version was saved 1 year, 7 months ago View current version     Page history
Saved by Pat Hensley
on June 10, 2021 at 6:26:28 am


Newsletter of the Mount Rogers Appalachian Trail Club 

Summer 2021 

July, August, September


Newsletter in .pdf form




MRATC recreational hikes have been going on with a small group of Covid immunized Friday hikers. Other club recreational hikes are restarting in June, but still only scheduled infrequently. It is not clear that the Covid pandemic is over, and many potential hike leaders are uncomfortable being “immunization police”. If Covid numbers continue to decrease it is likely that some type of potluck meeting or event will be scheduled during the fall.



There were a few major accomplishments during the spring. With substantial help from the small but mighty Konnarock crew and a few dedicated club members, all five composting privies were emptied and should be set for 2021. A great thanks to all involved!


The Comers Falls bridge was demolished by the Konnarock crew and new steps were built by the crew and the club on both sides of the creek. The reroute south of Dickey Gap is now a high water only route and hikers are again directed to use the trail to cross Comers Creek.


An additional bear box was placed north of Wise shelter just outside the park boundary. Hopefully this will encourage more folks to camp there rather than outside the shelter but within the park where it is, technically, prohibited.


As we move into summer the hope is we will get much closer to normal in terms of regular club work days now that most club members are vaccinated. Fingers crossed!!



MRATC currently has 200 members. We continue to get a few new members and many annual members have renewed their memberships. Many of us have become Life Members. However, despite reminders in two issues of the Blaze, and an email reminder, there are currently about 25 members who will be taken off our membership list and will stop receiving our weekly email and quarterly Blaze during the next few weeks. If you are one of these folks and have just lost track of time or have Covid brain, as some are calling it, we’d love to hear from you. We are starting to resume weekly trail work and some recreational and rare plant hikes, and hope to resume in person board meetings and potlucks in the next few months.


A reminder: Memberships are $10 annually per person, $15 annually per family, or $100 for a Life membership per person. Annual memberships run out March 1 of the following year. Memberships can be mailed to MRATC at PO Box 789, Damascus, Va. 24236. We can email you a membership form if you request it at mtrogersatc@gmail.com.



As COVID concerns waned and gatherings and festivals were once more permitted, Damascus Appalachian Trail Days drew hundreds of happy people, glad to be out.


2021 T-shirts sold out by the second day of the three-day festival. Programs took place in a large open-sided tent. Gear vendors were well represented and did a good business, bands performed, and, of course the food was great. Hikers appreciated the gear repair and giveaways. Although there was no official hiker parade this year, there was a more subdued parade down the sidewalk of the main street.



We are an all-volunteer organization. Things don’t happen if people don’t volunteer to help make them happen. Let’s get going!


As we climb out of COVID restrictions on group activities, what would you like to do with the club? Hike? Help with a little trail work? Learn more about rare plants on the AT? Other?

The MRATC Steering Committee would like to hear from you.


If you have a suggestion for a hike, or if you want more information on trail work to see if you feel you can help once in a while, send an email to the general club email box: mtrogersatc@gmail.com, or phone a Board member on the contact list you received with your spring newsletter in March.



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