Report written by Alan Staimen - event date Apr 22, 2017:
Bald Knob / Big Levels trails
The plan for the day was to run 3 groups. One with the Rangers to put up new signage and replace one that had been knocked down.
A second group would run the (partially paved) Coal road and clean up trash along it. DJ and his wife went with this group.
The third group would start at the top of Big Levels (FR 162) and clean up trash progressing down the trail.
My team started on trash cleanup at the top. We had 6 vehicles and our lead driver who works for Overland Experts (OHV training) provided us with some long range radios for good communications.
The weather alternated between, heavy rain and light rain with heavy fog.
We let the Forest ranger team pass by us then we started our cleanups.
My team would spread out every 1/2 mile or so and each of use would get out and do 1/4 mile trash cleanup in each direction.
Most of what we found were beer cans and bottles. The trail had looked pretty clean back on New Years day and it was still in good shape today.
My group got about 1/2 way down the trail when I met up with a Jeep Patriot driver. I pulled off the trail and made space for him to let another group pass us. He had just bought the Jeep and was out to see what the trail was like. I gave him some trail info and a VA4WDA brocure and sent him on his way.
Several vehicles gatherd at the large camp area for a lunch stop. We heard some air leak sounds form one jeep. We found a slow leak had gotten a bit faster around a nail.. but nothing too bad. He later plugged the tire back at camp. The last bit of the ride was in pretty heavy rain. We passed the group coming up so most of the cleanup was already done.
I had a pretty full bag of beer cans. We came to the challenge section of the trail. The lead jeep and the other with the tire leak bypassed and I lead one other jeep on this trail. Nice, bumpy, some rocks and very slippery drops but no issues and in a short time we were back on the Coal road.
Back at camp we filled up 2 dumpsters full of trash.
VA4WDA provided dinner and we had a big fire in the Picnic shelter fireplace.
Due to continuing rain most of the groups headed home that night. The cleanup may have been cold and really wet but it was still fun and we did good work in the forest.
Alan Staiman & Teah 2014 JKR
Doyle K, Stewart JKU
Natalie Stewart JKU
Brad Boyd (VA4WDA) TJ
Jesse Sheneirla Old beat up TJ
Sandy S. Dodge Pickup.
+ many others
Database: VA4WDA Earth Day Trail Cleanup April 22-23 2017
Groups in attendance:
Blue Ridge 4 wheelers