May 31, 2003
Montclair Glen Bark Mulch Work Hike
Eleven volunteers and three staff members turned out on the last day in May to carry 200 pounds of bark mulch to Montclair Glen Lodge. The sun broke through the cloud cover enough to make the 50 degree temperature pleasant and the blackflies troublesome only at lower elevations.
We traveled in three separate groups along the Monroe Trail, the Dean Trail and a short distance on the Long Trail to the shelter. By the time the last load had arrived, everyone was enjoying lunch and conversation. We then unpacked our assortment of backpacks and frame packs near the privy and stored the mulch for the season.
Pete Antos-Ketcham explained the operation of composting privies in the backcountry and the need for bark mulch to aerate the waste and help with decomposition process. The efforts of the volunteers allowed caretakers to concentrate on their summit duties and trail and shelter maintenance, avoiding the multiple trips carrying bark mulch.
On the return trip, many of us carried out accumulated trash from the shelter: plastic sheeting, used boards, and litter. John B. proved his "Ironman" status once again by single-handedly packing out the door from the shelter, a door that had seen too much use and too many winters, and which was replaced this spring.
A few stalwart souls visited the Morse Bench on the return trip and others hiked over the summit of Camels Hump. The weather minimized the crowds at the summit, but we saw several parties hiking up as we descended the Monroe Trail.
Quinn Keating, the lead caretaker on Camels Hump this season, was effusive in his praise of the volunteers. "You guys saved us so much time and effort. It was an awesome effort and a great contribution to the club. Thanks."