May 22, 2005
Sterling Pond Shelter Work Hike
Ten hardy volunteers braved a daylong drizzle and cool weather to begin site preparation for the Sterling Pond Shelter on Sunday, May 22, 2005.
From the height-of-land in Smuggler's Notch - bearing shovels, hazel hoes, buckets, rakes - we hiked to the shelter site, filled 5-gallon buckets with ashes and other debris, and carried them to a disposal area some distance from the site. Two members proved adept with a rock bar and moved many large rocks, in the process creating a stone bench for hikers.
After leveling the site and not finding the ledge we expected, the crew dug four holes in the mixture of clay and crumbly rock soil to create footings for the foundation. We alternated digging, prying rocks, and raking the dirt around the foundation. One hole collected water, another ended in rock after three feet, and a third required some effort to remove roots and other vegetation. Only one hole found ledge at around two feet. The crew then proceeded to measure the dimensions of the foundation, mark the center points of each one, and close off the site with flagging tape.
The rain continued on the hike down the mountain and a mud-covered collection of volunteers returned gratefully to our cars in the mid-afternoon.
Bill Clark and Duncan Wilkie