Long Distance Trails Crew installs large stepping stones at heavily used stream crossing on Long Path in Harriman State Park
Text by Bob Fuller, pictures by Marty Costello, members of the Long Distance Trails Crew
This December worktrip was our last for 2014. We went out on a very rainy Saturday to set up the high line and then on a beautiful, but cold, Sunday rearranged giant stepping stones at the Long Path crossing of the Lake Skannatati inlet stream. Many of you will remember this as a very difficult crossing especially in high water and in the winter when the rocks ice up. Some of us remember falling into the cold winter water here. We wanted to make that a thing of the past.
Sunday morning the stream was running deep and fast and right in the middle of the stream was a giant rock (1500 lbs or more) we wanted to reposition as a stepping stone. This made just getting a sling under the rock a very COLD and WET challenge. Not only was there no place to stand, you couldn’t see the bottom of the rock or the bottom of the stream bed and everything (slings, feet, and even heavy rock bars) were pushed downstream by the current. Finally we got a sling on the rock and the rock in the air only to find that we had to reposition the sling multiple times and flip the rock to make it fit just where it was needed. This took all morning and we finished the first rock just in time for a late lunch.
After lunch we moved more rocks into place and by late afternoon hikers were already using the new crossing. It’s hard to convey in words both the challenge and feeling of accomplishment that comes with a job well done.
We have a video of this outing at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcFVy02stLU&feature=youtu.be
We will have more outings beginning in early spring so please join us. Contact Crew Chief Chris Reyling 914-953-4900, firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information.