[at-l] The PA Ruck

Bob Wardecker cna2rn at gmail.com
Tue Apr 6 09:27:00 CDT 2010

On 4/6/2010 8:23 AM, Marsha Lee wrote:
> Even though I sent this same email out via blind copy to most all of 
> you, some were kicked back to me. I decided to post this here - being 
> AT related :)
> As most of you have probably heard, Ironmaster's Mansion Hostel is 
> closing. We cannot give you any answers because we simply do not know 
> what is going to happen. *
> *
> So it's time to move on-the PA Ruck must find a new home.
> Many of you have fond memories and ties to the hostel, like myself. I 
> never thought we'd be looking for a new facility. It has been 
> difficult finding a new place due to our needs.
> Some of you have offered suggestions, but after checking out all 
> referrals and putting the whole ball of wax together--not one facility 
> could help us that had everything we needed, plus a good price. Many 
> factors.
> The State of PA campgrounds are closed in the winter; several 
> representatives told us that the only thing they could do was to open 
> a few group campsites, as the one at Pine Grove Furnace. There were no 
> cabins or structures to host our gathering. There have been lay-offs 
> and closures statewide. In other states as well.
> Other privately-owned campgrounds had partial amenities. Some were 
> costly, some were even non-functional. Most could not host our group 
> size, unless it was held in the summer.
> I spent some time in Gettysburg recently searching for a new place. 
> They were costly and could not completely accommodate us.
> We need:
> -a private facility that sits near/on the Appalachian Trail
> -inside bunking for some
> -optional outside camping for most attendees
> -several campgrounds with campfire pits to fill the need of our 
> diverse group
> -a nice big ol kitchen with a working stove :)
> -a comfortable gathering room for presentations
> -inexpensive
> -room to breath and keeping it simple !
> The idea of moving it /over-the-border/ came quickly as we realized 
> keeping it in Pennsylvania just might not be the answer.
> The Potomac Appalachian Trail Club has accepted us at Blackburn Trail 
> Center.  Blackburn sits near the top of a beautiful mountain right 
> outside of Harpers Ferry. Please research this facility. You will be 
> quite pleased.
> Blackburn offers many things, read on:
> http://potomacappalachian.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=87&Itemid=37 
> <http://potomacappalachian.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=87&Itemid=37>
> The PATC stressed that around mid February this year, this area had an 
> incredibly high snow precipitation. Snow plows could not plow the road 
> up to Blackburn. The PATC had to hike up the road to deliver groceries 
> and supplies to the caretakers.
> They emphasized that the snowfall was not the norm for the area--but 
> that our date of late January for the PA Ruck might not be sensible, 
> not even February. They suggested the 2nd weekend in March.
> With the date of mid-March, most of us will be able to camp outside, 
> and believe me, you will want to camp there. It is quite beautiful and 
> I have been there many times, spending an average 1 to 3 days.
> You can refer to your favorite weather website and view the weather 
> for that time of year: Round Hill Va. Even though it is located in VA, 
> Blackburn is about 10 miles outside of Harpers Ferry WV.
> We first considered the thru-hiker start dates. Yes, there are a 
> handful of hikers that start at Springer mid-March. The majority do not.
> Price is another issue - Blackburn would be much cheaper than the 
> hostel and other facilities.
> Throughout the year, you will read more about the Ruck. But for now, 
> let's concentrate on hiker season, the A.T. Museum grand opening in 
> June and enjoying ourselves with this beautiful spring weather!
> In a few months you will be seeing a new PA Ruck website. We are also 
> on Facebook.
> Don't hesitate to ask away rather than assume.  I'm sure most of you 
> are thinking:  what shall we call the Ruck now?
> That's the fun part.
> Sincerely
> Marsha "StarLyte"
> ...and Jim & Ginny Owen
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I know I do not post often anymore. But I still read each and every post.

As for the Ruck I have not attended in many years due to work and family 
constraints but i do plan on attending when i can get my schedule to agree.

Blackburn seems like a good alternative. Is there plans to move the Ruck 
back to Pine Grove once the hostile reopens? As for the timing. Since 
they recommend 2nd week in March and this in my opinion along with 
others is a bit late to be having the Ruck. Why don't we consider one of 
2 time frames? One of which would be during the peak thruhiker season as 
they pass through the area. The other being after thruhiker season is 
over. Most finish in August or September so we could possibly do it in 
October. Weather would still be good and would allow camping without 
freezing. Just my thoughts.

Bob ShakeyLeggs Wardecker

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