Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 6

E

From the
Editor

Kurt Rheinheimer

How to Stop Grafitti on the Trail?
INCIDENCES ARE UP. DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA ON A CATCH MESSAGE
THAT MIGHT STICK IN PEOPLE'S MINDS AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
If you're lucky enough to live in
Roanoke, Va., as I do, you know there
are many places nearby where you can
park the car and hop onto the
Appalachian Trail.
That's a good thing.
Or maybe it's not.
One of the easiest places to get on
is immediately off an exit from I-81.
With more parking than could ever
get used by hikers. And with a walk in
which, at about 2.8 miles, the trail
hooks out onto a set of boulders. You
can stand on them, with a trail blaze
under your feet, and look down at the
full expanse of Carvins Cove about
1,000 feet below. And over at McAfee
Knob. And down onto Roanoke. And
down the valley toward Blacksburg.
It's a great lunch spot, and a maybe
20-time default-to-easy walk for us on
our ongoing quest to get into the
woods every weekend.
This most recent time marked a
first for our ascents to the spot: In
green and blue spray paint across a
broad expanse of rocks was a prom
invitation, in foot-tall letters.
I suppose the perp(s), whose
name(s) I did not commit to memory,
could be tracked down were it someone's calling to take those two first
names, scan the names of area highschool grads for 2014, and begin to
pair sets of names toward narrowing.
It is not, of course, anyone's calling
to do that.
And so, the startling, garish, intrusive paint on the rocks will endure
until the rain and the wind and the
snow wear it away, perhaps slightly
faster than those processes work
against the rock itself.
And the instance of rock graffiti,
which we had heretofore seen only in
one place on the Virginia AT - about a
mile beyond this spot at Hay Rock -
will have etched its way one step
closer to becoming pervasive.

6 | BlueRidgeCountry.com

These rocks are a 2.8-mile walk from a road via the Appalachian Trail.

In fact, the Monday after that hike,
my Google Alerts for the trail brought
this headline The Knoxville News
Sentinel: "Graffiti a growing problem
on the Appalachian Trail."
The coverage was from the Great
Smokies' 72-mile stretch where, from
the piece, "the problem has reached
new heights over the past two years."
Bemoaning the fact that the initials,
names, numbers and drawings are
appearing deeper and deeper into the
back country, park official Christine
Hoyer said: "If we remove it, are we
just creating another canvas?"
The article also detailed the catching of one thru-hiker, who left his trail
name followed by "2012 GA to ME."
The trail conservancy was notified, and
the hiker identified, found and fined.
Another instance also involved a thruhiker who got too carried away with
his own name and ongoing trek.
Those two incidences point to a
possible dilution, even among hardcore hikers, of the leave-no-trace ethic,
the originators of which would never, I
would bet, have thought there would
ever be a carving or spray-paint aspect

of their common-sense perspective to
keep the forest the forest.
It is of course education that keeps
a society in touch with its collective
convictions as to what is proper and
what is not. The "Care and Use" section of the A.T. trail guide book near
this desk says: "Do not carve initials or
write on shelter walls," amid its four
paragraphs on preservation.
Maybe it would be a small step to
strengthen that; to create, in the tradition of "Leave no Trace," a catch
phrase or sentence that might have a
chance to stick in people's heads.
Maybe: "The blazes have been
painted; nothing further needed."
Or: "Don't carve, don't paint.Water
and the trail club have seen to both."
Pretty clunky, those.
Got an idea? We'd love to hear it.
Send us your ideas:
krheinheimer@leisuremedia360.com
Fax: 540-989-7603
Facebook.com/BlueRidgeCountry
Twitter.com/BRCmagazine
Or even: PO Box 21535,
Roanoke, VA 24018


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Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014

Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014
Table of Contents
Print to Mobile
From the Editor
From the Farm
Festivals & Events
The Hike
Creature Feature
Mountain Report
Country Roads
Potomac Highlands Adventures
Get Up Early! Great Farm Vacations
Saving Mabry Mill
Photo Essay: Mountain Skies
Signature Mountain Dishes
Waterfront Living
Mountain Garden
Cabin in the Woods: Canaan Resort
Guest Column
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Table of Contents
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Print to Mobile
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - From the Editor
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 7
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - From the Farm
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Festivals & Events
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 12
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 13
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 14
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 15
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - The Hike
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Creature Feature
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Mountain Report
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Country Roads
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 22
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 23
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Potomac Highlands Adventures
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 25
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 26
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 27
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 28
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 30
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 31
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 32
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Get Up Early! Great Farm Vacations
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 35
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 37
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Saving Mabry Mill
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 39
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 40
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 41
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Photo Essay: Mountain Skies
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 43
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 44
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 45
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Signature Mountain Dishes
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 47
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 48
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 49
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 50
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 51
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 52
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 53
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Waterfront Living
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 55
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 56
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 57
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 58
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 59
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 60
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 61
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 62
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 63
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 64
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 65
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 66
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 67
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 68
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 69
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 70
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 71
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 72
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Mountain Garden
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 74
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 75
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 76
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 77
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Cabin in the Woods: Canaan Resort
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 79
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 80
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 81
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Guest Column
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Cover4
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