September 2013 Volunteer of the Month
Volunteer of the Month Bob Clark, on a hike in the Tetons. Photo by Bonnie Clark.
Bob Clark went on his first week-long work trip in 1997 under the legendary C.T. Campbell. This bracing midwesterner still talks about how he could barely keep up with Heidi Forrest when she came out to build rock waterbars with the crew.
After the devastating ice storms of 1998, he spent his weekends helping clear trails in the Shenandoahs before the spring rush. His efforts earned him the privilege overseeing a beautiful 2+ mile section of the Appalachian Trail that crosses North Marshall Mountain in Shenandoah National Park.
Over the last 15 years Bob has done an excellent job maintaining this busy trail. He rebuilt almost all the structures along the trail and tamed the mountain laurel that constantly encroaches the trail along the ridge.
Bob is more than just an overseer; he is also an educator. Day hikers and thru-hikers who take the time to chat will get a lesson on the geologic history of the Alleghenies or how tectonic uplift created the classic incised meanders on the South fork of the Shenandoah River flowing by Luray and Rileyville. If they stay too long, they’ll also get a scouting report on Nebraska Huskers football.
Bob is closing in on retirement, but has no plans to slow down. He eventually hopes to settle down in Colorado and employ his trail maintenance skills in Rocky Mountain National Park. In the meantime, he has worked hard to mentor co-overseer Mike Reese to take over the maintenance of the trail. Despite the age difference, Mike learns his lessons by being outhiked and outsawed on most trips.
PATC thanks Bob Clark for 15-plus years of dedication to our goals.
—Submitted by Rick Canter
Please email Rick Canter at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to nominate someone for Volunteer of the Month.