After quite the warm start on January 1 to our 40th year as an organization, winter has settled in with gusto to the Piedmont. Our chilly morning hikes are giving us clear views beyond bare tree branches and a crunch of leaves under our feet. Soon the brisk mornings come to an end for another year but now we can look forward to new leaves sprouting and wildflowers blooming on our trails.
A recent hike around our beloved Pilot Mountain after the November fire revealed some darkened ground cover and charred tree bark, but I believe that Pilot will return to its former self within a year or two We will get a better idea when the new growth starts in the spring, but I think we are all optimistic.
Thanks to our outgoing president Vance Barron and the entire board who have steered a very active and growing club. We have two dozen or so new members in the last few months alone that have added interesting conversations to our outings. We also have several of our members out on injured reserve to start 2022, some hiking related and some not. For those working your way back to full function, we hope to see you back soon.
For the short term we will continue to stick with Zoom and outdoor only events for the coming months but our hope springs eternal for a return to in person meetings later this year. In the meantime, new VP Gail Dempsey and I will strive to make our zoom meetings interesting and informative.
Many thanks to Marshall Weatherman for his excellence in designing and constructing our current web site. He has decided to retire from that volunteer job after many years serving our club. You may notice a few minor changes as we move to new software. Please add some web site exploring time to your day when you can and take note of the "proposed hikes" section that serves as a hike leader sign up.
Our volunteer editor and publisher, Clare Strayhorn, is taking a few weeks' time to help care for her mother in England, so this month's Trailmarker will be a little different in appearance. We will return to our normal format after her return in early March.
Best to all and see you on the trails!Dave Johnson