Sunday, August 18, 2013

Upper Goose Pond Cabin Maintenance

August 10, 13, 17 and 24.

The NPS-owned cabin on Upper Goose Pond is a much-anticipated stop for all visitors on the AT in Mass--and a few locals as well.  Overseen by volunteer caretakers who work weekly shifts, this building has no electricity or running water--and no road access.  A small propane stove and rudimentary kitchen provide for the needs of the caretakers--hikers still must bring and prepare their own food and sleeping gear (a bunkhouse on the 2nd level accommodates about 16 sleepers).  There are also two tenting areas adjacent to the cabin.

The cabin sits above the rocky shore of Upper Goose Pond.  A pristine, undeveloped pond (perhaps the last one in Massachusetts?) surrounded by land purchased in 1982 to protect the AT.   The pond has hosted both moose and bald eagles in recent years.

Dave paints from the fire escape
Although the structure is owned by the National Park Service, it is maintained and operated by our Trail Club (AMC Berkshire Chapter's AT Management Committee), completely with volunteer labor and management.  It hosts around 600 overnight visitors per season, plus many more day users.  

Keeping the cabin and the few outbuildings in good shape and in safe operating condition is another responsibility we happily undertake.   This summer we installed new roofing and siding on two small sheds as well as continuing with the "one side per year" painting schedule for the main cabin.

Don works the SE corner
Pete finishes the railings
 Although extensive by comparison to typical AT overnight sites, the AT Committee works hard to maintain a sense of remoteness at the cabin that is consonant with the AT experience.  The temptation to make "improvements" (easier access to drinking water, better lighting, interior finishes, etc) is constant, and must be resisted--else the cabin becomes a "town stop" instead of a singular overnight experience for the AT traveler.

Pete and thru-hiker Atlas install rafter extensions on the woodshed

Don gets roof duty.

The final pieces of water shield on on.  They will be covered with red metal roofing.

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