Dewaine's Home Page
My StoryI moved to southwestern Pennsylvania in November of 2003 and quickly began looking for opportunities to get outside and stretch my legs on these hills. Since graduate school in Chicago, I had somehow found myself far from the family farm in Ohio and trapped in an office cubicle behind a computer screen. A quick search for trails in Pennsylvania led me to the Rachel Carson Trails Conservancy website and the start of the most fun I have had in a long time.
Patty Brunner introduced me to the Baker Trail during a maintenance survey in the spring of 2004 and our enthusiasm for trail maintenance has kept us both dreaming of big things for this special trail. Together we have put paint on trees, found lost shelters, scouted trail re-routes, talked to land owners, slept on gym floors, dug around in basements and swung on ropes over the Allegheny River. Come join us!
Along the way Steve Mentzer somehow planted the seed in my head to hike the Rachel Carson Challenge. With silly optimism, comfortable shoes and a very light pack I headed out in June of 2005 for a perfect day of walking in the woods. While I thought I was in good shape, the "muddy, bloody Rachel Carson" knocked me down a peg or three. I made it to the end with a pretty good time but couldn't walk for a week without crutches. It was much more fun in 2006 when I did it with friends AND after training for 4 months! In 2011 I logged my best time yet on the Challenge coming in 38th in 9 hours and 30 minutes.
Currently I serve as the trail manager and co-editor of the Guide to the Baker Trail. Both jobs keep me out in the woods talking to people and making new friends. Nothing would suit me better.
The 2013 trail maintenance cycle has begun! Patty and I have been scouting the southern section and making plans for maintenance work along the trail. The group of enthusiastic section maintainers has been working hard to get the southern section ready for the ultra marathon this year. Last year we completed an interesting new re-route along the Mahoning River that removed about a mile of road. The new section contines the existing trail along the lake past boulders and through mature hemlock forest.