‘A schedule of rigorous train’ protecting an area group of hikers wholesome | Outside

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Newberry, Pa. — Each Thursday, a local group of outdoor enthusiasts get together to hike a rigorous trail in the area. Whether it’s three or 11 people, the group has shown a serious commitment to logging the miles.

The effort began with two friends who wanted to hike together. Robert (Robbie) Cross, 76, co-founded the group with his friend of over 40 years, Bill McCauley, when they turned 70.

Both environmental activists and outdoor enthusiasts, Robbie and Bill decided that, having reached their 70s, it was time “to employ a rigorous schedule of exercise.” And to take it seriously, they planned out a schedule to go every week; rain or shine, hot or cold.

“They don’t want to go quietly into the night!” exclaimed Richard Karp, a local photographer and the first to join Robbie and Bill on their outdoor excursions.

At some point Karp started to join the duo more often. Now the group usually ranges from three to 11 people in attendance each week, open to regulars and people who come and go whenever they’re in town or have time during their busy work week.

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Jonathan Butterfield, 71 pushes his way through a tree that fell over on the Dutters hiking trail near Hillsgrove, Pa. on July 8, 2021.

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Vic Ciuccio, 75, looks at the infrastructure on the fracking well pad while hiking the Bryan Hay and Loyalsock Trail near Williamsport, Pa. on July 22, 2021. This trail was picked by Richard Karp, 71, who thought it was important to remind the group of the effects that fracking has on our environment.

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Members of the hiking group wait in the living room at Robbie Cross’ house in Newberry near Williamsport, Pa, in the morning before heading off to a trail on July 22, 2021. All members attending the hike on a given Thursday must meet at Robbie’s house by 10:30 a.m., for which they have coffee, tea and snacks while talking amongst themselves.

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Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_04.jpg

The hiking group drives to the hiking trail on July 8, 2021 near Williamsport, Pa.

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Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_05.jpg

Robbie Cross, 76, crosses a stream on the Gamble Run Trail on July 1, 2021 near Jersey Shore, Pa. The recent rainfall has made the stream much bigger, making it more difficult to cross.

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Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_06.jpg

Richard Karp, 71, ducks under a fallen tree on the Gamble Run Trail near Jersey Shore, Pa. on July 1, 2021.

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Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_07.jpg

Robbie Cross, co-founder of the hiking group waits on the Gamble Run hiking trail near Jersey Shore as the other members of the group attempt to catch up on July 1, 2021. Robbie has been exploring the outdoors for his entire life, making him the most experienced hiker of the group.

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Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_09.jpg

Robbie Cross hikes away from the summit on the Gamble Run Trail near Jersey Shore, Pa. on July 1, 2021.

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The hiking group stops to take a breather as they scale up the Brian Hay and Loyalsock Trail on July 22, 2021 near Williamsport, Pa.

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_12.jpg

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_12.jpg

The hiking group approaches a fracking well pad on July 22, 2021 on the Brian Hay and Loyalsock trail near Williamsport, Pa. Clearing out parts of the forest for fracking companies is common for Central Pa. due to its rich supply of gas and fossil fuels.

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_13.jpg

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_13.jpg

Robin Knauth, 58, and Robbie Cross, 76, cross a stream on the Dutters Trail near Hillsgrove Pa., on July 8, 2021. Due to more rainfall then usual, the water level on the trail is much higher, making it difficult to cross.

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_14.jpg

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_14.jpg

Robin Knauth, 58, cleans some deer waste off of her dog Zoe in the creek as Vic Ciuccio, 75, searches the creek for living creatures to determine the cleanliness of the water on July 22, 2021 near Williamsport, Pa. Fracking is a common way water gets polluted, which kills the life forms, and makes it inhabitable for them to live.

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_15.jpg

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_15.jpg

Vic Ciuccio, 75, walks away from the fracking well pad on July 22, 2021 on the Bryan Hay and Loyalsock Trail near Williamsport, Pa. to continue the interrupted trail.

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_16.jpg

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_16.jpg

(left to right) Jonathan Butterfield, 71, and Robbie Cross, 76, enjoy some drinks after a hike at the Dutters Trail on July 8, 2021 near Hillsgrove, Pa. The group goes out for libations after every hike as a good respite to talk about the issues and events of the day.

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_17.jpg

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_17.jpg

Richard Karp, 71, crosses the stream on the Dutters Trail near Hillsgrove, Pa. to continue the trail on the other side on July 8, 2021.

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_18.jpg

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_18.jpg

The hiking group crosses the stream at the Dutters Trail near Hillsgrove, Pa on July 8, 2021.

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_19.jpg

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_19.jpg

The group goes out for libations after hiking the Bryan Hay and Loyalsock trail near Williamsport, Pa on July 22, 2021.

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Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_20.jpg

The hiking group finishes up the Bryan Hay and Loyalsock trail on July 22, 2021 near Williamsport, Pa. on a gravel pathway leading from the fracking well pad.

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_01.jpg

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_01.jpg

Jonathan Butterfield, 71 pushes his way through a tree that fell over on the Dutters hiking trail near Hillsgrove, Pa. on July 8, 2021.

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_02.jpg

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_02.jpg

Vic Ciuccio, 75, looks at the infrastructure on the fracking well pad while hiking the Bryan Hay and Loyalsock Trail near Williamsport, Pa. on July 22, 2021. This trail was picked by Richard Karp, 71, who thought it was important to remind the group of the effects that fracking has on our environment.

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_03.jpg

Members of the hiking group wait in the living room at Robbie Cross’ house in Newberry near Williamsport, Pa, in the morning before heading off to a trail on July 22, 2021. All members attending the hike on a given Thursday must meet at Robbie’s house by 10:30 a.m., for which they have coffee, tea and snacks while talking amongst themselves.

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_04.jpg

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_04.jpg

The hiking group drives to the hiking trail on July 8, 2021 near Williamsport, Pa.

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_05.jpg

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_05.jpg

Robbie Cross, 76, crosses a stream on the Gamble Run Trail on July 1, 2021 near Jersey Shore, Pa. The recent rainfall has made the stream much bigger, making it more difficult to cross.

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_06.jpg

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_06.jpg

Richard Karp, 71, ducks under a fallen tree on the Gamble Run Trail near Jersey Shore, Pa. on July 1, 2021.

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_07.jpg

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_07.jpg

Robbie Cross, co-founder of the hiking group waits on the Gamble Run hiking trail near Jersey Shore as the other members of the group attempt to catch up on July 1, 2021. Robbie has been exploring the outdoors for his entire life, making him the most experienced hiker of the group.

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_09.jpg

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_09.jpg

Robbie Cross hikes away from the summit on the Gamble Run Trail near Jersey Shore, Pa. on July 1, 2021.

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_11.jpg

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_11.jpg

The hiking group stops to take a breather as they scale up the Brian Hay and Loyalsock Trail on July 22, 2021 near Williamsport, Pa.

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_12.jpg

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_12.jpg

The hiking group approaches a fracking well pad on July 22, 2021 on the Brian Hay and Loyalsock trail near Williamsport, Pa. Clearing out parts of the forest for fracking companies is common for Central Pa. due to its rich supply of gas and fossil fuels.

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_13.jpg

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_13.jpg

Robin Knauth, 58, and Robbie Cross, 76, cross a stream on the Dutters Trail near Hillsgrove Pa., on July 8, 2021. Due to more rainfall then usual, the water level on the trail is much higher, making it difficult to cross.

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_14.jpg

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_14.jpg

Robin Knauth, 58, cleans some deer waste off of her dog Zoe in the creek as Vic Ciuccio, 75, searches the creek for living creatures to determine the cleanliness of the water on July 22, 2021 near Williamsport, Pa. Fracking is a common way water gets polluted, which kills the life forms, and makes it inhabitable for them to live.

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_15.jpg

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_15.jpg

Vic Ciuccio, 75, walks away from the fracking well pad on July 22, 2021 on the Bryan Hay and Loyalsock Trail near Williamsport, Pa. to continue the interrupted trail.

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_16.jpg

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_16.jpg

(left to right) Jonathan Butterfield, 71, and Robbie Cross, 76, enjoy some drinks after a hike at the Dutters Trail on July 8, 2021 near Hillsgrove, Pa. The group goes out for libations after every hike as a good respite to talk about the issues and events of the day.

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_17.jpg

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_17.jpg

Richard Karp, 71, crosses the stream on the Dutters Trail near Hillsgrove, Pa. to continue the trail on the other side on July 8, 2021.

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_18.jpg

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_18.jpg

The hiking group crosses the stream at the Dutters Trail near Hillsgrove, Pa on July 8, 2021.

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_19.jpg

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_19.jpg

The group goes out for libations after hiking the Bryan Hay and Loyalsock trail near Williamsport, Pa on July 22, 2021.

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_20.jpg

Hiking_Story_NCPA_2021_20.jpg

The hiking group finishes up the Bryan Hay and Loyalsock trail on July 22, 2021 near Williamsport, Pa. on a gravel pathway leading from the fracking well pad.

While attendance is low some weeks, it never falters the motivation of the group, having hiked regularly for the entire extent of the groups’ formation.

“We’ve canceled maybe about once in about three years!” claimed Karp, which only shows the continued dedication and of the members.

The group is diverse. From doctors and lawyers, to musicians and educators. Robin Knauth, a professor and program director of Archeology and Culture of the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean at Lycoming College mentioned she joined the group after learning abou tit from Rick Coulter, a local trumpet player, musician, and educator.

“Rick Coulter would post these beautiful photos on Facebook,” Knauth said. “I was admiring the pictures and I said, ‘why don’t you invite me on one of these hikes?’ And he did!” And so the group continued to grow.



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Fog sets in over the trees on the Gamble Run Trail near Jersey Shore, Pa. on July 1, 2021



Cross’s passion for the outdoors goes beyond. He is one of the founders of the Responsible Drilling Alliance (RDA), a group that aims to hold fracking and gas industries accountable for pollution in the local environment.

“We do not need to destroy our forests and destroy reasons why people want to go into the forest,” Cross said. “And there’s lots of money to be made from tourism and outdoor recreation that will never go away,” he said, responding to the idea that fracking will sustain our local economy.

The RDA continues to push the conversation of conservation. A notable debate continues regarding a local favorite, Rock Run, located in McIntyre Wild Area of Loyalsock State Forest near Ralston, Pennsylvania in Lycoming County.

“We helped convince people we should not be dumping frack water into the river,” Cross explained. “We helped draw a lot of attention to Rock Run and the fact that it was threatened with drilling. It would have destroyed the nature of Rock Run.”

Cross’s passion for the outdoors brings him and his hiking pals, every Thursday, to indulge in the beauty and complex ecosystem that lies within Central Pennsylvania, he said.

“Thursday hikes offer therapy. One, obviously, physical therapy. And the other is mental therapy. The therapy of being in such beauty and being around other people who are enjoying it as much as you are, is great therapy.” said Cross.

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‘A schedule of rigorous exercise’ keeping a local group of hikers healthy | Outdoors Source link ‘A schedule of rigorous exercise’ keeping a local group of hikers healthy | Outdoors