In 2016, The Patch Sprint is celebrating 30 years of searching for the (Pok-O) Moonshine, which is the theme of this year's event logo.
Today we begin our three-part series on the history of the Patch Sprint, with a report on the first-ever "Patch-in-a-Day". In the summer of 1986, Pok-O nurse "Doc" Browning and counselor Jody Edwards thought it would be a good idea to try to earn their Pok-) Patch in one day. On one of the hottest days of that summer, they set out from camp and arrived 8 hours and 22 minutes later atop Pok-O-Moonshine. The trip was not without incident.
Left the Poko Infirmary and walked up the camp road to Reber Road Hiked to Rattlesnake.
Hiked to Bare
Bushwacked to Sheep’s Hill, but never found the top.
Hiked down to Reber Road and filled water bottles at the mailbox spring. Hiked all the way down to the corner of Reber Road just past Sugarloaf.
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Hiked into the base of the Sugarloaf cliff.
Scrambled up the cliff, dead-ended in to massive poison ivy patch. A debate ensued with Doc not really caring because he was already covered head to toe with a bad case of poison ivy. Being highly allergic, Jody was like 'no way'.
Doc tried to throw his pack down to a ledge near Jody, but it kept going to the bottom of the cliff. Decided to descend and head along the base back in the direction of White’s Road to find a better route up, then ascended and caught the main Sugarloaf trail to the top.
Hiked off the back side of Sugarloaf to the road.
Got lost around Jim and Mary’s cabin trying to find our way over to the Northway. Finally found the highway and tunnel.
Crossed and headed to Poko and climbed to the top.
Edwards and Browning will be on hand to mark the 30th anniversary of their pioneering effort; both are registered as trekkers for the 2016 Patch Sprint. (See who's signed up this year)
Check back in the weeks ahead for accounts of the 1996 first-ever race, and a 2006 event that featured the closest-ever finish.