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        vvvVVVVRRRRRRRROOOOOOOOOMMM, went my truck onto I-495 in the early
morning darkness on Saturday.  With 197,650+ trouble-free miles on it, I
knew I could trust it to bring me to the Holy Land in time for a
7:30:00:00AM EST arrival for the annual MRG Patrol Refresher.  Steve Pardy
was always a stickler for being on time and that has stuck.
        Reports had it that people were hoofing in from App Gap to earn some
turns on the whopping 2" on grass.  In fact, I just got an e-mail from a
"spotter" hiking from Lincoln Peak to App Gap which mentioned that "one of
my photos was of the set of tracks at the top of MRG, someone just couldn't
wait.".
        Some new things at MRG are some new "WizLoc Adjustable Extrication
Collars" that we are trying out (I liked 'em when I saw 'em at patroller
meeting at Belleayre 14 months ago) and some Kendrick Traction Splints.  The
latter are really sweet, but I personally like the Sager Splints a little
better.  With the Sagers, it's a 1 piece and the gauge at the bottom ensures
you apply the right amount of traction.  Bit like I said, I do like the new
Kendricks - the old Hare and Thomas splints which has served first aid well
over the years have been outclassed.  Some new water bars and erosion
control measures have been implemented as well as some new re-gen zones on
Upper Panther and some trees planted along lower Chipmunk (well, I guess
it's called Gazelle, now).
        One thing that has not changed is the Pro Patrol roster.  The
turnover in this department has been very low over the past few years.  In
fact, much of the entire patrol has remained intact.   I think this explains
why we work so well together and why we efficiently flew through everything
during the weekend ......AND we have fun, too.
        Lift evac practice today went very well for me as well as the
written portion of the CPR test.  We did CPR/AED/Heimlich stuff today 'til
we were blue in the face.
        After cleaning up the Basebox, there was still 3 hours of daylight
left, so Rocky and I charged up Stark Mountain to progress on a line we
worked on almost 2 months ago.  It's really an overgrown older line - very
often, I have clipped some dense stuff only to discover some very worn old
stumps and other evidence of clipping from years ago.

Mark

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