2008 District Picnic

Mixing and MinglingMixing and Mingling

At least 17 of 20 known, card-carrying members of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, an organization recognized for its non-terrorist activities, brazenly met in public within the confines of Shenandoah National Park on Saturday, May 31st at Dundo Picnic Grounds.

While the purposes for this meeting were almost as cloudy as the weather, a source close to the source indicated that “…aw, nothing of real importance occurred.” A spokesperson for the band disputed that unattributed comment, saying:

“Hey, We Survived!”

That almost-glib reply is uncommonly truthful, as all participants did survive, despite the weather thrown at them (in spurts ranging from spurts to downpours, with bright sunshine interspersed betwixt the spurts). Acting on the principle of “hiding in plain view,” the brazen band of PATC Picnicers conducted a…Picnic. In threatening weather!

Cooking in the RainCooking in the Rain

In fact, this is the third such Adventure in Picnicking conducted by elements of the PATC within the South District of Shenandoah National Park. (The previous events were conducted in 2006 and 2007 in Dundo (neè) Campground and Loft Mountain Campground, respectively). In each case, Park officials have been surprised to learn that such an illicit activity had occurred. According to one such official: “Forensics found no evidence of that activity, so all we have to go on are anecdotes.” In other words, the Picnic Forays of previous years are the stuff of rumor and legend only.

Evidence Discovered

However, the third time was apparently the charm. Or, the Picnicers’ Pitfall. For this time, someone left evidence betraying the brazen act that bespeaks its brazenness. Simply put, a senior Park official has been discovered with solid evidence indicative of his complicity with the PATC and their nefarious activities.

A man known only by the code name, “John Hedrick,” presented the NPS official, identified as Mr. Shawn Green, with a plaque acknowledging Mr. Green’s “many years of public service and work with PATC.” Our research shows that, during Mr. Green’s 30-year career with the National Park Service, he has supported the PATC, both actively and clandestinely.

Shawn receives his plaqueShawn receives his plaque

When confronted with these facts, officials at Shenandoah National Park hurried claimed that Mr. Green has been recently, or hastily, “retired” from the NPS. He has apparently undertaken a second career as a “student.”

(The shadowy “John Hedrick,” man of mystery, has been sighted repeatedly throughout the region recently. He probably met with these unperturbed PATCers to conduct this, and other, secret rituals of the secretive sect that is PATC. It’s postulated that “John Hedrick” is especially interested in furthering the organization’s active cell operating in the South District of Shenandoah National Park.)

In Conclusion

Surely no good can be found within a group of people who claim only to enjoy each other’s company and the out-of-doors; who would drive significant distances just to renew acquaintances and “chow-down” on premium hamburgers and bratwurst!  In this day of exploding fuel costs, why would some drive for more than four hours just for a “picnic?” We believe that there is more to this than greets the eye at first blush (to mix a metaphor or two), and we will not stop reporting on these people and their organization!

Mark - Master GrillerMark - Master Griller
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