2012 Honorary Life Member
We are honored and blessed to know as a friend and to work with a truly great person—Alvin Dove. Alvin is the epitome of an outstanding neighbor, citizen, and trail steward. Alvin has been a member of the Southern Shenandoah Valley Chapter and A.T. overseer over a 25-year era.
On the crisp first Saturday morning of December 2012, a score of chapter members and friends met Alvin at the Swift Run Gap Entrance Station to Shenandoah National Park before, ostensibly, working with him on his section of the Appalachian Trail in the South District. Among them were a former President of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, a former Supervisor of Trails, three Honorary Life members of PATC, and at least one recipient of the PATC Hawksbill Award. Why? Because, unbeknown to Alvin, he was to receive the highest award PATC bestows upon members: Honorary Life Membership.
Alvin has maintained the A.T. section from Powell Gap to Smith Roach Gap since 1987. When you first meet him, Alvin immediately impresses as a man who knows exactly what needs to be done, how it needs to be done, and who will do what needs to be done without being asked. Alvin has always kept his trail section in superb shape—it’s been said to be clean enough to eat off of. Alvin’s section has always needed a lot of brushing, and he has always kept it in good shape. Alvin also helps the Southern Shenandoah Valley Chapter maintain the A.T. section north of Loft Mountain. When the Chapter adopted 25 miles of trail on Massanutten Mountain in the Lee Ranger District of the George Washington & Jefferson National Forest, Alvin worked there, too.
The members of the Southern Shenandoah Valley Chapter hold Alvin in the highest respect and consider him a pillar of their chapter and the PATC.
Alvin is a wildflower expert. He knows where special flowers are to be found in Shenandoah National Park and the George Washington & Jefferson National Forest, and he knows exactly when they bloom. Alvin was active in the Virginia Native Plant Society; he often travelled to the annual Wildflower Weekend at Webster Springs, West Virginia. Alvin also went with others to the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario to see wildflowers.
Lynn Cameron, a friend and fellow member of Southern Shenandoah Valley Chapter who is active with the Virginia Wilderness Committee, recounts how Alvin participated on many scouting trips to assess road-less areas for their Wilderness potential. Particularly, Alvin helped scout the Little River and Skidmore Fork areas of Shenandoah Mountain, both of which are now Wilderness proposals.
Alvin, with Jacob Kagey, found the biggest hemlock in Virginia in Ramseys Draft Wilderness.
Hiker & Hiking Companion
Alvin is, according to Ms. Doris True and others in the Southern Shenandoah Valley Chapter, the best hiking companion ever. He is ready to go anywhere and appreciates each trail he hikes. Alvin participated in just about all of the chapter’s hikes since 1985.
Alvin has hiked pretty much all the trails in Shenandoah National Park and the George Washington & Jefferson National Forest. He also hiked in the Monongahela (WV) National Forest. Alvin section-hiked the A.T. in Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania—he would go long distances especially to see wildflowers.