Daeland Angle drove six hours into the heart of the West Virginia wilderness just to carve his way through it.
Specifically, he and 1,700 other Boy Scouts who also are members of the Order of the Arrow honor society will be making their way through the New River Gorge National River to build multipurpose trails over the next four weeks.
That's 25 to 30 miles worth of trails.
"This project is pretty straightforward; we're going out there building mountain biking trails for public use," said Clyde Mayer, an Order of the Arrow team leader.
The OA is a service organization within the Scouts dedicated to camping, outdoor adventure and environmental stewardship, so the four-week SummitCorps in Fayetteville offers a good opportunity for Scouts to delve into all of those aspects.
Angle, 15, has been interested in helping with projects like SummitCorps since he was just a kid watching the birdfeeder in his Springfield, Va., backyard.
"Ever since I was a kid, I loved to watch the birds in my backyard, and I wanted to find out more about them, so I read a lot about them. Then I moved on to Boy Scouts and found out there's lots of stuff I can do to help wildlife and preserve our environment," Angle said.
He's not the only one who came a long way to start building the trails. Mayer came from Texas to help oversee the project, which is similar to another one conducted by the Scouts for the National Park Service. They restored campsites in five areas across the country in 2008.
"We're an organization that promotes scouting in our local communities, and that's why this project fits together very well in the Order, what with dealing with the outdoors and providing service to our communities and our scouting program," Mayer said.
The scouts will pull out the tools necessary to start blazing the trails today and get to work clearing the areas around Garden Grove and Craig Branch. Only employees of the National Park Service will be allowed to use chainsaws, however.
Part of the trails will be on the 10,600 acres the Boy Scouts of America purchased to build the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve as the permanent location for their National Jamboree.
The trails have been designed in part by the International Mountain Bicycling Association.