Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Trail Magic, Part 2

The second article in the Waynesboro Record Herald's series of three by Noah C. Kady, on trail magic, is titled "Trail magic has its negative side" and appears in the 30 July 2007 issue.

Kady does a very good job of parsing the difficulties that can arise out of current forms of trail magic. He interviews numerous hikers, as well as the ATC's Laurie Potteiger and NPS's Rita Hennessy (both based in Harpers Ferry).

The drawbacks of trail magic? They include folks hauling all kinds of gear into otherwise pristine, primitive areas simply to provide a big feed to a crowd (kind of dents the wilderness experience for many), the trash that can be left behind where unattended magic is left trailside, people who might try to exploit the concept, and "reports of too much trail magic in the form of alcohol or drugs being provided at some events."

One thing's for sure:
"'(Hiking the trail) has become much more of a social experience,' Hennessy says. 'The thru-hikers that I know who did it 20 years ago had a much different experience than now.'"
That's highlighted by the experience of one of the hikers interviewed for the story who has caught up with a group of hikers who started a month before he did, but make a point of stopping for any and every party - or hint of a party - along the way. That's maybe a different issue, but the party hardy attitude is fostered by planned, organized "trail magic."

Monday, July 30, 2007

Tahoe Rim Trail 'Linked' to the A.T.

The Appalachian Trail served as a sort of parent to the Tahoe Rim Trail in California according to the article "Notes from the Tahoe Rim Trail — first steps; How the trail started, and how I’m starting on the trail" by Greyson Howard in the 29 July 2007 issue of the Sierra Sun newspaper.

According to the article,
"The trail started as an idea of a Forest Service Recreation Officer named Glenn Hampton in 1978, said Erin Casey, associate director of the Tahoe Rim Trail Association. ... She said Hampton’s idea matured as he wrote a master’s thesis about the trail, using the venerable Appalachian Trail, which stretches over 2,000 miles from Georgia to Maine, as a model."
There you go. (Anybody have a citation for that master's thesis?)

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Trail Magic Story

The 28 July 2007 Waynesboro Record Herald from Waynesboro, PA has Noah C. Kady's first in a 3 part series on trail magic titled "'Magic' is commonplace along Appalachian Trail."

It's a very good analysis of the various kinds of trail magic that pop up along the Trail. And it hints at possible 'down sides' to what is sometimes a surfeit of artificially staged trail magic.

Miss Janet's Closed ... For Now

The 28 July 2007 issue of the Erwin Record brings news that "'Miss Janet' to close popular hostel; Appalachian Trail hikers enjoyed stays at Erwin home" in the article by David Thometz. Actually, the article says Miss Janet closed up "last week."

But all is not lost. She's got plans for a bigger and better "Erwin Hiking Center."
"She said the new center’s mission would be 'to provide a unique facility and program that will be a model for sustainable tourism as related to hiking, backpacking and camping activities as well as outdoor education.'

"While plans are still being developed, Hensley said she hopes the center will encompass services and accommodations of long-distance hikers as well as provide educational direction and support for agritourism by providing such resources as workshops and classes in a retreat setting."
Miss Janet hopes to have the new place open by March 2008. Sounds exciting.

Hiker from Alabama is into Maine

"Albertville hiker reaches Maine on Trail" is the title of George Jones's article in the 28 July 2007 issue of the Sand Mountain Reporter out of Albertville, AL. Joseph Abrahams "and his companion Go-Jo, the chocolate Labrador retriever, their Appalachian odyssey had taken them through the Shenandoah Valley and near the Pennsylvania and Delaware borders." And now they're into far off Maine.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Pennsylvania Hiker Heading North Again

The Morning Call newspaper from Allentown, PA has an article by Tim Blangger in its 27 July 2007 issue about thru-hiker Stacy Gery titled "Her hike of a lifetime; Area teacher takes on the twists and turns of the entire Appalachian Trail."

Stacy "Snack Break" Gery had taught Spanish at 2 schools in northeastern Pennsylvania for 7 years, but decided last year to make a change and move to Colorado. Hiking the Trail is a kind of bridge activity for her. The article focuses on Gery getting back on the Trail at Port Clinton after a voluntary 4 week break. The writer says "she took several weeks off -- not an unusual move for AT thru-hikers -- to recharge her batteries." (Pretty much everybody takes some zero days, sure, but 4 weeks "not an unusual move"? ... I don't know about that.)

While the article, of course, mentions trail names and mail drops and hiker food obsessions, it also makes a nice point about the trail community. Gery was apparently faster than some of the folks she started with and happened to meet up with a northbound hiker she knew when she and the reporter got to Port Clinton. And the two of them struck up a conversation about other hikers they both know."'This is what I mean about community,' Gery says to a visitor. 'We're talking about hikers who are 500 miles away.'"

Gery started at Springer "in early March," got off the Trail at Port Clinton "in late May," and got back on "in early July." Next stop: Katahdin.

Mahoosuc Report Available for Reading

Jeb Bradley has an article in the 27 July 2007 issue of the Concord (NH) Monitor titled "Preserving a New Hampshire gem; Now is the time for talk on Mahoosuc range." It recounts his recent hike for
"several days in the Mahoosucs with J.T. Horn of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and Bryan Wentzell of the Appalachian Mountain Club, two contributors to the Mahoosuc Report. Joining us were Julie Wormser of the AMC and Larry Ely of Shelburne who contributed to the report and maintains Mahoosuc trails."
The "Mahoosuc Report" that he mentions is available on the web as the "Mahoosuc Region Resource Report." As Bradley puts it,
"This 250-page report details the vital importance of forestry, the increasing role of varied recreational opportunities, wildlife and natural resource management and conservation possibilities."
This would be the time to speak your mind -- after reading the report -- about possible future uses to which parts of the Mahoosuc Region could be put.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Hiking in the 100 Mile Wilderness

Another article in Tux Turkel's series about the opportunities in the large region of northern Maine recently 'spoken for' by the AMC, "A race down the mountain; Three hikers gamble on taking a shorter return route, using their wits to find an unbuilt trail and get to camp before dark" relates the story of Turkel and associates looking for, finding, and more or less following a recently (as in 14 months ago) marked future trail that will eventually be a blue blaze off the Appalachian Trail near Chairback Mountain. It's in the 25 July 2007 issue of the Portland Press Herald.

A nicely written description of how it all worked out for them.

Comparison on Cooking Terms

I'm not sure this article even rates a mention here except that it mentions the Appalachian Trail. And it does so in the context of something important to hikers: food.

That said, the Cincinnati Post article by food editor Joyce Rosencrans in their 25 July 2007 issue titled "Onions roasted over coals win prize" caught my eye because of its opening. Rosencrans writes:
"As high-tech gadgets continue to cut off humans from the sights and sounds of nature, I find that I'm more drawn to simple, primitive cooking. I'm not about to hike the Appalachian trail with a backpack of beef jerky, but I am definitely having an extreme overreaction to the marketing of pro-style kitchen appliances for huge kitchens with granite-topped islands the size of the Granite State, which is New Hampshire."
The rest of the article is about the excesses of some cooking folks, and about "campfire" (as in drive directly to the campsite and have your fire within sight of the car) cooking. But I kind of liked that beginning anyway.

On the other hand, there are LOTS of better things to eat along the Trail than beef jerky.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

East from Indiana

I don't really 'get' this, but here it is anyway: The Journal & Courier newspaper from Lafayette and West Lafayette, Indiana has a story in its 22 July 2007 issue titled "Joshua Gregory's journal — walking to The Appalachian Trail." It's by Joshua Gregory.

It seems to be the first two weeks (only) of a daily journal documenting Gregory's walking in the general direction of the Appalachian Trail (that is, east) from his home in Indiana.

In the introduction to the whole thing he writes
"Well, I can't say it was the best idea for a long-term vacation, but it will definitely be one that I will never forget.

"My plan was to hike out to the north end of the Appalachian Trail, thru-hike it north to south, and then just keep going south as long as my legs, my money, and God's grace let me go. If I made it all the way around the world, that was great, if I made it one mile, that was okay too."
At the end of what I have on my screen from his 'trail journal,' Gregory is "less than a day's walk from crossing into Ohio" after walking for 14 days. Is there more to come? I don't know.

New "Trail" and Technology in National System

This isn't really about the Appalachian Trail, but it raises some interesting thoughts. The article is from "The Capitol" newspaper on HometownAnnapolis.com, written by Andrew Bystrom, and published on 24 July 2007. It's titled "John Smith's trail brings history to everyone" and describes the new Capt. John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail.

As the article says,
"The trail is the first water-based National Trail in this country. It joins the ranks of many prominent land-based trails including the Appalachian Trail and the Lewis and Clark Trail."
Well, okay. One of the things that makes for further thought is that
"Through Verizon Wireless and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the installation of cellphone accessible "smart buoys" has begun. The floating trail guides serve as historical, cultural, geographical and ecological interpretive sites."
You dial up the 877 number -- as you're floating in the area, I guess -- and the recording tells you what John Smith might have been seeing when he was there in 1608.

So ... can something like this be far behind for the Appalachian Trail? The antennae could be hidden up some tree and powered by a small solar panel. You could dial up the magic number when you're on the mountain top and the disembodied voice of a park ranger tells you something of the history and ecology of the area where you're standing.

Or, perhaps better than the phone thing, hikers pick up a very lightweight battery powered receiver where they get on the Trail and when they approach one of the information stations they automatically get the recording piped into their earphones. This would sort of be like the headphone sets people get in the larger museums these days.

With satellite technology, updates about trail conditions, hostel closings or openings, extreme weather forecasts, alerts, and so on could all be pushed to the solar-powered stations.

And for the white blaze fixated, a little RFID tag could record the passing of the hiker in order to update a database of who got where when during the hiking season.

It could be only a matter of time, folks! You heard it here first!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

"Circadian" and "Ronin" Heading North

Jim Shelton has an article titled "Local hikers recount their tales from along the A. Trail" in the 22 July 2007 New Haven Register. It's a really nice summary of the continuing thru-hikes of two Connecticut residents, Mike "Circadian" Lockett of Hamden and Greg "Ronin" Huse of Madison.

At the time of publication Lockett was in Connecticut and Huse in New Jersey. Both started from Springer on 1 April, but apparently without knowing each other. They did hike together for several weeks until Lockett decided to push ahead. The article reports that he was the 353rd hiker to make it to Harpers Ferry this year.

Relying on interviews and the hikers' online journals at www.trailjournals.com (for Circadian and for Ronin [see also here]), Shelton pulls out some nice descriptive stories for his readers. Non-hikers would get a fair picture of several aspects of a thru-hike that often don't come out in these articles.

Massachusetts Man Meanders in Maritimes

There's an article in Western Star ("western Newfoundland's only daily newspaper") of 23 July 2007 written by Cliff Wells and headlined "Walking was an intimate way to see province: American writer ; Massachusetts man hikes the International Appalachian Trail network."

It profiles John "Aralia" Ryan from Amherst, MA. "When he's not hiking, Ryan is a freelance writer, website designer and consultant." He was hiking from 18 June to 17 July there in Canada. But he's also hiked "about 2/3" of the Maine-to-Georgia Appalachian Trail. Ryan contrasts the IAT with the AT.

Maine Woods Series Continues

The second of Tux Turkel's articles about the large Maine tract recently purchased - and now being prepared for recreational use -- by the Appalachian Mountain Club appears in the 23 July 2007 issue of the Portland Press herald under the title "Hard times on remote waters." This installment covers canoeing in
"the Roach Pond Tract, 30,000 acres of forest, mountains and remote waterways east of Greenville. The Appalachian Mountain Club has this parcel under contract and has begun promoting it as a wilderness paddling destination."
Not so much about hiking in this article.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Hiking Hump Mountain

There's a nice descriptive piece in the Miami Herald of 22 July 2007 by Jack Horan titled "North Carolina: Appalachian Trail Balds -- treeless mountaintops -- give hikers unobstructed views of western North Carolina." It describes his day hike from Carvers Gap up over Roan Mountain.

He had a friend along for at least part of the hike.
"Hiking buddy Wayne Johnson had dropped me off at Carvers Gap. Then he drove my car to a mid-point so I would have a 12-mile, rather than 16-mile, one-day trek. After parking, Wayne would hike the half-mile to the Appalachian Trail, turn south and walk toward me."
And does a nice job of describing the balds and explaining their modern-day care and conservation.

Wartburg a New Damascus?

The Knoxville News Sentinel has a 22 July 2007 article by Morgan Simmons titled "Damascus, Wartburg share attributes; Regions promote outdoor assets to revitalize economy" that outlines a visit by officials from Wartburg, TN to Damascus, VA. The visitors were there to see how Damascus has been revitalized by the Appalachian Trail and its hikers, along with the thousands more who come along the Virginia Creeper Trail.

The Wartburg, TN downtown will soon host part of the 300 mile Cumberland Trail and hopes are that they will be able to replicate some of the economic benefits that Damascus has experienced. Just so as they don't schedule "Cumberland Days" the same weekend as Trail Days.

(And despite beginning with an allusion to St. Paul's Damascus road conversion, Simmons misses the chance to connect Wartburg, TN with the Wartburg Castle in Germany and its most famous temporary resident, who was a real fan of St. Paul.)

Smokies Hike to Spence Field

Brenda Cummings writes under the headline "Rain no bother on hike to scenic Smokies bald" in the Huntsville (AL) Times on 22 July 2007. She describes a hike to the Spence Field Shelter with some friends. Her opening sentences clearly point to her Trail experience:
"The three people ahead of me on the trail put on their rain gear. Then they took it off. Then they put it on again. I just walked in the rain.

"The weather was warm, and I knew my clothes would dry quickly when the rain stopped. I'd rather be wet than bother with rain gear."
She goes on to describe the wooly adelgid devastation of the hemlocks and the Park Service attempts there in the Smokies to deal with the invasive predator by using soap solutions, injected chemical treatments, and importing an insect predator.

Big Story About the Maine Woods

There's a really long article in the 22 July 2007 Portland Press Herald by Tux Turkel titled "Backcountry Redefined". It's a good read.

Describing the plans that the Appalachian Mountain Club has for developing various uses on a large 37,000 acre backcountry tract, Turkel and his photographer Derek Davis spend 4 days hiking, canoeing, and biking around the area. Their interviews with various involved parties highlight the multi-use goal of AMC, as well as point out the feeling of disenfranchisement on the part of some constituencies (some snowmobile access has been cut off, as has bear hunting).

Nice photos, too.

Food in Damascus and Abingdon

The TriCities.com website ("powered by" local Channel 11 and the Bristol Herald Courier newspaper) carries a 22 July 2007 restaurant semi-review for eateries in Abingdon and Damascus, Virginia. It's headlined "Eateries serve up ice cream, cornbread, sandwiches and more to hungry hikers and local residents" and written by Whitney Miller.

She says that "Known as 'the friendliest town on the Appalachian Trail,' Damascus’ broad and welcoming food network backs up its reputation for hospitality." Then she lists 13 spots to eat there. A couple places in Abingdon get a longer treatment, and at 12 miles from the Appalachian Trail, they're a hitch or shuttle away, but it's still good to read about these "several unique and notable eateries [that] have cropped up along the popular Virginia Creeper Trail over the past several years."

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Florida Scouts on the Trail

"Boy Scout troop hikes 90 miles along trail for merit badges" is the title of the article by Thomas Michalski in the 20 July 2007 issue of the Pinellas Park (FL) Beacon. It describes an Appalachian Trail section hike in Georgia and North Carolina done on 30 June--7 July by the 5 Scouts and 3 adult leaders (although the accompanying photo shows and identifies more people) from Troop 337, sponsored by the First Baptist Church of Pinellas Park.

The Scouts tented rather than staying in shelters, but did clean up trash left by others at shelters they came upon.
"It was an educational adventure for the youngsters who took the time to learn about the Appalachian Trail and the national forests they conquered.

"The awards the youngsters hope to attain are the BSA 50 Miler Award, the BSA Historic Trails Award, Backpacking merit badge, Hiking merit badge and the Georgia Thru-Hikers Award."
Hopefully there are some future thru-hikers in the group.

Jim Zoschg on a Section Hike

There's an article in the 21 July 2007 Endeavor News ("serving Potter and Cameron Counties in Northcentral Pennsylvania") by outdoor columnist Jim Zoschg about the fire blight bacteria that is causing die-back in apple trees in his area. It's titled, curiously enough, "Apple trees dying back."

Then he wraps up the column with this note:
"As you read this, I am in the midst of a two-week hike of a portion of the Appalachian Trail. I have always pondered the possibility of hiking the entire Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia, but have never wanted to commit to such a large undertaking.

"However, when I was approached this spring about hiking a portion of the trail in the southern Appalachians, I was all for the trip. We are hiking through the Smokey Mountain National Park and then driving north to hike the trail through Shenandoah National Park."
Good places for a hike!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore"

The Straus Newspapers web site of 20 July 2007 mentions the A.T. in an unsigned article titled "Ravens on the rocks." It's a directional and informational article telling folks where they can see the ravens in lower New York State, along the Hudson River Valley, specifically near Warwick. It includes this:
"These larger cousins of the crow have been moving into our region over the past few years, nesting on rocky outcroppings such as Warwick’s Cat Rocks on the Appalachian Trail between Mount Peter and Lakes Road, Goosepond Mountain in Chester, and Sugar Loaf’s namesake mountain."
So keep your eyes open for them, they're the ones that are bigger than the crows.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Jim "Castanets" Schiwal Hikes for a Cause

The Litchfield County Times of 19 July 2007 has an article by Lauel Tuchy headlined "Hiker For A Cause Stops In Salisbury" that relates the story of the fundraising AT hike by Georgia resident Jim Schiwal. He's raising money to fight the rare genetic disorder known as Cornelia de Lange Syndrome (CdLS).

He started his thru-hike attempt on 8 February 2007 and -- as of 1 August -- was in the White Mountains someplace.

Schiwal has a website documenting his hike. (And the foundation's website has more information about the condition.) Check out his early March entries for mention of a hiker named Clem who was toting his French horn along under orders from his college music professor.

Maine Wind Farm Proposal's Status

An article by David Hart titled "LURC Receives Revised Black Nubble Only Project Proposal" was published in the 'Original Irregular' on 18 July and updated online on 25 July 2007. After describing the process and the proposal, he remarks that
"It is reported that the Maine Audubon, the Maine Appalachian Trail Club, the Appalachian Mountain Club, the National Park Service and the Friends of the Western Mountains as well as others oppose the scaled back version."
This project is quite scaled back from the original Redington proposal of a year ago.

ATC Meeting in Ramapo Reported On

Peter Applebome has an article in the 19 July 2007 New York Times titled "Hardy Trail and Its Fans Age Together." It begins with the semi-ominous sentence "A gathering of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy this week in Harriman State Park, N.Y., turned out to be another snapshot of the graying of America."

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A.T. Defended from Tennessee

Jeffrey Hunter of Chattanooga, TN writes in a letter to the editor of the Elmira (New York!) Star-Gazette in response to that paper's recent article about the Great Eastern Trail in order to clarify any doubts folks might have had about the A.T's condition. He writes:
"The trail is a national treasure and the gold standard that trail organizations aspire toward. Solitude and natural beauty can be found in great abundance on the Appalachian Trail. That experience is only available because of the efforts of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and its partners, who do a masterful job of maintaining and protecting the trail for future generations. They deserve our support and our praise. They certainly have mine."
The 15 July 2007 letter appears under the headline "Appalachian Trail is a national treasure."

Scouts Hike 100 Miles in 8 Days

Fredericksburg, Virginia's Free Lance-Star reports the local Boy Scout news that "Two Scouts and two adult leaders from Boy Scout Troop 170 completed an eight-day, 100-mile backpacking trip on the Appalachian Trail. The boys--Danny Strock, 13, and John Alberto, 15--are two of the troop's veteran backpackers." They hiked south out of Rockfish Gap.

Heather Kierstead and Her Dog Southbound

"Heather Kierstead and her dog Kobe (adopted from FHS) are attempting a vegetarian thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail as a benefit for FHS. They departed for Maine on May 31." That's how the update article on 13 July 2007 from the WXII channel 12 web site begins. The article is titled "Where Are Heather And Kobe? Appalachian Trail Hike to Benefit Animals of Forsyth County." This is from North Carolina.

By the way, the 'update' is that Kierstead and dog had made it "372.7 miles. They are in North Woodstock, N.H., and plan to be in Hanover, N.H. by July 19."

ATC Biennial Conference in Ramapo Highlighted

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy's 36th biennial conference is reviewed (the beginning of it, anyway) in an article by Mike Kerwick of the North Jersey Media Group Inc.'s web site NorthJersey.com. His article, posted 15 July 2007, is titled "Mahwah to developers: Take a hike." Kerwick focuses on two things: the fight against development encroaching on the Trail, and on the role of volunteers in the whole project.

Nice story.

Hiker Greg Eans and His Day Job at the Newspaper

Greenville, N.C.'s "Daily Reflector" has an editorial by Al Clark on 15 July 2007 titled "Our news journeys bring special messages back home." It summarizes the newspaper's decision to let certain staff members be away from the paper for lengths of time in order to create more in-depth stories.

One of the stories involves the Appalachian Trail.
"Greg Eans, the Reflector's editor of photography and graphics and a man who truly loves the outdoor life, always had the itch to spend time along the Appalachian Trail. He approached me, a bit hesitantly back in February or so, to ask if he could do just that — for the entire month of April. Thinking about all those photo assignments he would not be here to handle made me shudder a bit.

"But we agreed to arrange for him to take the month to explore the Virginia portion of the trail, on his own. Along the way, he developed excellent stories, before and after, about what's involved in the planning of such a trip, why he wanted to do it and just what it's like to sleep on the ground for most of a month.

"With his wife, Marion Blackburn who is a local writer and former reporter and editor for the Reflector, Greg also put together a near daily Web log, or blog, on his adventures. ..."
Hmmmm. I wonder if I could suggest something similar to my boss?

Freedom Paradox of Hikers

The online version of the Roanoke (Va.) Times of 14 July 2007 has Liza Field's article/column titled "How do you define freedom?" which she begins with this illustration"
"Each summer, the "through hikers" on the Appalachian Trail strike me afresh with the paradox of a human life. They are the picture of burdened hardship, sweat-crusted, knee-braced, strapped into ponderous packs.

"Yet, in their chosen difficulty and bondage, they are somehow free."
That's all there is about the Appalachian Trail in it. But she does also have some interesting thoughts about dragging lots of extra baggage along through life.

Japanese A.T. Documentary Shows Ministry Program

Naomi Creason has an article titled "Grads overcome challenges; Diakon Wilderness Center sends 10 students through rough 31-day program" in the 14 July 2007 Carlisle (Pa.) Sentinel. It reports the end of the Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries' Wilderness Challenge Program experience for the 10 boys going through it this summer.

As reported here earlier, they had a Japanese television documentary film crew tagging along.
"Yoshifumi Shibako had hiked the Appalachian Trail and decided to make a documentary about it for Japan."
The presence of the film crew didn't make things any easier.
"The physical strain of the exercises that ranged anywhere from hiking 11 miles to rock climbing on the Appalachian Trail forced the participants to face themselves in different and unusual circumstances."
And the cameras sometimes intruded on the small-group atmosphere the ministry program usually employs.

"The documentary is set to air in September on NHK, the government channel in Japan."

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Former 2,000-Miler Renn Goes for the High Points

The NCAA's online news source, www.ncaasports.com, has a story posted on 13 July 2007 titled "Feature: On top of the world" written by Amy Farnum Novin. It's about Virginia Wesleyan College’s Joanne Renn who is the college's assistant men’s tennis coach and Senior Women’s Administrator for the Division III athletics program in Norfolk, Va.

In her free time, she's also a hiker and climber, now engaged in getting to the high points of all 50 states. She's currently gotten 44 of the lower 48.

"Renn’s passion for climbing began she was a child when her parents bought a farm in the western part of Virginia in the 1960s. The 10-year-old would hike the Blue Ridge Mountains with her father, and one day stumbled upon the Appalachian Trail. When she found out it spanned 2,000 miles from Georgia to Maine, Renn started thinking about exploring it.

"'I thought about walking the Appalachian Trail as a challenge and actually finished that in 2000,' said Renn. 'I did not do it all at one time because of school – I did it in three six-week sections. As you walk up the trail and go through all of these states, you actually hit six of the state’s high points as you walk. I thought it would be kind of cool to go to every high point of every state and researched it and some trails associated with high points.'"
So she now hikes/climbs "with a friend from St. Louis that she met in Virginia while hiking on the trail 15 years ago."

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Round Trip Hike Out of Unicoi Gap Described

Blairsville, Georgia's Union Sentinel [by the way, how in the world did a newspaper in Georgia get a name like that? Somebody from Sherman's army start it?] of 12 July 2007 has a hike description that will take you to the 2nd highest A.T. mountain in Georgia (and the state's 7th highest overall), mostly by way of the Appalachian Trail. The article is by George Owen; it's entitled "Summer workout? Try Tray, Georgia's second highest." The hike is a 10.4 round-trip that starts and ends at Unicoi Gap.

Hiker Steve Fugate and Loving Life

The Ellsworth American of 12 July 2007 has an article by James Straub titled "Hiker Brings an Important Message to Surry." It is about former thru-hiker Steve Fugate. He just can't stop walking. It's therapy.

When Fugate was half way through his 1999 A.T. hike, he got word that his son had committed suicide. Naturally, he got off the Trail. But he went back the next year to complete the hike and, in doing so, discovered trail therapy.

Now he's made multiple cross country hikes to spread the simpel message "Love Life." That's all the more poignant because on his third trip he got word that his daughter had died of an accidental drug overdose (that turned out to be a conflict between prescription drugs and cocaine).

Doubly devastated, he's now even ore driven to keep others from death by suicide. Check out his web site at http://www.trailtherapy.com/

Maintainers Work Way Beyond the A.T.

The Portland Press Herald has an article by Willa Plank in its 12 July 2007 edition titled "Mall area offers workout for more than just wallet; Improvements are being made to a trail around Clarks Pond, and hikers can park at the Maine Mall." It tells how the maintainers from the Appalachian Mountain Club are working on sprucing up a local trail tucked in behind a Home Depot in South Portland, Maine.

SO-BO Hikers Raising Money for Africa

CB&L Magazine has an article in its online version "Posted on Thursday, July 12, 2007 (Archive on Thursday, July 19, 2007)" which they also say was "posted by cabarrusmagazine", which article is entitled "UNCC Grad Walking Appalachian Trail" and tells the story of Matt Mincer
"and his good friend Taylor Yoakley [who] have embarked on a summer hike of the Appalachian Trail to raise money for Africa, specifically for Blood: Water Mission’s 1000 Wells project."
They started southbound from Katahdin on 15 June.

[bibliographic notes: until 2006 "CB&L Magazine" was "Cabarrus Business & Lifestyles". It is now published by "Comfort Publishing" for the Cabarrus County region. The online version was "completely revamped" in January 2007 and contains more than the paper version. What that all means is that if you happen to stumble across this blog post in the future and want to read the article, you'll probably have a hard time finding it.]

Fire Still Burning in Virginia

The WDBJ-tv web site from Roanoke, Virginia reports on 12 July 2007 that "Crews continue to battle forest fire in Rockbridge County" and that the forest fire "has burned 250 acres of the Jefferson National Forest about three miles south of Glasgow". The Appalachian Trail through the area is still open.

Trail Re-opens in Virginia; Fire Still Burns

WDBJ television in Roanoke, VA (channel 7) has a news report on 11 July 2007 about the forest fire in the James River Face Wilderness area that has charred hundreds of acres and had closed the Appalachian Trail. They report under the headline "Forest fire expected to regain strength; Appalachian Trail reopens" that rain on 10 July had temporarily slowed the fire and also that
"The Appalachian Trail is open once again to hikers, but shuttles are standing by to transport them around the area should the fire spread."
The web site has a link to their video of the story.

Danish Woman Thru-hiking thie Year

The article "Appalachian Trail brings the world to area's doorstep" by Meg Hibbert on OurValley.org (which is a website focused on community news in the Roanoke Valley and New River Valley.... and based on news from seven community newspapers ... part of Main Street Newspapers, Inc. based in Salem, Virginia) is a profile of 35-year-old Danish hiker Mette Hansen who passed through Salem, VA in May and
"spent a couple of nights in Salem with AT hiker, Diana Christopulos, and Mark McClain. ... 'I knew of Diana because of her friend Barbara, who hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2004 and is working in China,' Hansen explained. 'I was hiking in China in 2005, and Barb wanted a reference on a guide I used there.'"
However it happened, she got a 6 month visa and came to hike. Starting at Harper's Ferry ("like many through hikers" [sic!]) and hiking south to avoid the crowds, she has now flip-flopped and is reported to be in Connecticut.

Virginia Forest Fire Closes Trail

The Appalachian Trail and other trails in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests in Rockbridge County, Virginia were closed due to a forest fire burning there since earlier this week in the James River Face Wilderness, according to a story by Amanda Codispoti in the 11 July 2007 Roanoke Times headlined "Crews attempt to contain forest fire."

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Maine Windfarm Support

The CNNMoney.com web site has a story on 10 July 2007 from the Associated Press headlined "Maine: Developer revises wind project" that reports on a meeting held "Tuesday" (that would be the 10th, I am guessing) at which
"representatives of about 20 conservation, health and other organizations expressed their support for the project. They said it protects Redington Pond Range from development while providing clean energy (NASDAQ:CLNE) and reducing U.S. dependence on fossil fuels."
A representative from Maine Audubon, however, said her organization as well as the Maine Appalachian Trail Club, the Appalachian Mountain Club and the National Park Service all oppose the windfarm.

Lancaster Countian Lehman Half Way Thru

Ad Crable, writing in the Lancaster (Pa.) New Era on 10 July 2007, has an article titled "Ernie Lehman's 5 Million Steps." Taking up half of the entire page, it tells local folks about the half-completed thru-hike of one of their own, retired policeman Ernie E. Lehman, Sr.

Lehman is one of those folks who got bewitched by the Trail as a youngster, but couldn't get away for a long distance hike until later in life. He started from Springer on 18 March, made it to Swatara Gap in Pennsylvania, and flip-flopped to Katahdin. "Today, his 105th day on the AT, he was somewhere in the 100 Mile Wilderness." When he gets back to Swatara Gap this fall, he plans on just walking the 30 miles back to his house.

Three Southbounders from Savannah

According to an article in the 9 July 2007 Savannah Morning News, three young men from the area have started a southbound thru-hike attempt. Marshall Cheyne Strong, Blake Clark and Elliott Day are profiled in the article by Dana Clark Felty titled "Young Men Tackle Appalachian Trail."
"The friends said the long journey promises a chance to reflect on their spirituality and their futures.

"'We want to go out and have an adventure instead of sitting around like a lot of other people doing drugs or getting stuck in a menial job,' Strong said. 'It's something I don't think enough people do - instead of getting caught up in the rush to become adults - just sit back and figure out what's going to happen here the next 60 years.'"
They're also fundraising to support the "mentoring program Guardians Investing in Generations, which provides tutoring and support to at-risk youths at Groves High School." The head of the program is Shawn Mannix, who
"helped the hikers find donated backpacking equipment for the journey. He plans to seek support from other members of Unity Church of Savannah, where he runs a spirituality discussion group.

"He describes Strong, who attends the group, as 'a little Buddha.'

"'He's been a source of inspiration for everybody,' Mannix said."

Vinona Gets Off the Trail

The Noblesville Daily Times brings one more article about hiker Vinona Christensen written by William Fouts on 9 July 2007 under headline "Vinona Christensen abandons quest to hike the Appalachian Trail; Hanging up her boots."

It tells the story briefly of Christensen having flip-flopped to Katahdin, but having decided while still there at the mountain that she didn't need to be out on the Trail any longer.
"'All of a sudden I had all of the answers as to why I had needed to get off the trail, why I hadn’t been able to leave the hiking partner that I didn’t think was right for me and why I would not be able to go any further,' she said."
And that's all one really needs.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

A Dog's Day on the Trail

The Charlotte (NC) Observer of 8 July 2007 has Jack Horan's article headlined "Along The Appalachian Trail; Happy trails with Daisy; Dog adds to pleasure, but proper care requires planning". The article describes how
"First-time Appalachian Trail hiker Daisy the dog looked like a seasoned pro prancing along with her over-the-back pack and carrying her own food, dish and leash."
That's followed by cautions and observations from
"Hiker and veterinarian Tom Grenell [who] knows the importance of understanding a dog's needs and limitations. Grenell hiked the 2,150-mile Appalachian Trail in 1988 with his two dogs, a yellow and a black Labrador retriever. One put in 800 miles; the other, 1,600.

"In 1989 he wrote an article entitled "Hiking with Fido" that outlines problems dogs face on the trail and how to prevent them. Formerly of Roanoke Rapids, Grenell now lives in Emporia, Va."
The article appeared in the Appalachian Trailway News, Nov/Dec 1989, pages 15-20.

Fewer Hikes than the Power Company

The Savannah (GA) Morning News of 8 July 2007 has a column titled "Vox Populi: Georgia Power has more hikes than the Appalachian Trail" which contains the entirety of its mention of the Trail. The column is a series of quotes -- from the people, apparently -- including the one in the title. I'm thinking it is someone's way of saying that their power company "hikes" its rates more often than the Trail has people walking on it.

Regis Shivers Commemorated

According to Dave Weidig's article in the Zanesville (OH) Times-Recorder titled "Mohican milestones; Jacolenne, Kitzig mark rugged race with impressive finishes," in the 8 July 2007 issue of that paper, local ultramarathoner Mike Jacolenne recently ran the Mohican 100 Mile Run in honor of a mentor "Regis Shivers of West Lafayette, who completed the race 11 times but succumbed to cancer in February." Shivers, the article mentions, also had hiked the Appalachian Trail (year not given).

Great Eastern Trail Differentiated from Appalachian Trail

There is an article about the Great Eastern Trail appearing in the Elmira (NY) Star-Gazette under the headline "The trail of tomorrow; Great Eastern Trail, 1,700 miles long, is work in progress; route will pass through Twin Tiers" on 8 July 2007. Written by Jim Piffer, it describes the GET as something that will relieve pressure put on the Appalachian Trail by the latter's popularity. For example,
"The trail is being built to alleviate congestion on the granddaddy of Eastern hiking paths, the Appalachian Trail. Overuse of the Appalachian Trail has resulted in litter, trampled plants and crowded campsites.

"The Great Eastern Trail, also referred to as the GET, will run just west of the Appalachian Trail, and will be built mostly on public lands, such as state parks and forests and wildlife management areas, says Patrick Monahan, of Corning, project manager for the Great Eastern Trail in New York. ...

"When completed, it will run through wilderness areas that are more secluded than what you would find on the Appalachian Trial, says Jim Trondsen, of Painted Post, a hiker and the person who organizes and distributes the Three Rivers Outing Club's newsletter."
Sounds nice, eh?

Will A.T. Tunnel in Pennsylvania?

Joseph Cress writes in the Carlisle (Pa.) Sentinel dated 8 July 2007 under the headline "Appalachian Trail to burrow under road" about a plan to make the Wertzville Road (Route 994) crossing near Carlisle a little safer for hiker. Work on the $1.1 million federally-funded project could begin next spring, but one of the local township supervisors is reported to think the project and its high cost are uncalled for. Stay tuned.

Four Days in Maine

The Bangor Daily News of 7 July 2007 has an article by Brad Viles titled "Summer in Maine: It's a hike". Viles, a trail maintainer with the Maine Appalachian Trail Club, describes four days he spent in the woods on and near the Appalachian Trail. For those thru-hikers who blast through northern Maine headed for Katahdin, it might be interesting to read about a guy who can spend a day working on 'his' stretch of Trail and then say
"After a tailgate supper of salad and steak cooked on my backpacking stove, I was ready to lay back, relax and make a plan for Sunday. I finally figured out a place to go. I always liked this spot in the "hundred mile wilderness" north of Monson on the AT, Nahmakanta Lake. It’s located about 35 miles by trail from Katahdin, but there’s road access to the Maine Public Land Unit of 43,000 acres, so that’s where I would head. I curled up under the cap in the back of the truck at the trailhead and spent the night."
It seems a little relaxed...'oh, what the heck, why not go the the 100 mile wilderness for the night?'

Friday, July 06, 2007

Adkins Alert

Leonard and Laurie Adkins are still hiking (of course!) and a recent report on their progress in their latest thru-hike is in the Charleston Daily Mail of 6 July 2007. The article, by Leonard, is titled "Hiking party heads north to begin trek to center of hike".

They've leap-frogged to New York in order to be able to summit Katahdin before it closes. And then they'll come back to New York and spend the fall hiking back south to Virginia. They're consciously taking it very slowly, about 10 miles a day, remember.

I'm looking forward to the book.

Sleeping on the Floor

The Great Falls (MT) Tribune of 5 July 2007 has a column by Karen Land titled "Home is where you toss yer sack" in which she writes about buying her first bed. Seems she's spent her adult life up until now using sleeping bags and a floor.

As she writes, though, "I've spent thousands of amazing nights under the stars in that bag. That bag has kept me cozy, warm, and safe on the Appalachian Trail and the Iditarod Trail." I think there are a lot of long distance hikers who use their bags and pads indoors. It prolongs the experience. It brings back the memories. It's also cheaper than buying a bed and sheets and so on.
"As we use to say on the Appalachian Trail, 'Home is where you throw down your sleeping bag.' Even though I'm now a bed-owner, I'll always feel this way. I never want to get lazy and forget how wonderful it is to sleep outside."
Did you take a while to go back to the bed after a long hike?

Mountain Bikers Rallying to Ride the Continental Divide Trail

The International Mountain Biking Association has issued a 3 July 2007 'action alert' urging folks to "Help Save Bike Access to the Continental Divide Trail."

They say that
"When it comes to the longest trails in the country, mountain bikes haven't been welcome.

"Congress banned bicycles from the Appalachian Trail before our sport evolved, and access to the Pacific Crest Trail was eliminated in 1988, before mountain bike advocacy had fully developed. With nearly 5,000 miles of iconic trail off-limits on either coast, mountain bikers have had to look to the Rocky Mountains for their taste of epic, backcountry riding."
Well, once in a while Congress does something right. The Forest Service has proposed restricting or banning motorized and bicycle use of the CDT. Your comments directed thence might make a difference

Starloe "Traveling Teacher" Galletta Still Walking

The Bradenton (FL) Herald has a 5 July 2007 article titled "Manatee teacher to walk the extra mile; Educator plans to talk her way around county neighborhoods to learn more about students" and written by Sylvia Lim. ("Manatee" refers to her location, not to her student!)

So, anyway, Starloe Galletta
"the Manatee schoolteacher walked 100 miles along the Appalachian Trail to clear her head, and now plans to walk the neighborhoods around every school in Manatee to meet the people of her home county.

"She dedicated the 100 miles on the trail in Virginia last month to teachers she knows. The countywide journey, which is set to begin Saturday, is for the district's students. Galletta says she wants to see where the district's students come from."
The head-clearing was necessary for a number of reasons, including the shooting of a 9-year-old by stray bullets nearby, and "partly fueled by frustration over the botched teachers contract negotiations that was mired in a deadlock for several months."

Now refreshed and re-focused, she is now walking through the neighborhoods, some of them sounding pretty tough, where her students come from, getting to know them better.

Great Eastern Trail and the Appalachian Trail

The Smoky Mountain Sentinel from Hayesville (Clay County), NC has a 4 July 2007 article titled "Sentinel readers: you're the bull's-eye for a great trail idea" and written by George Owen.

The idea of which the headline speaks is the Southeastern Foot Trails Coalition (SEFTC). The point of the coalition is the linking together of 3,500 miles of existing trails now somewhat centered on this portion of southwestern North Carolina and northern Georgia.

The next grand idea is the creation of a Great Eastern Trail, parallel to and west of the Appalachian Trail.

With all these trails, there's no reason ever to stop hiking.

Indiana' s Christensen Flip-flops

"A New Start on the Trail" is the title of the article by William Fouts in the Noblesville (IN) Daily Times that updates readers on the progress of Vinona Christensen's thru-hike attempt. As Fouts writes,
"The physical, mental and emotional strain of hiking the Appalachian Trail took its toll on Vinona Christensen. After covering approximately 771 miles of the 2,175-mile trail, the 49-year-old adventure traveler could take no more."
So she took off two weeks to recuperate and evaluate.

And decided to flip-flop to Kathadin and then hike south to Glasgow, VA. She admits that going SO-BO might be harder, but she'll get to greet all her NO-BO buddies when they pass each other.

April Snow Story from the Great Smoky Mountains

The Detroit News cools off our warm 2nd of July 2007 with a story by Matthew A. Goricki about his mid-April snow-encrusted escape from the Clingman's Dome Shelter in the Smokies. It's headlined "Nature unleashes a harsh lesson; Spring hike in the Great Smoky Mountains becomes chilling and grueling test of survival."

He tells a story of ingenuity and improvisation combining to make up for not having the right equipment for the surprise snowstorm, and for letting his boots freeze into unwearability overnight. Luckily, he could make his way to his car up on top of Clingman's Dome. And, once there, he found that downed trees on the roadway would force him to spend the night in his car.

His conclusion:
"I not only consider myself fortunate to be alive, but also to have been in this survival situation.

"Besides tactical tricks and skills learned, my trip taught me two valuable lessons. First, I learned to never underestimate the weather and how quickly, and violently, it can change.

"Second, I learned that the wilderness can be both my best friend and my worst enemy in the same, weeklong trip."
We should all be so level-headed and fortunate if we should be caught in a similar situation.

Franklin Search & Rescue Trailside

The Morning Sentinel from central Maine has a 2 July 2007 article by Betty Jespersen titled "Franklin Search & Rescue expanding" that mentions the Appalachian Trail. The article opens with:
"When an experienced winter hiker fell on ice-covered rocks and broke his leg on the Appalachian Trail near Stratton, he spent the night on the slope of the 3,200-foot Cranberry Mountain in zero-degree weather -- warm, stabilized and secure with a group of wilderness rescuers.

"It took the rescue team about three hours to reach the hiker, climbing up extremely steep, icy terrain that a warden at the time said was one of the worst spots on the Appalachian Trail

"The rescuers were men and women firefighters, emergency medical personnel from NorthStar Ambulance and members of Franklin Search & Rescue."
And then continues with a description of this volunteer rescue team's certification, its needs for more members, and the reasons for the need: more use of the backcountry.
"Day hikers and through hikers on the Appalachian Trail, hunters, ice and rock climbers, and extreme sports enthusiasts have all contributed to the increased number of backcountry incidents."
The rescue unit was only formed 3 years ago and already has a history of helping A.T. hikers and others in need. They're good people. Even if you hope never to have to meet them when they're working!

Tanks vs. Trail

The New York Times of 2 July 2007 mentions the struggle in Pennsylvania over land use that pits conservationists -- and Appalachian Trail hikers -- against the Pennsylvania National Guard. It's an article by Sean D. Hamill titled "Land Conservationists Take On the National Guard."

The deal is that the Guard at Indiantown Gap wants to add to its tank firing range by swapping some land for a stretch known at Stony Creek Valley, and
"The Stony Creek land is the largest wilderness area without a road in Eastern Pennsylvania and is home to first-rate hunting and fishing and a stretch of the Appalachian Trail."
It's that St. Anthony's Wilderness area around abouts the Rausch Gap Shelter, south of the 501 Shelter. The Guard started out asking for 8,000 acres, and have backed away and backed away to now just seeking a "special use permit" for 90 days out of the year. A very broad coalition of outdoor people don't want to yield up this area to mis-directed tank shells.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Rob McKinney Hiking the Trail

Sam Burton, in the Danville (VA) Register & Bee, has a 29 June 2007 article titled "King of the Trail" that relates the story of Danville native Rob McKinney's thru-hike attempt. McKinney
"has been 621 miles and will continue all the way to Maine. He will meet up with a Japanese film crew that is documenting part of his trip on July 3. The documentary being filmed is going to focus on a few hikers whose lives have been changed by the trail."
McKinney felt like his life did need change.
"McKinney, 32, was a senior manager at AOL and a competitive athlete in volleyball and jujitsu. Then his life began taking a turn for the worse when he got injured in his sports. After the injury, ... he decided to pack up and move to Australia."
But that didn't work out so well, either, and he came back to the States and decided to hike the Trail.
"To keep his backpack light, McKinney’s food supply consists of items like iced honey buns to keep his calorie intake up."
Plus, he's feeling better about the direction his life is taking.

Hikers to be in Japanese Television Documentary

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania's Patriot-News of 29 June 2007 has an article by Andrea Ciccocioppo titled "Along the Appalachian Trail; A Healing Trek; Boys' rehabilitation catches TV crew's eye." The article tells about a film crew from 'Documentary Japan' (described as Japan's version of our PBS) having come upon a group of 11 boys in "the 30-day Diakon Lutheran Social Services Wilderness Challenge Course for boys who've been in trouble with the law."

The boys were in the middle of their 2 week hike on the Trail when the film crew followed them for a while. The Japanese crew
"is filming 'Long Trail of Life: People Who Challenge the Appalachian Trail.' The crew is spending several weeks in Pennsylvania following a variety of hikers.

"Director Shiroki Yoshihiro said he set out to make a documentary of Appalachian Trail through-hikers -- those who walk the entire 2,175 miles from Maine to Georgia -- and discovered the youth program on the Internet."
The documentary is said to be slated for a September airing on Documentary Japan. Just one more difficult thing for American librarians to track down and catalog.

The boys quoted in the article, by the way, seem to think the experience is a good one overall, even if it can be physically challenging.

It's a "West Coast Version"

The PCT is a version of the AT. We all knew that, and now it's in print in the Washington Post of 1 July 2007 in an article by Laura Randall headlined "Escape From L.A.; In Idyllwild, Calif., the Hiking Is Just the Beginning."

Randall's exact words are:
"Less than three miles later, I reached a wooded clearing that connects with the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail, the West Coast's version of the Appalachian Trail, and rested on a fallen log near a small patch of snow. It was a reminder that I had just climbed 1,700 feet to an elevation of more than 8,000 feet."
Only a version.

Mike Redding Hikes for Eye Care

Under the headline "'See Mike Hike': ORBIS Advocate for Sight Mike Redding Treks for the Blind" an ORBIS International press release appears on the EarthTimes.org web site as of 28 June 2007.

Redding has been hiking the Appalachian Trail since 4 April of this year and is, according to the release, at the 1,000 mile mark. He is raising money for ORBIS, which "strives to eliminate avoidable blindness and restore sight in the developing world, where at least 90 percent of the blind and visually impaired reside."

As with most fund-raising hikers, he has a web site for potential donors to use in keeping track of his progress.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Trail Work Good for You, Too

The Washington Post of 26 June 2007 has an article titled "Sweat Equity Pays Fitness Dividend" by Howard Schneider. It's an article about levels of activity that might lead to better fitness. Schneider lists his calorie expenditures over a couple days ... and then helps out the PATC trail maintainers for a day. His point that a little targeted volunteer work can really boost one's fitness numbers is starkly documented. Well, if that's what it takes.

Doug Alderson Writes and Speaks

Janisse Ray has an article titled "Walking the moccasin way" in the 25 June 2007 issue of The Reformer out of Brattleboro, VT. The article describes the Native American spiritual quest taken up by Doug Alderson who, as an 18 year old solo hiker on the Appalachian Trail "became so lonely that he began to talk to rocks and trees. Then a strange thing happened: he heard a response."

Alderson wrote a book titled The Vision Keepers: Walking for Native Americans and the Earth, just published by Quest Books. He was up from his home in Florida, and in Brattleboro at the Marlboro College Technology Center in Brattleboro on Tuesday, June 26 to talk about the book abd sign copies. "This event is co-sponsored by Know Media, Vermont Earth Institute (V.E.I.), the Manitou Project and Marlboro College Technology Center."

Running on AT as Marathon Training

Running on the Appalachian Trail for 5 and 10 mile stretches is just one of the training techniques used by Shane Nauss and a couple friends who want to run in a 50 mile ultramarathon around Vernon, NJ to raise funds for cancer research. The article appears in the Advertiser News, published by Straus Newspapers, under headline "Running 50 miles for Dad, with a little help from his friends" and written by Tom Hoffman on 22 June 2007.

Girl Scouts' Hike Raises Funds

North County News.com has an article by Pat van der Beemt in its 22 June 2007 issue that's titled "Girl Scouts take long hike to fight cancer." It describes plans of two just-finished 8th graders who
"start their summer vacation June 23 by spending 24 hours a day with each other for eight straight days as they trek about 54 miles along the Appalachian Trail.

"The girls are using the hike as a way to make money for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation. Funds they raise will buy educational materials on breast cancer.

"[They] are Girl Scouts with Troop 1110 and this trip is their way to earn Scouting’s Silver Award, the highest recognition for Girl Scouts in grades six through nine."
Taking their prep and planning seriously, they're also taking responsibility for planning the details for a group of Boy Scouts (including the dad and brother of one of the girls) who will be out at the same time.

Doctoral Research Being Done on Hiking's Effects

The Concord, NC Independent Tribune of 21 June 2007 has an article by Justin Vick entitled "Trail to a raise? Concord man researches how hiking can improve work." It describes the doctoral studies on one Mark Ellison who "hopes to study how being in the wilderness can improve creativity, foster ethical decision-making and reduce stress at work."

Ellison is presenting some early findings at a conference in England this summer. This is all in connection with research for his "degree in adult and community college education from N.C. State University. He takes two classes a semester in the university’s Adult and Community College Education program offered in Charlotte."

Ellison works at Cabarrus College of Health Sciences and "hopes to interview people who hike regularly, particularly those who have hiked part or all of the Appalachian Trail." Contact info in the article.

The Bare Truth of Summer Solstice

Abigail Tucker writes in the 22 June 2007 issue of the Baltimore Sun under the headline of "Naked ambition of hikers on the Appalachian" about ... yep ... Hike Naked Day on the summer solstice.

A few excerpts:
"The bad news for us is that the solstice falls at the time when backpackers are passing en masse through the Maryland area. ... The good news is that, although the nude hikers' flesh may be as brilliantly white as the blazes that mark the trail, they make themselves quite scarce."
Al Preston, an assistant manager of Western Maryland's South Mountain State Park, says that folks were doing it before he arrived at the park in 1992, where they usually just tend to ignore it. That's not the case in
"Virginia's George Washington and Jefferson National Forest, according to Woody Lipps, a patrol captain there who is not afraid to fine the naked. Penalties range from $75 to $5,000 or six months in jail, he said."
And, my favorite quote:
"One librarian from Queens, N.Y., saw the adventure's appeal. Michelle Ray, 30, had posed as a life model for art students during her college days, and she was still contemplating hiking naked herself. 'God forbid I run into a pack of Boy Scouts and scar them for life,' she said. 'A naked librarian? They don't need to see that.'"

Jeff Alt Signs Copies of his Book

Jeff Alt's book "A Walk for Sunshine was originally released in 2000, and the latest edition will be released in the near future." That's according to an article by Lindsay Lancaster headlined "Jeff Alt to sign 'A Walk for Sunshine'" and appearing in the 22 June 2007 Times-News from the Hendersonville, NC area
(You want a hint of how confusing the world of online publishing can be from the point of view of someone who wants to keep track of what's published online? Read this from their FAQ: "BlueRidgeNow.com is the new name for Times-News Online. Our previous domain of HendersonvilleNews.com did not accurately reflect the fact that the Times-News serves not just Hendersonville, but rather the entire region of Henderson, Polk and Transylvania Counties here in the Blue Ridge Mountains.")
Where was I? Oh, right, Jeff Alt. He's giving a talk about his 1998 hike and signing copies of his book at the Folk Art Center in Asheville, NC on 23 June. Alt now lives in Cincinnati, OH, with his wife and kids, and teaches school.

New Jersey Section Described

The Advertiser News, published in New Jersey by the Straus Newspapers group, has an article dated 22 June 2007 by Rosa Kasper, entitled "Appalachian Trail boardwalk is a low-impact way to encounter nature." The article highlights the section of the A.T. near Vernon, New Jersey where the recent boardwalk gets hikers across the marshy sections of the Pochuck Creek with dry boots. Oddly, none of the three photographs used shows the boardwalk or the bridge. There is, however, a nice shot of a family from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, one of whom, Sarah Hubbard, is quoted in the story.

Appalachian Trail #2!

Something called "AP9 Todays Escapes" (which is, apparently, "a leading membership discount program offered by Adaptive Marketing LLC" - whatever that is) brings us the "top 5 hiking destinations in the U.S." under the headline "AP9 Todays Escapes Presents Summer Hiking Getaways" at the PR Web Press Release Newswire.

Okay, ready? Coming at #2 there is:
"Appalachian Trail: The Pinnacle, Hamburg, PA (8.7 miles). The Appalachian Trail lands the number-two position on this list because of the spectacular views of Hawk Mountain, the Lehigh Valley and Blue Rocks. Many hikers of the Appalachian Trail claim the views at the summit are some of the best views on the Pennsylvania side of the Appalachian Trail. Hiking boots are recommended for this hike because of the rocky path to the top."
The #1 hiking destination in the U.S., by the way, is Breakneck Ridge Trail, Beacon, NY (9.6 miles)in Hudson Highlands State Park. The next three are in Colorado, Texas, and California.

Shenandoah Maintainers Thanked

The Rocktown Weekly (Harrisonburg, VA) of about 19 June 2007 has an article by Amber Lester titled "The Flying MacLeods; Volunteer group keeps Appalachian Trail ready for more hikers." The MacLeods of the title are the Shenandoah National Park South District Trail Crew, named for the trail-clearing tool they use.

The article reports on the imnportant trail maintenance work done along the Appalachian Trail by the crew, especially in the wake of last fall's ice storm. While a couple folks in the crew are named and quoted and pictures, most of the article stems from an interview of Mark Gatewood, the group's trail overseer.

Contact information to volunteer your time is included.

Safe Hiking Tips Reviewed

The web site northjersey.com from the North Jersey Media Group reprints a series of hiking safety tips from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy in its 21 June 2007 iteration. This is under the headline, oddly enough, of "Hiking safety tips." Nothing new; I imagine it was summer time filler for them.

Speed Trail Running

The Lynchburg News & Advance of 19 June 2007 has an article by Ted Allen titled "Trittipoe's jaunt not an ordinary hike on the Allegheny Trail" in which he recounts the 7 day running of the Allegheny Trail in West Virginia by 50 year old Rebekah Trittipoe.
"She resolved to run the length of the Allegheny Trail - spanning 300 miles from the border of Pennsylvania to the top of Peters Mountain where it intersects the Appalachian Trail in Virginia ... setting an unofficial speed record for traversing the trail."
This isn't her first exposure to long-distance trail running. The article begins by mentioning a 7-day 160-mile run in Brazil. And it mentions her connection with Liberty University's David Horton:
"Trittipoe followed Horton on his record-setting Appalachian Trail run in 1991 and third-place finish in the Trans-America Footrace in 1995, penning a book about those nearly two-month jaunts called "Quest for Adventure." In 2005, Horton set a record of 66 days on the Pacific Crest Trail."
He had to leave her support crew on this Allegheny Trail run
"after the fourth day on Wednesday to go up to Maine to help support another runner who was completing an Appalachian Trail trip from Georgia."
But are they taking time to stop and smell the roses? That's what I want to know. That, and who is this AT runner?

Trail Mix Being Marketed

There's a press release on the EarthTimes.org website, posted 19 June 2007 and titled "Get Bear Naked. Help Protect A Trail." which is about the Bear Naked company's three new trail mix blends named for the big 3 long distance trails in the U.S. One, the Appalachian Trail Mix is described as "a unique blend of whole grain granola clusters, dried cranberries, raisins, honey and a plethora of heart-healthy nuts including raw almonds, cashews, walnuts, peanuts and more."

The company sponsored a product kick-off marketing "event" in New York City on 16 June after which "The Company donated $1 to the Triple Crown Project organizations for every person who completed the Challenge and each participant received a free t-shirt and bag of Trail Mix."

Here's the more complete ingredients list from the company's web site:
"Raisins (raisins, sunflower oil), cranberries (cranberries, sugar, glycerin, sunflower oil), almonds, cashews, walnuts, peanuts, whole grain oats, brown rice syrup, dried apples, pumpkin seeds, oat bran, evaporated cane juice, honey, canola oil, whole grain crips [sic!] rice (whole grain rice, barley malt), ground flax seed, coconut, natural flavors."
They sell the mix online at a cost of $2.99 for a 5 ounce package.

A serving size is 1/4 cup, or 30 grams. I've got 30 grams equaling ca. 1 oz. (1.05821886 ... but who's counting?). That puts 5 "servings" into one 5 oz. package. And that makes the per package nutrition numbers come to 700 calories -- 350 of them from fat! -- 40 grams of fat, 75 grams of carbs, and 20 grams of protein. Just in case anyone asks.

Carbon Footprints and Hiking

Here's an interesting paragraph:
"First and foremost, getting to and from the trailhead can be a major source of carbon impact. Consider taking the train or bus instead of driving or flying. The Appalachian Trail has multiple sections that are serviced by train or bus, as does the Pacific Crest Trail, and the John Muir Trail. And if you take the train you don't have to worry about your car getting broken into while you are on the trail. If worse comes to worst, you can (gulp) offset your travel."
That's from a blog titled the "Green Options blog" coming out of Berkeley, CA. It's in a post there by Kelly Best-Oliver, dated 19 June 2007, and titled "Leave No Trace--And No Carbon Footprint--When Backpacking."

I sort of wonder about that when I drive the 30-45 miles or so it takes me to get from home to various AT road crossings so that I can spend the day hiking. But there aren't any bus or train routes crossing the Trail at any of these places, that's for sure. Maybe if I were coming from California for a long-distance hike.... (And, then, what train station is she parking her car at where she needn't be concerned about someone breaking into it?)

Librarian McCormick Hiking or Not

The Williamsport (PA) Sun-Gazette's magic disappearing news stories archive has swallowed up another article. On about 18 or 19 June, the newspaper had an article by Heather Gach titled "Making the trek: Students hike part of Appalachian Trail with teacher" that sounds like it would have been a nice read. It includes this snippet: "Dianne McCormick, Montgomery Elementary School's librarian, hopes to hike the entire Appalachian Trail". Unfortunately the 14-day expiration period in the newspaper's "archive" makes it really hard to learn what the rest of the story is. Is she hiking? Were the kids 'virtually hiking' by following blog postings? Hard to tell. I did some looking around on the web and didn't get any conclusive evidence either way. I did find one of McCormick's posts to an online journal saying that her students had been "following" the hiker's progress and were excited he/she had gotten to some milestone.

Maggiotto Half Way Plus

The Journal News from Westchester County, NY (just north of NY City) has an 18 June 2007 piece by Matt Sartwell titled "Get caught up with On the Trail" that updates readers on the thru-hike of Dave "the Wolf" Maggiotto from Hastings-on-Hudson, NY. There is an excerpt from his online journal -- mostly about food -- and also a couple of reader comments.

Elmer Hall and the Sunnybank Inn in Hot Springs

Mark I. Pinsky, religion writer for the Orlando Sentinel, has a column in 18 June 2007's Asheville Citizen Times titled "Elmer Hall’s milestones: A journey into 4 decades of food, nature, spirituality." The coumn begins
"One by one, speakers were called to the porch of Sunnybank Inn, a creaky old building overlooking the Appalachian Trail and the French Broad River in Hot Springs, well known to weekend vacationers and AT through-hikers.

"After an organic feast in April, we stepped up to talk about Elmer Hall, celebrating his 70th birthday and the 30th anniversary of the inn’s restoration."
Maybe you've been there. Could be, as Pinsky writes further on that
"What I have observed over time is that Hall’s favorites were (and are) the Appalachian Trail’s through-hikers, as eclectic a collection as one is likely to encounter this side of the Khyber Pass. A small percentage of his hiking guests stayed on, for a few weeks to a few years, working at the inn for their keep."
Do a search for "Sunnybank Inn" on the Internet and you'll find loads of journals, blogs, and so on that mention the place.

Missing Man Being Searched For Near Erwin, TN

The WMC-TV website out of Memphis, TN carries an Associated Press story on 18 June 2007 that they title "Authorities dragging Nolichucky for missing man". It mentions a search for Nicholas Stone, in the Nolichucky River but "also in the woods around the river and parts of the Appalachian Trail." He does not seem to have been a hiker, as his abandoned vehicle was located nearby.

White Mountain Hiking

Foster's Daily Democrat from Dover, NH has an article in its 17 June 2007 issue titled "Michael Dickerman: Suggested walks for the hiker with little time to spare". It describes some short hikes in the White Mountains, including "The Lost Pond Trail, a link in the Appalachian Trail...."

Faust Still Hiking

The Williamsport (PA) Sun-Gazette had an article -- the 3rd installment in the series -- about hiker Aaron Faust's thru-hike in an issue about the 16th or 17th of June 2007. The title would have been "Appalachian Trail: Walking the Ridges". But since the newspaper's online "archive" only saves things for 14 days, the link is now not working. At least not for me.

Wedding First, Then Thru-Hike

The Williamsport (PA) Sun-Gazette has a wedding announcement posted on 24 June ("Melissa Kathleen Tidwell, Columbus, Ga., and Reuben Alvin Stugart, Temple, Ga., were united in marriage at 6 p.m. Saturday, May 26, 2007.") He is from Pennsylvania. After all the usual details, the announcement ends: "Following a hiking trip to on Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia, the couple is residing in Loveland, Colo." Congratulations and best of luck!

[their online version only appears to "archive" -- if you can call it that -- articles for 14 days, so this link is sure to break soon]

Bikers and the Trai

Aaron Kremer writes a travel piece in the Richmond Times Dispatch of 17 June 2007 titled "Bike brothers; For five days, duo traveled by the seat of their pants through Va. national forests". Kremer and his brother Benny took what sounds like it was a memorable trip together at the end of the school year last May 2006.

Down in the middle of the article, Kremer writes
"The Appalachian Trail was a dotted line on our map. We planned to meet up with it in the evenings, assuming camping would be close. From previous hikes, I knew about where we could spend the first night. Craig County is almost 50 percent national forest, and we found paradise where the AT swoops down from one mountain and crosses a gravel road along a stream before heading up the next ridge. We washed our faces and feet in the frigid water, sat on a Boy Scout-built bridge and cooked by campfire.

"After the second day of pedaling, we were somewhere past a penitentiary in Bland County when we figured we ought to start looking for a place to camp. Again, we easily found the trail crossing, but this time, there was only a gravel parking lot and a depression near a creek separated from the lot by a few pine trees. Empty potato chip bags and soggy Hustler magazines littered the pebbly soil. 'It's kinda close to the road - seems like the place kids come to drink,' said Benny, kicking a broken whiskey bottle. 'I don't want to get harassed tonight.'

"We walked our bikes south on the AT for 20 minutes, but it was too steep for camping. So we returned to the road, saddled up and pedaled a 20-mile loop before returning to the same spot, this time hungrier and resigned to the possibility of being molested that night.

"There was a creek 10 feet away. Benny walked across a swinging foot bridge and found a campsite used by two AT hikers. It was overrun with poison ivy, but suitable.

"'Mind if we camp here with you guys?' I asked them.

"'Ahh, normally we don't like camping near nonhikers, but you guys seem OK,' said the man, who looked to be in his mid-20s. He warmed up to us, offered us some of his tuna and talked about quitting his technology consulting job in Chicago to hike the trail. The woman had an Australian accent. They said they had met farther south."

Greenway IS Urban A.T.

The Portsmouth (NH) Herald News's online version, the SeacoastOnline.com, has a 17 June 2007 article by Susan Morse titled "Seabrook trestle eyed for rail to trail; Greenway project makes bike links" about the New Hampshire portion of the planned East Coast Greenway that includes this: "The East Coast Greenway is an urban Appalachian trail envisioned to extend 3,000 miles from Maine to Florida. Much of the nonmotorized trail will make use of former railway beds, such as the old Boston & Maine track through Seabrook." Note: no similes used in making this comparison.

Scouts on the Trail in New Jersey

The Straus Newspapers' chain's "Advertiser News" from New York has a local news piece titled "Scouts hike the Trail" in its 15 June 2007 edition. Datelined Hamburg, it begins "The Scouts of Troop 48 recently completed an overnight backpacking trip on the Appalachian Trail, covering the section of the trail from Catfish Mountain to the Delaware Water Gap."

There's a photo of the troop and their backpacks. The boys are in shirt sleeves, and the trees have no leaves; hard to tell just where or when it was taken, although I think that might be the sign for the Worthington State Forest behind them.

Zammuto of 'The Books' Also a Thru-Hiker

Nick Zammuto, half of the musical duo, or band, or sound artists, "The Books," is profiled in a piece titled "The Books; Making sense of the noise" that appeared in the 14 June 2007 features section of the PreFixMag.com web site for "prefix magazine". [at least I think that's the correct citation]

Anyway, Zammuto is a former thru-hiker!
"Do you ever get inspiration for your samples by just walking outdoors?

"Oh, absolutely. I hiked the Appalachian Trail back in 2001 from Maine down to Georgia and that was a reset button for my whole brain. It was so nice to be outside in the peace and quiet. I didn't listen to music during that time and I didn't make any recordings, but I did a lot of listening to the natural sound of the forest. It's amazing how spending time outdoors can tune your senses in a way; it kind of brings you back in touch with the world in a really healthy way. I'm speaking for myself. Even my sense of smell has increased like a hundred times; it's been incredible. And a lot of our percussion comes from stuff we've found out in nature, like steeping on pinecones and snapping twigs and things like that.

"How long did it take you to hike the Appalachian Trail?

"One hundred twenty-nine days."
Well. Try this: go to the band's website at http://www.thebooksmusic.com/ and 'click to enter'. Then click on the blank check box (it'll make sense when you see it). It leads to a neat little piece about the Appalachian Trail hike. OR, given that these guys are artists, their whole web site may be changed by the time you get there and that part won't exist.

It's Like the A.T.

The Palm Beach (FL) Post has a piece in its 14 June 2007 Sports Section titled "An aquatic Appalachian Trail" that is about the not-yet-completed Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail.
"Organizers are comparing the trail to the 2,174-mile Appalachian Trail. About 450 people spend five to six months to complete a "thru-hike" on the AT annually. More hikers complete sections of the AT as time allows and, over time, complete the entire trail.

"As on the AT, paddlers will likely complete segments of Florida's trail, although some will surely try to paddle the state's coastline in one very long trip — about three to four months as a continuous journey. As in long-distance hiking, paddlers are likely to meet new people, see places they never knew existed and learn more about the coastal environment.

"'Everything you're looking for in an AT hike, you're going to find here, to some extent,' Alderson said. 'There's something about a very long trip that really gets your head straight.'"
But are there primitive shelters a day's paddle apart all along the coast?

Canadian Editorial Cites Appalachian Trail

An editorial in the 14 June 2007 Orangeville Citizen titled "Trail building: a valuable exercise worth supporting" mentions the Appalachian Trail to garner support for Ontario trails. Calling it "North America's most famous hiking trail," the editors opine that
"Whatever its actual origin, the trail that follows the Appalachian skyline must have been in the minds of at least some of those involved in creating the Bruce Trail four decades later."
And if you take the link to the Bruce Trail web site you'll also see that their logo is eerily similar to the AT logo. Hmmmm.

Pending Pennsylvania Legislation is Trail-Friendly

The 14 June 2007 issue of the Carlisle (PA) Sentinel has an editorial titled "Trail-saving bills deserve to pass" that mentions two bills before the Pennsylvania General Assembly.
"PA House Bill 13 is under consideration in the General Assembly, a proposal to strengthen existing recreational law regarding trails and protect private property holders from liability claims regarding the use of public trails on their land. The bill passed the House and is now before a Senate committee.

"There's another bill on the table regarding protection of the Appalachian Trail, PA House Bill 1281, which would spell out what local municipalities and the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources could do to protect the trail."
In reference to that second bill, the editors mention the Alpine Rose racetrack travesty. If you're reading this from Pennsylvania, please contact your legislators in support of these bills.

Eventually Looking for the Triple Crown

The North County Times ("serving San Diego and Riverside Counties" in California) has an article titled "Oceanside man set to hike Continental Divide Trail" by Marga Kellogg in its 12 June 2007 issue that is about Paul Longton who, accompanied by
"partner Nancy Imbertson will start the hike with Washington resident Derek Jackman, whom they met while hiking the 2,600-mile Pacific Crest Trail in 2004.

"Imbertson will return home when the trio reaches South Pass City, Wyo., 1,172 miles into the journey. Longton and Jackman will continue on from there."
But that's not all. Longton hiked the PCT something like 3 years ago.
"And Longton said this trip won't be his last -- he intends to hike the Appalachian Trail and finish what hikers call the "triple crown."

"'The reality is, at 58 it takes a toll on the body. If you space them out every few years, chances are good and the Appalachian is probably the easiest of the three, the movie "Deliverance" notwithstanding,' he said with a laugh."
Uh-huh. That was a canoeing movie, not a hiking movie.

Hiker and Letterboxer

In the Worcester (MA) Telegram & Gazette News of 13 June 2007, there's an article about the hobby of letterboxing (look it up) by Kim Ring, headlined "Love and the letterbox; Low-tech version of geocaching grows in popularity." In the midst of the article there's mention of one participant:
"For letterboxing legend Wanda Kurdziel of Rhode Island, the hobby was never about being first. She’d logged in at 14,127 letterboxes as of June 7 and that number has grown — since she letterboxes just about every day.

"The best part of letterboxing is the hike, she said. Mrs. Kurdziel is a well-known backpacker. An Army veteran who began hiking to recover from a car accident, she’s hiked the Appalachian Trail five times and has traversed the Continental Divide Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada. She’s happy to visit places she’s never been — though few remain — and to find the hidden treasures planted there.

"'That’s what the hobby is about,' she said. 'It’s about people telling you about their special places.'"
So, I guess, keep your eyes open both for letterboxes and for Wanda "The Breeze" Kurdziel while you're out hiking.

Monday, July 02, 2007

PATC Cabin Described

Jule Gardner writes in the City Desk blog of the Washington City Paper on 12 June 2007 under the headline "The Nice Thing About Being a Joiner" about giving in to the guilt and becoming an overseer of a stretch of trail maintained by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club. And then getting first choice on the PATC-owned cabins that only members can stay at. Nice little description of one of them, in case you ever wondered.

Don't Intervene

The Smyth County (VA) News & Messenger of about 12 June 2007 carried an article whose link seems to be dead already. All I have of it is this snippet "According to Merz, an Appalachian Trail through-hiker carried a fawn to the NRA headquarters south of Marion after discovering it and thinking it abandoned ..." The title was, I think, "AT Hiker's Lesson: Don't Intervene." If you have a live link to this article, let me know.

Just Like the AT., Only Wetter

The site www.wakulla.com "Wakulla County's Source for Online News" has an article posted on 12 June 2007 entitled "Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail designated as National Recreation Trail" in which we read: "this 1,500-mile sea kayaking paradise is often described as the saltwater version of the Appalachian Trail."

Well, okay then. Except you start and end in the same state; don't use your feet; don't carry your food, clothing and shelter on your back; don't gain or lose a foot of elevation the whole trip. Pretty much other than that, it's just like the A.T.

Prolonging the Hiking Memory Through Your Kids

The Concord (NH) Monitor of 11 June 2007 has an interesting piece by Mike O'Reilly titled "What's in a name? Liam Appalachian, Skylar Daven and Seamus Katahdin." The newspaper asks readers to share interesting stories about the origins of their own names or names of family members. O'Reilly writes that he thru-hiked 15 years ago, and met his future wife at Davenport Gap in the Smokies, "a beautiful blond-haired woman who was also thru-hiking." And then,
"the following September in 1993, we were married in St. Louis and shortly thereafter settled in Bow. As we began to start a family, we agreed to share the incredible experience of the trail with our children. We have been blessed with three wonderful boys, each named after a portion of the Appalachian Trail: Liam Appalachian O'Reilly, Skylar Daven (after Davenport Gap) O'Reilly, and Seamus Katahdin O'Reilly."
Wow, one only hopes that the boys (whose picture accompanies the little article) take up hiking.

Alabama Hiker at Mid-Point

The Sand Mountain Reporter from Albertville, AL reports on 12 June 2007 under the headline "Abrahams, Go-Jo pass Trail's midpoint" in an article by George Jones that thru-hiker Joseph Abrahams and his dog have made it into Pennsylvania and that they seem to be tick magnets.

200 Miles of Maine A.T. at Once

A piece by Carey Kish in the 10 June 2007 MaineToday.Com titled "Three short, fun hikes with great views" carries directions for nice day hikes that are not on the Appalachian Trail. But one, up "obscure Chase Hill in Canaan," apparently offers a fine view:
"Scamper up the fire tower atop the 780-foot peak, however, and hold onto your hat for one of finest, most extensive views for so little effort that I know of anywhere in Maine.

"I didn't know it was coming and neither did my hiking partner. But scanning the horizon we happened to pick out Whitecap Mountain far to the north, up on the Appalachian Trail near Katahdin Iron Works.

"From there, with growing excitement, we began to trace the skyline southwest, ticking off the peaks: Barren-Chairback, Moxie Bald, Pleasant Pond Mountain, Bates Ridge, Bigelow Range all the way to the Mahoosucs, where we were pretty certain we could identify Goose Eye.

"Suddenly we realized we were looking at 200 miles or more of the Appalachian Trail corridor. Remarkable!"
That does sound remarkable, especially for just a one third mile hike and climb up a fire tower.

Hiking for Business Bonding

The Hartford Courant issue of 10 June 2007 has an article by Robin Stansbury titled "A Focus on Fun" that includes this quote from an employee at Mascola Advertising:
"Within my first month, we'd hiked 7 miles of the Appalachian Trail together. We'd raced cars and had a water gun fight. It keeps things fun. When you work hard, you have to keep it interesting."
That advertising must be hard work if they go hiking on the A.T. both to relax and to bond as a team.