Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Adkins Hike Finished

Leonard Adkins has written the capstone article in his Charleston Daily Mail series about this year's Appalachian Trail hike. It's titled "Appalachian Trail thru-hike reaches its end" and came out on 26 November 2007.

Adkins, his wife, and their dog intentionally took a long time to complete this year's hike (28 February 2007 to 8 November 2007), and did some flip-flopping in order to follow the seasons the way they wanted to.

He writes well. And reflectively. For example,
"The longer I hike and the more I learn about the Appalachian Trail, the more convinced I become that its greatest importance — much more than the recreational opportunities it provides — is its preservation of the natural world from the encroachments and destructions of the modern world (such as the Wintergreen Resort, which displaced the trail before it became federally protected in the Blue Ridge Mountains)."
His web site at gives more detail and can hook you up with his multi-media presentation.

It Will Be a REALLY Long Side Trail

The Glens Falls, NY Post Star of 27 November 2007 has an article by Charles Fiegl titled "DEC releases plan for National Scenic Trail" which relates news about the North Country National Scenic Trail. Among other things it says
"The longest continuous hiking trail in the United States has been in the works for 25 years. Now, the state Department of Environmental Conservation has released a draft plan to extend the trail through the Adirondack Park."
And down towards the end of this article, we read
"There are eight National Scenic Trails. The North Country trail was originally planned to link the Lewis and Clark Trail to the Appalachian Trail in Vermont. Congress passed an act approving the trail in March 1980. The trail winds its way through North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York. Less than half of the trail is complete, but the Appalachian Trail took about 80 years to finish."
I can't figure out the arithmetic to get 80 years to finish the AT.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A.T. Books "Worn Out"

A former National Park Service Ranger has hiked the Blue Ridge Parkway and written a book about it titled "The Blue Ridge Parkway by Foot -- a Park Ranger's Memoir." The book was published in October by McFarland and Company press of North Carolina. "It is part travelogue, part autobiography, part parkway history," according to an article in the Roanoke Times of 23 November 2007 by Kevin Kittredge titled "The road less hiked;
Former park ranger and natural-born storyteller Tim Pegram walked the Blue Ridge Parkway and shares the joy of discovery in his new memoir."

The article says that Pegram would next like to hike the Appalachian Trail but that "he doesn't plan to write about it. 'It's a worn-out theme,' he said."

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Dan Aitchison Speaks About Hiking

The Putnam County News and Recorder of 21 November 2007 has an announcement headlined "Putnam County Land Trust Program: Hiking the Appalachian Trail" which brings news of the 25 November talk "by Dan Aitchison of Shenorock, whose hilarious and powerful experiences trekking from Georgia to Maine will inspire and delight fireside adventurers, amateur naturalists and experienced hikers."

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Stachurski and Brady Make it to Katahdin

The Greenwood (SC) Index-Journal of 17 November 2007 has an article by Chris Trainor titled "Greenwood man back from hike." The article documents the completed 7 month thru-hike by Jason Stachurski. He hiked 4 March to 9 October with friend Clay Brady.

Stachurski went by the trail name "Stone Age" and Brady went by "Triple Deuce". The writer points out that
"Finishing the Appalachian Trail is not a common achievement. In fact, Stachurski said 16 people started the hike in Georgia at essentially the same time he and Brady did. Only eight of those finished."
Which is way better than the usual odds one reads.

No Moons Allowed

UPI reports on 16 November 2007 that federal authorities are riding the Mt Washington cog railroad and charging hikers with a federal offense for mooning rail riders from the Appalachian Trail. The report, headlined "Feds say bad moon rising on a mountainside," doesn't specify the law broken.

Friday, November 16, 2007

AMC Annual Meeting Upcoming

On 16 November 2007 the website published a press release advertising the upcoming annual meeting of the Appalachian Mountain Club. They titled it "Appalachian Mountain Club to hold “Annual Gathering” in Wallingford". The meeting will be on 1 December 2007 in Wallingford, CT.

Who Will Be Number 10,000?

The Winston-Salem Journal dated 16 November 2007 carries the New York Times article about the approach of the 10,000th person to hike all 2,000 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Their headline is "HIKERS: Appalachian's 2,000-milers near 10,000." We should get there some time in the year 2008.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Sweeney and McClain Finish Thru-Hikes

The Pine Journal published in Cloquet, MN ('Carlton County's Newspaper') has a 15 November 2007 article headlined "Our Neighbors... Jessica Sweeney" which records Sweeney's completed thru-hike.

She hiked for 193 days, starting 23 March and finishing on 1 October ("at 11:45 a.m."). She hiked with "her close friend Andy McClain". And they went by the trail names "Torpedo" and "Nice Enuff" respectively. They "clipped small white picket fences onto their packs representing their dream."

The article focuses on the friends they made during the hike.

Zimmerman Completes Thru-Hike

The 15 November 2007 issue of the Rochester (NY) Democrat and Chronicle has an article titled "Fairporter hikes 2,174 miles." It's the report of the completed 7 month and 7 day thru-hike by local resident Kathryn Zimmerman. She started at Springer 11 March, and finished on 17 October.
"She met about five locals along the way. Mike Martone of Greece, a Kodak retiree who began his thru-hike on March 15, finished ahead of her on Sept. 13."
Her trail name was "The Bag Lady" and according to the article
"one day in June in Virginia, Zimmerman quit. But after a few days in a B&B, she got her mojo back."
You sure don't want to hike without mojo. Her journal is at

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

John and Irene Bryant Search Now Homicide Investigation

The search for Appalachian Trail Conservancy members John and Irene Bryant, avid hikers in their 80's, has, according to Andre A. Rodriguez's article in the 14 November 2007 issue of the Asheville Citizen-Times, become a homicide investigation. The article is headlined "Search for couple turns into homicide investigation after woman’s body ID’d".
"Transylvania County Sheriff David Mahoney said a bank card belonging to 79-year-old John Bryant and his wife, 84-year-old Irene Bryant, was used to withdraw $300 from an ATM on Oct. 22 in Ducktown, Tenn."

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

New Hampshire Resident Anctil Summits

The Nashua (NH) Telegraph of 12 November 2007 carries Peter Jennings' article titled "Nashua man experiences hike of a lifetime on Appalachian Trail."

It records the completed thru-hike by Robert "Bowleg" Anctil and his dog Bono. Forty-two year old Anctil, and 3-year-old Bono, started from Springer on 16 March. When he got to Katahdin,
"Anctil had braved a 6-month hike, and in doing so, he raised $2,000 for a granite bench memorial for his recently deceased friend, Chris Messier.

"Anctil now has an Achilles problem and a martial arts business that lost 30 percent of its customers in his absence, but he believes it was worth it to prove to himself what he could accomplish."
His online journal is at

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Alt No Bryson

The online e-journal (aren't all e-journals de facto online ones?) 'Blogcritics Magazine' has a "Book Review: A Walk for Sunshine - A 2,160-mile Expedition for Charity on the Appalachian Trail by Jeff Alt" posted therein on 11 November 2007 by 'Friend Mouse.'

The reviewer calls Alt's 2nd edition "a quick read" and opines that
"Alt isn’t a particularly eloquent storyteller – he’s no Bill Bryson, but then again, Bryson didn’t come close to finishing the Appalachian Trail – but his words do bring you out into the woods with him, bug bites, blisters and all."
Of additional interest, at least to me, is that she [the reviewer] was interested in reading the book because she wanted
"to see how Alt’s experience matched up with that of my parents (my mom, “Periwinkle,” also walked the AT in 1998 but had to come off for a couple hundred miles because of an injury; she rejoined my dad in New Hampshire for the last push)."

Two Upstate New Yorkers Thru-Hike

Dan Howley's article in the Albany (NY) Times Union on 11 November 2007 is a longer feature article documenting the completed thru-hike this summer by Paul Sypek and Matt Stannard of Glenmont, NY. It is titled "An alternate track; Two Glenmont men take a journey on the Appalachian Trail."

The college students started at Springer on 17 March, and finished at Katahdin on 4 October. The article describes some of their experiences with animals, and conveys the hikers' growth and their relationships with other hikers and non-hikers. It's a good all around piece on this thru-hike. The author says that
"theirs is not a story best measured in distances, peaks climbed, valleys walked, rivers crossed. It's a story about two young men coming of age in the wilderness where they filled their backpacks with memories for a lifetime and brought home a newfound sense of confidence."

Friday, November 09, 2007

Knowing When to Stop

It's not about hiking, but uses the A.T. as an illustration. That's the article by Jennifer Vogelsong in the 9 November 2007 issue of the York Daily Record / Sunday News which is titled "How to . . . quit something; It's OK, at times, to pull the plug." After detailing the story of a psychologist who quit her practice to stay at home with her kids, the writer makes this transition:
"So you decide - after spending hundreds of dollars on gear and countless hours in planning - that trekking the Appalachian Trail just isn't for you.

"You hang up the hiking boots and head home."
That's how you do it. It's better than slogging along just because someone else kept on hiking. Remember: hike your own hike. Maybe your hike is shorter.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Book About PCT Also Not Bryson

The book review of Barbara Egbert's "Zero Days" in the San Jose Mercury News of 8 November 2007 is written by Tom Mangan and titled "A family trek of 2,650 miles; Book follows 10-year-old girl on her adventure."

"Zero Days" describes the 2004 PCT thru-hike by Egbert, her husband Gary Chambers, and their daughter, Mary, that put Mary in the record books as the youngest PCT thru-hiker. Along the way in the positive review, Mangan writes that
"Egbert's first-person prose is plain-spoken and unpretentious. It's not the equal of, say, Bill Bryson's, whose "A Walk in the Woods" is a classic, antic tale of failing to through-hike the Appalachian Trail. But Egbert, a Mercury News copy editor, has success on her side, having hiked all but a couple hundred miles of the PCT (medical issues forced her off the trail for a few weeks) and finishing the trek in Canada with husband and child."
Check it out: Zero Days: The Real-Life Adventure of Captain Bligh, Nellie Bly and 10-year-old Scrambler on the Pacific Crest Trail By Barbara Egbert (Wilderness Press, 288 pp., $15.95)

Elderly Hikers Missing in North Carolina

John Harbinand and Mark Schulman write in the Hendersonville, NC Times-News of 8 November 2007 under the headline "Search for Bryants pushes on." And with a beginning like that, you know the ending could be bad.

The Bryants are John and Irene Bryant, 80 and 84 year old members of the Appalachian Trail Conference, who have been missing from their home in North Carolina. By the time neighbors called in search and rescue they had been missing more than two weeks. Their car was located in Pisgah National Forest and they're presumed to have headed up one of the hiking trails in the area. Rescuers and search dogs are trying to locate them.

Connecticut Hiker Retiring

The University of Hartford Informer has an 8 November 2007 article by Darren Duncan entitled "Carlson to Retire" which details the upcoming retirement plans of the University's Director of Public Safety, Judy Carlson. And it does not say that her plans are now to hike the Appalachian Trail.

What it says is that she started working at the University in January 1974 and that
"Carlson is an adventurous person and after working here for a year, she decided to go hiking on the Appalachian Trail. Carlson explained, 'It was my intent to work for a year and then leave to hike the Appalachian Trail which is what I did. However, after four months on the trail I was tired of hiking and eating trail food so I came back to Connecticut and was fortunate enough to be able to resume my employment at the University. I've been here ever since.'"
So she's already had her long distance hike. Maybe she will now do more of it.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

A.T. Next on His List

Scott McMillon writes under the headline "Livingston man hikes Continental Divide Trail" in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle of 5 November 2007 about Jim Horan having just finished hiking the Continental Divide Trail. It ends with the note that
"In 1998, he and [hiking companion Mark] Dixon completed the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail, tracing a different route from the Mexican border to Canada. And he's got his eye on the 2,175-mile Appalachian Trail, which would make him one of only a few dozen people to complete the “Triple Crown” of distance hiking."

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Island Girls on Mt. Washington

Nine Nantucket girls participating in the Strong Wings Adventure School experienced a much higher elevation than their island home affords them during a recent hike on Mount Washington, according to the article in the Nantucket Island Inquirer of 4 November 2007 by Margaret Carroll-Bergman titled "All-girls Strong Wings excursion tackles Mount Washington."

They trained as best they could on the island whose highest elevation is 111 feet above sea level. Their first night of hiking found them at the Zealand Falls hut.
"The huts sleep about 50 people, both men and women, and according to Oberg, the Nantucket group shared one room with two other people. 'The girls got to meet many people who have literally been hiking the Appalachian Trail since April,' she said. 'This was a hard concept for most of the girls to grasp, to hike a rocky, mountainous trail for months on end.'"
It's a hard concept for a lot of people to grasp.

He Cobbled Together a Section Hike

The Hanover [and Gettysburg, PA area] Evening Sun of 4 November 2007 has an article by Steve Marroni titled "Cobbler hikes length of AT" all about local cobbler Doug Livelsberger finishing up a 15 year long section hike of the Appalachian Trail.
"Livelsberger owns Beanie's Shoe Repair in Gettysburg and Hanover. He has been a cobbler for about 35 years, and has put more than 1,000 miles on the pair of hiking shoes he still wears."
It's a good story about hiking and things learned on the Trail, one you don't often read when section hikers finish their 2,000 miles.

An abbreviated version of this article also showed up in the York Daily Record, titled there "Shoemaker Ends 15-year Journey on Trail" on 11 November 2007.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Teacher to Be Hiker

A PATC Leave No Trace workshop has inspired a Maryland science teacher, Brook Green, to design and carry out an outdoor education lesson for the 234 7th graders at Thurmont Middle School. That's according to a Jeremy Hauck article titled "Teacher slowly turns her students into tree stewards" and published on 1 November 2007 in the Gaithersburg, MD Gazette.

The article ends on this hopeful note:
"Green is set to retire in the spring after 34 years of teaching, and the first thing she and her husband plan to do is hike the entire length of the Appalachian Trail, more than 2,000 miles, she said.

"'We’ve put it off all this time,' she said, adding that she hopes her students will be more likely to discover hiking in the future as a result of the school project."
Good luck!