Monday, November 03, 2008

How to Hike

The Pittsburgh (PA) Post-Gazette of 2 November 2008 carries an article by Cristina Rouvalis titled "Checklist for long-haulers on the Appalachian Trail."

The article gives a couple really quick and basic pointers about how to prepare. It also mentions that Peter Greninger, outreach specialist at REI in South Side Works, will be giving "a talk on backpacking essentials at 10 a.m. Nov. 15 at Jennings Environmental Education Center at Slippery Rock University." Also quoted is John Fletcher, information assistant for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

Rocky Run Shelter Restoration

Susan Guynn writes in the Frederick (MD) News-Post under the headline "Trail 'magic' at Rocky Run; New and restored shelters await hikers on Appalachian Trail" on 2 November 2008. She describes the reaction of some of the first hikers to use the newly restored Rocky Run Shelter.

The bulk of the article, though, gives a nice history of the shelter and the site. Very interesting.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Tennessee A.T. License Plate Progress

The Maryville (TN) Daily News of 2 November 2008 tells us that there are "Applicants needed for Appalachian Trail license plate." Joel Davis reports the need to have 1,000 applicants for the plates before any can be distributed. There are only about 300 names on the list now, most from east Tennessee.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Derek Andrews Finishes Thru-Hike in October

"Hampton Bays hiker conquers Appalachian Trail" is the headline over the article by Vera Chinese in the 31 October 2008 Southampton (NY) News. The article records the completed thru-hike this summer by University of Vermont student Derek Andrews. He summited on 10 October.

His father, Stuart Andrews, thru-hiked in 2006.
"After soliciting the advice of his father, Mr. Andrews said he made only minimal preparations prior to the start of his journey. ... Protein shakes and bars, freeze-dried foods, ramen noodles and Pop-Tarts were the staples of his diet. 'I went extremely minimalist,' he said. ... In terms of expense, Mr. Andrews said that some people can spend thousands of dollars hiking the trail while others can do it for virtually nothing. He estimated that he spent about $5,000 on equipment, lodging, food and—his largest expense of all—local bars. 'That's the big expense,' he said, smiling. 'You go to town and you just want to relax.'"

Thru-Hiker Karen Lund on Her Feet

Runner, and thru-hiker, Karen Lund writes under the headline "Footloose and Fancy Free" in the 31 October 2008 Kansas City (MO) Tribune about her feet. As a runner, she says, she obsesses about her feet. And looking back to her thru-hiking days,
"Yeah, I know, it’s hard to imagine a 37-year old woman’s feet could still be growing, but in the world of long distance hiking and running, this phenomenon isn’t uncommon.

"Before I hiked the Appalachian Trail in 1997, veteran hikers warned me that I could end up needing a new pair of boots a few months into my journey - not because they were worn out, but because of my feet spreading in every direction from day-after-day, continuous pounding. And they were right, I had to buy new hikers mid-trip because my feet expanded one size. It might seem wild, but it’s true."

Hot Springs, NC and Trail Mentioned

There's a passing mention of the Appalachian Trail in a 31 October 2008 piece by Stacy Smith Segovia's "Four-day whirlwind exhausting and exhilarating" on the web site of the Clarksville (TN) Leaf Chronicle. She meets family at Hot Springs, NC for a family wedding, and says this of the famous trail town:
"I'll tell you about some other attractions of the tiny mountain town, ones you can check out yourself. We had heard that Hot Springs was on the Appalachian Trail, and that is more true than we suspected. Stylized "A" symbols are stamped on the sidewalk running through the town's thoroughfare, Bridge Street. And that IS the Appalachian trail.

"A cool al fresco bar sits on the street, serving a wide selection of specialty beers to appeal to through-hikers' granola sensibilities. Across the street is an adventure gear shop. Walk a mile and a half along the trail and you can scramble up a hillside to scenic Lovers' Leap."
Let's hear it for them 'granola sensibilities'!