Monday, February 06, 2012

High Schoolers Hiking

The Daily Progress from Charlottesville, VA on 5 February 2012 has an article by Eileen Abbott titled "More schools turn to the outdoors for learning."

One of the schools profiled is The Tandem Friends School which takes students "on a 40-plus-mile backpacking expedition on the Appalachian Trail" each year. The school is expanding its program of outdoor education to include other activities.

Wayne Bailey Talks Trail at PA Show

Carlisle, Pennsylvania's The Sentinel from 5 February 2012 carries an article by Matthew Ciccocioppo headlined "Eastern Sports and Outdoors Show begins Saturday".

The bulk of the article is about a presentation sponsored by the ATC.
The Conservancy has had a presence at the show for several years, but for the first time they offered a "Back Packing 101" seminar, show coordinator Kimberly Williams said. The seminar took place at 5:30 p.m. in the small arena Saturday.

Retired Alabama school teacher, Wayne Bailey is the quintessential instructor, having backpacked nearly 10,000 miles in the last 10 years. Bailey introduced himself saying, "I am not the smartest guy but my hiking techniques have come from experience."
Bailey had about 50 people at his presentation on his 2007 AT thru-hike. He also did the PCT in 2009 and the CDT in 2010

Wenger Replaces Startzell

The Herald-Mail from Hagerstown, Maryland has an article in its 5 February 2012 edition written by Richard F. Belisle and headlined "Appalachian Trail Conference changes hands". It's about Mark Wenger coming to the ATC after David Startzell's retirement on 30 January. Nice article. Nice quotes.

AT Film Festival

The ATC film festival is announced as follows:
Feb. 11 Appalachian Trail Short Films Festival. Appalachian Trail Visitors Center, Harpers Ferry, W.Va. Short films about Appalachian Trail. Free.
in the 5 February 2012 Pittsburgh Post Gazette under the headline "GETout events calendar: Feb. 5, 2012"

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Hiker Bill Bailey Talks Trail in Tennessee

On 4 February 2012 Mary Hance posted on the Ms. Cheap blog at The Tennessean newspaper's web site. She announced a talk by Bill Bailey on Thursday, 16 February 2012 at 6:00 PM. The location is Cumberland Transit. And you're advised to call for reservations. Bailey is a 2 time thru hiker.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

AT Film Festival

The ATC Film Festival is announced at publicopiniononline under the headline "Visitor center offers short films on the AT." The free film showings last an hour on Saturday 11 February 2012 beginning at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. Popcorn and drinks will be provided.

Heckler Mentions Trail Angels

The Gainesville (FL) Sun of 3 February 2012 has a piece by Desiree Farnum titled "Local expert now has segment on 'Nightly Business Report'," in which she says Lou Heckler will be giving short essays on the public television show each Friday. And
Heckler plans to use metaphors to illustrate how people can more effectively manage employees in two- to three-minute essays. For example, he refers to the “Trail Angels,” people who give energy bars and water to hikers on the Appalachian Trail, as good examples for business partners and co-workers. He said there were trail angels in his life who gave him the knowledge he needed.
So maybe he hiked. That's not mentioned.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Romantic Appalachian Trail

An Appalachian Trail location nabs a spot on a "Most Romantic Places" list in the Washington Post on 1 February 2012. Check it out! The Washington Monument -- the first one, not the earthquake-cracked on in DC -- is heralded along with the Old South Mountain Inn.

Former AT Hiker Missing in Arizona

The web site out of Flagstaff, Arizona published a story by Eric Betz on 2 February 2012 titled "Hiker, climber Hall left no clues when he went missing in September".

The gist of the story is that Justin Hall basically disappeared while house sitting for a friend in Flagstaff back in September. Police found no evidence of foul play and are note actively searching for him. His distraught family, naturally enough, thinks more could be done.

The 40-year-old studied aeronautical engineering at Embry Riddle University in Daytona Beach, Fla., and afterward worked as a professional in the northeastern United States. But after a few years, he decided he needed a change and took off to hike the more than 2,000-mile Appalachian Trail.

"I think that the Appalachian Trail changed him -- being in that solitude for all those months," said his mother, Lynda Hall.
It sounds like Hall had trouble adjusting to "normal" life off the Trail, at least the kind involving a desk job.
Search and Rescue combed a small area around the property on the belief that when someone is depressed, they usually don't walk far, Hall said.

"He walked 33 miles of the Appalachian Trail in one day, why would you find him within one and a half miles?" his mother said.

Brian Hall says there are three possibilities of what happened to his son: he walked off on a hike, he committed suicide or there was some kind of foul play.

"We're hoping he went off on a hike somewhere," he said.

Added Lynda: "I don't think he would have ever committed suicide, he loved life too much."

The family is asking any hikers and climbers to keep an eye out for him. He is described as being 5 feet 7 inches tall and around 175 pounds, with hazel eyes and a shaved head. He usually wears shorts or jeans and hiking boots.
Anybody out there seen him or heard from him?

Hiking North from the Train Station

Audubon Magazine has an interesting hiker memoir in it, published online on 2 February 2012. By Jesse Greenspan, it's titled "Two Months on the Appalachian Trail; One hiker’s experience on the northernmost section of the East’s famous footpath."

What's most interesting in this tale about a 59 day hike over the 741 miles from the Appalachian Trail train station platform north to Katahdin is the recurring mention of specific birds seen or heard. Such as after his first night on the Trail "The next morning, I wake up to a wood thrush and veery chorus." I don't know tons about birds, but I know those are two very cool birds to listen to (or is it that those are two I could identify, so I only think they're cool?). Anyway, very few of the hiker memoirs I've read includes terms like "wood thrush" or "veery."

Book Signing by Brew Davis

In the 'Outdoors Calendar' of the Asheville Citizen-Times John Fletcher wrote that there would be a
BREW DAVIS BOOK SIGNING: Carolina Day School hosts a book signing for teacher Brew Davis, author of “46 Days: Keeping up With Jennifer Pharr Davis on the Appalachian Trail,” 7-8:30 pm tonight, Feb. 2.
Can't give you the link since it's already disappeared.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Bear Cables in Smokies

On 1 February 2012, the National Parks Traveler published a release titled "Appalachian Trail Conservancy Gives Friends of The Smokies $2,000 For Bear Cables In Great Smoky Mountains National Park" ... which tells you about all there is to tell except that in one sentence it says "will be able to install more cables" and in another place it says "The work has taken place at two popular shelters on the Appalachian Trail in the Smokies, Spence Field and Peck’s Corner."

So maybe some cable installation took place, and more is yet to come. Which will be good until those sneaky bears figure out how to work the cable systems.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012