Saturday, May 18, 2013

Hikers Hurt During Trail Days Parade at Damascus

Many news sources, including the Knoxville News, have the story tonight as "Up to 60 injured after car drives into Va. parade." The lead sentence in the Associated Press story reads:

An elderly driver plowed into dozens of hikers marching in a Saturday parade in a small Virginia mountain town and investigators were looking into whether he suffered a medical emergency before the accident.

Further down the police chief is quoted to the effect that the driver "was participating in the parade and he had traversed the Appalachian Trail in the past. Multiple witnesses described him as an elderly man."

As of the time this is blog post is being posted, the web site of The Damascus Times did not have anything on the story. (They did have a picture of "Miss Bethany Quesenberry, a 7th grader at Damascus Middle School, [who] was crowned 2013 Miss Appalachian Trail Days...." though, that had gone up earlier, before the accident during the parade.)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Fictional Rescue on Baldpate

Paul Doiron writes on the Independent (UK) website under the title "Five-Minute Memoir: A steep learning curve on the Appalachian Trail" in what I believe is an excerpt from his crime novel "The Poacher's Son." It's an account of the narrator's very near miss in a lightning strike.

Their "plan was to climb the AT and then trek to a remote clearing." So they hiked a mile up from the road. There the 3 hikers stealth camped on Baldpate and one nearly dies from the lightning. The narrator keeps him alive while the 3rd member of their party hikes back down the mountain for help. A very long rescue it was. It took 5 hours for the one guy to get down the mountain and back "with a paramedic, a park ranger, and two game wardens." Then it took them another 4 hours to carry their buddy down in a litter, and 20 minutes to drive to a hospital. It could happen, I guess. And does.

Thru-hiker Barbara Allen's Talk

From the KnoxNews web page from the Knoxville (TN) News Sentinel dated 7 February 2013:
HIKER TALK Appalachian Trail thru-hiker and Knoxville native Barbara Allen will give a free talk about her recent adventure at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 12, at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, 2931 Kingston Pike. Last year, at age 71, Allen hiked all 2,180 miles of the A.T. from Georgia to Maine. The trek took her six months. Along the way she forged deep friendships with her fellow thru-hikers, and by the time she reached the trail's northern terminus atop Mount Katahdin, she had lost 35 pounds. Allen's presentation is hosted by the Harvey Broome Group of the Sierra Club. The event is free and open to the public.
Thru-hiking at age 71! That's all that needs saying.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

75-year-old Completes His Section Hike!

Applause for John Lyon, whose section hike of the AT is reported by Aileen Streng on the web site under the title "Four Seasons man, 75, hikes length of Appalachian Trail."

He lives in a community called "Four Seasons" (I don't think that was his Trail Name).

By coincidence, Lyon's birthday is the trail's birthday: 14 August 1937. And he finished his 2,000 on Katahdin just days before his -- and the Trail's -- 75th birthday.

The article also records the finished section hike by David Brickley who, by chance, lived near Lyon in Northern Virginia, but only met each other in a shelter in Maine last year.


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Jennifer Pharr Davis Spoke in Chapel Hill

Speed hiker Jennifer Pharr Davis spoke recently at Fleet Feet Carrboro in North Carolina. A story about her appearance by Randy Young titled "Pharr Davis relates memories from the Appalachian Trail" appeared on the Chapel Hill News & Advocate web site on 16 January 2013.

Pharr Davis, author of "Becoming Odyssa" and "46 Days," spoke about hiking the AT in general and about her 46 day hike in particular. Article has several good quotes giving a good sense of what she talked about.

Hiking Chaplain Heads Out in April

Many of our national parks have chaplains each summer (I was one on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and then at Mammoth Cave) to serve the spiritual needs of staff and visitors through a group called "A Christian Ministry in the National Parks."

Now our Appalachian Trail will have one, too, but with a different sponsor. As reported on the web site in a story by Wayne Quesenberry titled "Wythe man is on an Appalachian Trail mission," 26-year-old Josh Lindamood has completed a chaplaincy training with the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Lindamood intends to "be a spiritual presence on the trail," and not a proselytizer. His work is the result of the work and prayers of Pastor Alan Ashworth of New Hope Union, Green Valley and Pine Grove, Bland County, Virginia.

Help the ATC at Boiling Springs

"The Appalachian Trail Conservancy needs volunteers to staff its visitor center at Children's Lake in Boiling Springs, Cumberland County. ... The ATC trains the volunteers and then expects them to work three-hour shifts on weekends and holidays, when staff generally is not in the center, which is also a regional office of the ATC." This all according to the Marcus Schneck article titled "Appalachian Trail Conservancy seeking volunteers for Boiling Springs center" appearing on the Patriot-News web site on 18 January 2013. Go sign up. It'll be fun.

Hier's Body at Tricorner Knob Shelter Identified

"Park rangers ID hiker's body found in Appalachian Trail shelter"" is the title of a story on the WATE.COM channel 6 television station web site. Posted on 18 January 2013, the story reports the identification of the hiker as Mr. Richard Lemarr, age 50, of Knoxville, Tenn. His body had been found in the Tricorner Knob Shelter on Wednesday, 16 January. Lemarr had left Newfound Gap on the previous Saturday morning intending on hiking the 30 miles to Davenport Gap in North Carolina. Rest in peace.