Appalachian Trail Class of 2014 Hiker ProfileS

What a treat! Last Friday night I had the honor of spending my evening with four fantastic Appalachian Trail Thru-hikers.

It was fun getting to know them, hearing their hilarious stories, and living the vicarious trail life through them.

Since none of them are in witness protection, they gave me permission to take their picture and introduce them to you. Well, at least introduce them by their “trail names.”

Four hungry thru-hikers having dinner in Franklin, NC.

From left to right: Wayne, SAS, Paperweight, and Handlebar

Wayne, a fellow member of the Google+ Thru-hiking Community, was my introduction to this rag-tag group of fabulous hikers. As of his stop in Franklin, he hasn’t received a trail name yet and he’s a bit surprised he hasn’t done something stupid enough to warrant one. No worries, Wayne, the trail WILL find a name for you. For now, keep working on your trail legs and building up your hiker appetite. Oh! And keep those community updates coming!

UPDATE: It’s official. Wayne’s trail name stuck! He’s now going by Crinkleroot, named after the beloved character in Jim Arnosky’s children’s books. You can learn more about his namesake at

SAS is a fifth grade school teacher on sabbatical – forced upon her due to budgetary cuts. Not one to sit around, she decided to hike the AT this year. Her trail name is an acronym for “slow and steady,” and she’s considering writing a book about her AT experience. You can learn more about SAS and follow her progress at Hikergirl86.

Paperweight – yes he carries a paperweight in his pack – is a wanderer, and a funny one at that. When you ask him where he’s from, you either get the shelter he slept in the night before or a laundry list of locations around the country. His main purpose for hiking the AT, as near as I can tell, is to meet a woman named Bobbie Sue. So if your name is Bobbie Sue, look for Paperweight at your nearest trail crossing – and make his day.

Handlebar, aptly named for his fantastic handlebar mustache, is, to me, the quintessential thru-hiker. He’s also very sharp witted, funny and confidently laid back. Always on the lookout for Michigan micro brews (he’s from MI), he was thrilled to find one at the Rock House Lodge in Franklin’s local outfitter, Outdoor76.

Best of luck on your thru-hike. I hope you all can stay together until you reach Mt. Katahdin.

If you’re ever hiking the AT or the Bartram Trail, for that matter, and find yourself in Franklin, NC, let me know. I’d love to meet up with you and get to know you too.

One can never have too many trail friends.

See ya’ on the trail,

Appalachian Trail Class of 2014 Hiker Profile – Michael from PA

Meet Michael. He’s an Appalachian Trail thru-hiker from PA. We found him walking along Hwy 64, west of Franklin, on his way to Winding Stair Gap. He had another 7 to 8 miles to go – uphill – before he even reached the trailhead.

Having some time on our hands – we were scouting locations to take prom photos of our kids – my wife and I turned around and offered Michael a ride.

Michael and me at the AT trailhead at Winding Stair Gap.

Meet Michael – a thru-hiker from PA. He’s the guy on the left.

Turns out he missed the earlier shuttle because he had gone to the local podiatrist to have his blisters looked after. He was relieved to get a ride.

Michael said he was hiking the AT because he lost a bet with his brother. Apparently they’re a betting bunch and the stakes are generally pretty high. All of their bets are blind wagers, meaning you don’t know what you’ll have to pay until the bet is lost and you pull it out of the wager box.

The last time Michael won a bet, his brother had to learn to speak Chinese. It took him two years to become fluent enough to pay off his debt. As Michael explained, there’s a betting moratorium during the time it takes to complete the payoff, giving everyone a chance to breathe a little easier.

Michael’s brother thru-hiked the AT about 20 years ago. He was balancing on a rock on top of Mt Katahdin when the rock shifted, exposing a 1939 nickel. He’s kept it ever since.

When Michael lost his last bet to his brother, he reached into the blind wager box and pulled out his wager; he had to replace the 1939 nickel to its original resting place on top of Mt. Katahdin.

So began Michael’s thru-hike.

People hike the AT for a multitude of reasons. This has got to be the most unique reason I’ve ever heard.

We dropped Michael off at the northbound trailhead at Winding Stair Gap and said goodbye. We watched him disappear into the woods.

I walked back to our car, humming, “My name is Michael. I’ve got a nickle. I’ve got a nickel, shiny and…old.”

Happy trails, Michael!

Why did you thru-hike the AT? Let us know in the comments below.

See ya’ on the trail,

Friends In High Places – Whiterock Mountain and Jones Knob On The Bartram Trail

You really need to do this hike. Seriously!

OK! So it’s off the beaten path. I’ll give you that. But you won’t be disappointed. The views from Whiterock Mountain and Jones Knob are worth it. I promise!

A gorgeous long-view of the Tessentee Valley from Whiterock Mountain.

View of the Tessentee Valley from Whiterock Mountain.

And, it’s one of the easiest hikes along the Bartram Trail (BT). This is a promise too.

Granted. I haven’t hiked the entire BT – yet – but this section is certainly nothing like the grueling section from Wallace Branch to Wayah Bald. That’s practically straight up hill for 11 miles.

Fortunately – and you’ll be happy to know this – you do most of your climbing in the car on your way to the trailhead for Whiterock Mountain. What a relief, right?

With A Little Help From My Friends

Amazing things happen when you have supportive friends.

I’m starting a new venture. It’s called Mountain Trails Yoga and it’s a fusion of two of my favorite things; the cardio workout of a vigorous hike and the strength, balance, and flexibility of yoga. And it’s a blast too.

Well, I mentioned this idea to some friends who just so happen to be board members of the North Carolina Bartram Trail Society and they immediately started suggesting great places for a yoga hike.

Signs indicating the beginning of Forest Service road 4522 to Jones Gap.

Entrance to Forest Service road 4522, leading to Jones Gap.

Doing Tree Pose on top of Whiterock Mountain.

A perfect spot for some hiking yoga!

One of their suggestions was the hike from Jones Gap (elev 4360) to Whiterock Mountain (elev 4480) on the BT. And it turned out to be a perfect place for a yoga hike – complete with open rocky balds and breathtaking views.

It’s the sort of mountain top you might imagine a yogi sitting cross-legged, practicing levitation.

So, anyway, we picked a day, invited more friends in high places – a couple who work for the National Park Service and another couple who are scientists at the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory – and headed out.

On The Trail Again

Once you get to the trailhead and put on your pack, go north through the Forest Service gate and along the old service road. This will pass through a wildlife clearing which ends at the junction of the yellow blazed BT and the blue blazed trail to Jones Knob (elev 4622).

If you’ve got the time, take the short trail up to Jones Knob. You’ll get a great view of Whiterock Mountain and wonderful perspective of the whole hike.

An amazing view of Whiterock Mountain, looking from Jones Knob

Looking towards Whiterock Mountain from Jones Knob.

Taking in the view from Jones Knob.

Taking in the view from Jones Knob.

Beyond Jones Knob, the BT basically follows a gently undulating ridge line towards Whiterock Mountain. I’d classify this hike as easy to moderate and very family friendly. Just be mindful of your children and pets once you reach the open rock faces.

The trail winds through rhododendron tunnels and shady hardwood forests. Besides the occasional view between the trees, there are two points of interest between Jones Knob and Whiterock Mountain.

The first one is the graveyard. It’s not really a graveyard but it certainly gives the appearance of one. The graveyard is an open rock face, looking over the Tessentee Valley and toward Whiterock. Large flat boulders litter the rocky prominence, giving the impression of toppled tombstones. It’s a nice spot to rest, have a picnic, do some yoga or simply contemplate your life.

Happy hikers enjoying the views from the Graveyard on the Bartram Trail.

The Graveyard on the Bartram Trail.

The view of Whiterock Mountain from The Graveyard.

Whiterock Mountain as seen from The Graveyard.

A weathered old sign welcoming hikers to Whiterock Gap.

Whiterock Gap with directions to one of the two water sources.

The second point of interest is Whiterock Gap (elev 4120). There’s a well-marked water source – one of two on this section of trail – right below Whiterock Gap, which adds to its appeal as a comfortable campsite.

And this spot could come in handy for you. A lot of people will visit Whiterock for the spectacular mountain sunsets. So if you’d rather not do a “night hike” after the sun goes down you can always camp here instead and hike out in the morning.

Not long after Whiterock Gap you’ll come to the blue blazed junction for Whiterock Mountain (the BT continues on its way to Fishhawk Mountain). This short spur gives way to a rocky path that eventually opens up dramatically to the most amazing views in the southern Appalachians.

A sign indicating the short blue blazed trail to Whiterock Mountain.

Look for this sign and the blue blazes that lead to the Whiterock Mountain overlook.

A group of hikers sitting on Whiterock Mountain, enjoying the views.

Friends in high places – basking in the glorious views from Whiterock Mountain.

This is Whiterock!

You’ve made it! Sit and rest and bask in the sunshine. Take in the views of the Tessentee Valley below you and the southern Nantahala Mountains to your west. On a good day you can see Albert Mountain and maybe even Wayah Bald.

Saying you can see forever might sound like an exaggeration, but when you’re up here on Whiterock…you can almost believe it.

Don’t rush! Take your time and enjoy this magical place. And when you’re ready, simply retrace your steps to the trailhead at Jones Gap.

A young woman sitting on Whiterock Mountain.

Taking it all in on Whiterock Mountain.

What is it about sitting on top of a mountain that makes your spirit soar? Drop us a comment and let us know what it is for you.

See ya on the trail,

Trail at a glance
Mileage: 3.5 miles one way to Whiterock Mtn – plus an additional 0.3 mile to Jones Knob
Elevation change: 120 ft to Whiterock/262 ft to Jones Knob
Water sources: Streams
Trailhead: From Franklin, NC: drive 9.5 miles on 64/28 towards Highlands. Turn right on Gold Mine Rd. Travel 0.8 mile and then turn left on Dendy Orchard Rd. Go 2.6 miles and turn right on FR 4522 (Jones Gap Rd). Drive 2 more miles to the Jones Gap trailhead.


Appalachian Trail Class of 2014 Hiker Profile – Three Mile and Little D

It’s that time of year again – Springer Fever is going around. NOBOs are making their way up the Appalachian Trail on their way to Maine, and, alas, I’m not one of them this year.

But I do have the next best thing available to me – I live in a trail town. Since most thru-hikers “zero” – as in zero miles or a rest day – in my hometown of Franklin, NC, it’s a perfect opportunity to catch up with thru-hikers and share a little trail magic with them.

It’s fun too! You ought to try it sometime.

Anyway, I met Three Mile, also known as Fred Beck, through our Google Plus Thru-hiking Community. It’s amazing how quickly you can get to know a perfect stranger – with similar interests – in such a short time on Google Plus.

So even though we’ve known each other for a while, this past weekend was the first time we met face-to-face. And, if that weren’t exciting enough already, I got to meet Fred’s wife, Debbie – or Little D – too.

Hiker friends, Michael, Deb and Fred visiting together.

Yes! That would be me, Debbie and Fred.

Hikers generally have a lot of chores when they get to a trail town; things like doing laundry, resupplying, replacing gear, eating, bathing, resting, and…eating. I was very grateful that Fred and Debbie found some time to have lunch with me. (Woohoo! Another opportunity to eat!) We had a lot of fun and lots of laughs! (Thanks, guys!)

Hopefully the following highlights from our conversation will give you some idea of what it’s like to hike the AT, a little insight into why people, like Fred and Debbie, hike it, and how much fun it can be.

Where Do You Live and What Do You Do When You’re Not Hiking?

Fred and Debbie are wedding photographers in Kansas City. And good ones, I might add.

What Are The Most Commonly Asked Question From Non-hikers?

  • Where do you go to the bathroom?
  • How do you carry six months of food?

What Are Your Trail Names?

For those who don’t know, a trail name is a nickname that is given to you when you are hiking. Fred is known as “Three Mile” because whenever anyone asks him how far it is to the next shelter, landmark, or town, his answer is always three miles.

Debbie goes by the trail name “Little D” which was shortened from “Little Debbie Short Legs.” But don’t let the name fool you. She’s already taken on some tough mountains and beat them.

What Is Your Funniest Experience So Far?

In trail terms, Fred and Debbie are still in their AT infancy. They’ve walked just over 100 miles – including the 8 mile approach trail to Springer Mountain (I added that for you, Debbie). With over 2000 miles yet to go, there are plenty more opportunities for funny things to happen.

Fred’s funniest experience so far was when they stopped for a rest and a BIG dog, named Moose, peed on his backpack.

Debbie’s funniest moment happened when she was asleep, cozy in her comfy sleeping bag, dreaming of looking for a toilet. You know where this is going, don’t you? The sudden sense of relief. That warm feeling. Well she woke up just in time to dash out of the tent to relieve herself. It’s one of the many things that happen on the trail where you can look back and laugh about it.

What Is Your Favorite Equipment?

Fred loves his Sea-to-Summit sleeping bag liner (it came in handy when the temps dropped into the teens) and their Nemo LOSI 3 person tent (which nearly folded flat in the strongest winds they’d ever experienced one night, but snapped right back without breaking – note: impressive product plug by Fred).

Debbie’s favorite; her nighttime pee jar (see her funniest experience above).

How Have You Managed To Stay Warm At Night Sleeping On The Ground?

Temperatures have been brutal this year, even down here in the south. Fred and Debbie, using 20 and 15 degree bags, have managed to keep warm at night by sleeping on a Big Agnes sleeping pad on top of a Thermarest Z Lite – no more cold ground for them.

What Is Your Most Memorable View So Far?

No question! It was Albert Mountain, NC (5250 ft) for Fred. They were lucky to have a clear, sunny day and he said you could see forever. (His runner up for most memorable was the rock scramble up to Albert Mountain.)

Debbie suggests you take in the nighttime view from atop Tray Mountain, GA (4430 ft) if you’re looking for the best view so far on the AT.

A nice view of the fire tower on Albert Mountain, NC.

OK! So it’s not the view, but it is the fire tower on Albert Mountain on a beautiful day.

What’s Your Newest Experience So Far?

For Debbie, it was hitchhiking at Winding Stair Gap…and she had beginners luck right away. Debbie, Fred and another hiker were standing along the road when some guy pulled up in a little green Miata, jumped put, pointed at Debbie and said, “I’ll take her!” To which, Fred replied, “That’s my wife. Take him.” And pointed to their friend.

Did Fred and Debbie ever make it into Franklin? Sure! But not without the scariest ride of their life. They were in the back seat of a car going 80 MPH down Winding Stair Gap – you know, one of those scary “Trucks Use Low Gear” kind of curvy mountain roads. They made it to town alright, but were grateful to get out of the car.

What Are You Looking Forward To The Most As You Hike Up The AT?

Fred has a special place in his heart for Newfound Gap (5048 ft) in the Smoky Mountains. He’s hiked up to it and driven over it many times, but he’s never crossed Newfound Gap via the AT.

Taking in the view of Harper’s Ferry from the AT keeps Debbie motivated to keep going.

What’s Been Your Hardest Day So Far?

Kelly Knob (4280 ft) in GA gave Debbie a hard time. It was one of those days. She reached the top of Kelly Knob in tears almost ready to throw in the towel. She bumped into a couple of 19 year old thru-hikers resting at the top who told her Kelly Knob kicked their asses too. It helped to lift her spirits to keep going.

What’s The Latest You’ve Stayed Up At Night?

8:30 PM

What’s The Earliest You’ve Gotten Up?

7:00 AM

(Hmm. That’s more sleep than I get. You’d think it was hard work hiking the AT. ;-))

What’s Your Reason For Hiking the AT?

Fred and Debbie are celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary by hiking the AT. Isn’t that romantic? Seriously! I can’t think of any better way to celebrate 30 years of marriage. But, then again, I’m a hiker. Congratulations by the way!

Fred and Deb enjoying some well-earned calories.

Peach Cobbler! A great source of well-earned calories for a hungry hiker.

Time To Go

I picked Fred and Debbie up Sunday morning at their hotel and got them safely back to the AT, driving a respectable 55 MPH. We said our good-byes and hugged at the trailhead. Last time I saw them they were following white blazes into the woods northbound from Winding Stair Gap, refreshed and ready to go.

Happy trails, Fred and Debbie. Thank you for sharing your thru-hike with me. I’m looking forward to your updates.

It’s hard to sum up two weeks of hiking in one lunch. If you’re interested, you can learn more about Fred and Debbie and follow their progress by visiting their blog, (Deb is also a contributing blogger at

Who knows? Maybe I’ll meet you on the AT some day too. Let me know when you’re passing through the Franklin, NC area. It would be fun to get together.

See ya’ on the trail,




S’more Good Hiking Posts – The Sweetest Reads of the Week #3

It’s time for a campfire, some good company and S’mores – S’more Good Hiking Posts, that is. Here’s a collection of some of the sweetest reads I’ve found around the web this week.

Lighten Up, Will Ya’!

Are you new to lightweight backpacking? No need to be so heavy about it. Follow these 5 tips from GoLite and save yourself some trouble on the trail. It’s a great place to start for successful, safe and smart lightweight backpacking. These folks know what they’re talking about.

The 5 ‘Please Don’ts’ of Lightweight Backpacking for Beginners – Mistakes to Avoid

So, here you are. You drank the Kool-Aid so to speak and are convinced that lightweight backpacking is the way to go. Well, congratulations because you are right! Going light on the trail takes away unnecessary aches and pains and trades them in for more enjoyment and fun. But only if you do it right. Read more…

A Choice Every Outdoor Parent Has To Face

Kids change everything! How much risk are you willing to take on your hiking adventures once you have a family? I know my willingness to risk it all decreased immediately when our first child was born. And I’m not the only parent who’s noticed this change. Check out Melissa’s experience over at Adventure Tykes.

Risk Taking As A Parent

Recently there has been a lot of discussion going around the blogosphere about adventuring and taking risks as a parent. Quite a few parents have been sharing stories about what risk takers they were pre-child and how their risk taking has toned way down or become null since they’ve become parents. Read more…

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Experience is the best teacher – especially under extreme conditions. My friend, Andy, literally had all night  to think about the rainy predicament he found himself in and has some great suggestions to share with you in his post at Sierra SocialHub.

What I Learned While Not Sleeping All Night in a Rainstorm

Lying wide awake listening to the sound of rain drops pounding on my tent, I was beginning to freak out. As an experienced car camper, I wanted to make a run for the car and get out of this fierce rainstorm. Unfortunately, I was ten days into a 14-day backpacking trip and many miles from any vehicle or shelter. Read more…

The End Is In Sight

You can’t walk over 2,000 miles and not expect to have a bad day, a body ache, a strong emotion…or two. Likewise, you can’t deny the kindness, support and joy you find along the way. No one shares it with as much honesty or makes it as real – the real you can actually feel in your heart – as Kimberlie from The New Nomads. Each post, like this one, is a masterfully crafted portrait of her amazing journey on the PCT.

Mile 2155 – The Bipolar Section

Not the land.. No.. The land always just is what it is.. It’s me. I became a maniacal bipolar occupant of the land in these last 7 days. One day I’d wake up a reborn wood nymph, headed gleefully towards a bluegrass festival with fists full of black licorice and a vibrant awe in my gait. The next morning…. Read more…

What’s A Little Rain?

There’s nothing I enjoy more than walking in the woods on a rainy day. And I’m not the only one. Crystal, a member of our Google+ Thru-hiking Community, writes about her rainy day hike at Acadia National Park on her blog, A New Day Yesterday. I don’t know about you, but it kinda makes me wish I were there too.

Rainy day hiking in Acadia National Park

My original reason for coming to the East Coast was that I saw a picture of Acadia National Park one day and decided that I just had to go there. The scenery is just beautiful, and what better way to take it in than by hitting some of the park’s many hiking trails. Read more…

That’s it for this week. Thanks for visiting.

See ya’ on the trail,

S’more Good Hiking Posts – The Sweetest Reads of the Week #2

It’s time for a campfire, some good company and S’mores – S’more Good Hiking Posts, that is. Here’s a collection of some of the sweetest reads I’ve found around the web this week.

One Foot, Two Foot, Wet Foot, Dry Foot

Whether you step in a stream or get caught in the rain, if you’re going to hike, you’re going to get wet boots. Sometimes it can’t be helped. And wet boots aren’t comfy. But how do you safely dry your boots? Greg Christensen over at Seattle Backpackers Magazine shares this ingenious boot-drying method.

Inuit Boot Drying Trick

“My friends and I had been on the trail three days when the rain hit. It started as drizzly rain, then changed to a fat-drop rain, then to a misty rain and then to a sprinkling on- and-off rain. We’d been hiking in an open valley, and by the time we reached the relative shelter of a distant pine forest, we were….” Read more…

Thanks! But I Think I’ll Walk

Looking for adventure in the Himalayas? Here’s one trip where the flight in and out may prove to be more adventurous than your hike. From his blog, Words From Swaziland, Steve shares his personal experience with the Lukla Airport in a humorous – and slightly anxious – fashion. I was certainly on the edge of my seat and I wasn’t even on the plane.

Flights of Fancy

“Aside from the lady who was throwing rice over her shoulder as an offering to whichever Hindu deity deals with flying, the passenger complement comprised nervous trekkers, one cheerful chap and one morose chap from the Nepal Civil Aviation Authority, a Buddhist Monk and a Flight Attendant. I know that the Flight Attendant is obligatory and have a sneaking suspicion that the Monk is also on the airline’s payroll….” Read more…

A Family That Hikes Together…

One of my favorite things is to see families hiking together – or rather, families who enjoy hiking together. Jeff, from The Path Less Beaten, is gracious enough to share his family’s love for hiking with insight, wit and a whole lotta great pics. Thanks, Jeff, for another great trip.

Backpacking To Kinney Lakes

“We originally started off the year with the goal to hike the entire Tahoe Rim Trail before year’s end. We started off with good intentions, hiking from Big Meadow to Echo Summit. As the summer progressed though, we started to realize some of the challenges that the trail posed.” Read more…

A Stroll Through The English Countryside

Ok! I’ll be honest. Until recently, England was not the first place I thought of for adventure hiking. No offense to my British friends, but I’ve never been to the UK. My primary experience of England comes from watching British TV shows, like Inspector Lewis, Luther and Sherlock which only deal with the British countryside when someone’s been murdered. So, you can see it’s not my fault. But that’s all behind me now. I’ve repented. And I owe it all to Martin from Adventures Close To Home. Here’s another one of his great posts that makes me want to hike through the English countryside.

Hit the North! – Stage 8 : Melton Mowbray to Grantham via the Grantham Canal (with thrilling wild camp!)

“After some time faffing about in the suburbs I found Melton country park from where I could join the Jubilee Way which in turn would eventually lead me to the village of Stathern.  My wild camp for the night was to be just beyond Stathern in the woods of the Vale of Belvoir.” Read more…

How Far Would You Go?

Whoa! That’s some serious desire. But I’m not surprised by David’s plans. Hardcore hikers will do just about anything to go on a special trail, especially if there is a lottery for spots. We wish you well, David! Looking forward to your follow up report on An Epic Adventure.

Why Go On This Hike?

“The Enchantments is a place I’ve dreamed of going ever since I first heard about it back on Monday. It’s known as the hike in Washington; as in the best. Permits are next to impossible to get and are…” Read more…

That’s it for this week. Thanks for visiting.

See ya’ on the trail,

S’more Good Hiking Posts – The Sweetest Reads of the Week #1

It’s time for a campfire, some good company and S’mores – S’more Good Hiking Posts, that is. Here’s a collection of some of the sweetest reads I’ve found around the web this week.

You’re So Cheesy!

Anyone else crave cheese when you’re out on the trail? If you’re going for a day hike, it’s generally not a problem. BUT what about long hikes and backpacking trips? What’s the best cheese to take with you? Melissa over at Chasqui Mom has some ideas for you.

The Toughest Backpacking Cheese
“I’m a burger and fries kind of girl.  I crave healthy fats and bad fats but after hiking for long periods of time or in particular backpacking trips, I want meats and cheese at the end of the day.  I’ve managed to address my meat craving with Trader Joe’s Chianti Red Wine Artisan Salami, which is absolutely delicious alone or in a dish.” Read more…

Déjà vu…Well, Sort Of

I came across this next sweet read by Steven Berei from Lake Tahoe All Access. It didn’t take me long to recognize this place and remember how much I loved this spot. It’s fun seeing someone else’s experience of one of your favorite places in the world.

It’s a very short hike with spectacular views!
“If you live in or have been to Tahoe, you may have called this one.  Yup, it’s Cave Rock!  Cave Rock was created over 3 million years ago, and is located on the southeastern shore of Lake Tahoe.  You can see the rock structure from almost any point on the lake.  It’s still considered sacred to…” Read more…


You never know where – or when – that “ah ha” light bulb is going to turn on. Dave from got an epiphany that challenged his idea of adventure from, of all places, a bored hipster. Who knew, right?

Bored Hipster Seeks…Adventure!
“It’s interesting the conversations you overhear, out of context, that resonate with you.  It happened for me at camp this weekend in Grand Canyon at the Desert View Campground.” Read more…

Manhandling Those Meddlesome Mossies

Mosquitoes taking a bite out of your outdoor adventures? Don’t lose another drop of blood. Andrew  Skurka’s got you covered…literally.

My clothing system for backpacking in peak mosquito season
“Were it not for some scheduling constraints, I would have preferred to schedule these trips at another time of year since they coincided precisely with the region’s peak bug season, which historically happens around the summer solstice, June 21.” Read more…

“Staggeringly Beautiful Landscape”

Well, after seeing the video that accompanies this article from Lets Be Wild, I’d say that’s an understatement. You owe it to yourself to check out this amazing story about the adventures of a couple of talented film-makers.

64 Days of Learning
“For 64 days, film-maker Sim Warren and Mia Xerri headed to North America for two months of exploration in Canada and America’s best loved and most beautiful national parks, blogging about their trip as they went.” Read more…

That’s it for this week. Thanks for visiting.

See ya’ on the trail,

Happy Trails, Bill!

Bill GThis is my friend, Bill (He’s the one on the right). We shook hands for the first time last night. And today, he’s starting – or I guess I should say, continuing – his journey on the Appalachian Trail.

I met Bill through our Google+ Hiking Community and when I found out he was picking up the AT just outside of Franklin, NC (Rock Gap, to be specific), I jumped at the chance to get together with him.

It’s amazing to meet other people who are into hiking as much as I am; getting to know them, picking their brains and hearing about they’re hiking experiences – both good and bad. You can learn a lot from someone like Bill.

I could tell you more about him, but you would be better off checking out Bill’s blog for yourself. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.

Best wishes, Bill, for a safe, fun and incredible adventure. I wish I was going with you! Hopefully you’ll be able to update your blog often enough for me to live vicariously through your hike.

Have you ever connected with another hiker from Google+, Facebook or some other online community? Tell us about it in the comments below.

See ya’ on the trail,