Working Off Thanksgiving Dinner – An Overnight In Panthertown Valley

After fattening up on Thanksgiving dinner, The Camel meets us in North Carolina for a hike in to Panthertown Valley.  No one is more excited than the Boone Dawg who is craving some time in the backcountry.  And we are blessed with sunshine as you can see from the the shadows in this photo. The weather has been cool this week so snow showers and ice still lingering in the valley.  Here is a giant piece floating near Schoohouse Falls. Our preferred campsite is taken.  So we … [Read more...]

Wild Premieres Today – November 5th, 2014

  The movie Wild premieres today - November 5th - and details a woman's 1000+ mile journey on the Pacific Crest Trail.  Here's an interesting quote in the NY Times from Reece Witherspoon, who plays author Cheryl Strayed in the the movie: "I said to my producing partner, ‘If we can pull this off, this’ll be the first movie, I believe, I can’t recall, but that stars a woman that at the very end has no money, no man, no parents, no job, no opportunities, and it’s a happy ending." … [Read more...]

#7 Listen to music

 Just read an article at Appalachian Trials on "9 Things A Former Thru-Hiker Wishes She Had Known Before Hitting The Trail".  And what was on the list?   My personal favorite....#7 Listen to music:" It will help keep you positive in the present as you hike and afterwards the music you listened to will become a time machine back to exact moments on the trail. You may not know the place or even the state but the song will bring back a perfectly rendered memory. "Many go in to the woods to … [Read more...]

Relying Too Much On Technology On The Trail

Here's an interesting article about over reliance on technology on the Trail.  From Glacier National Park and reported by the Magic City Morning Star:  "I don't know what to do," she said several times. And that, of course, was the problem. They were strangers in this strange land of "no cell service." No texts. No calls. No contact. And while the manager offered her options, the girl's reaction got me thinking. This almost teenager wasn't prepared to handle … [Read more...]

From movie set to backcountry set, a Walk In The Woods on the Appalachian Trail

You may have heard that Walk In The Woods is filming now in the Atlanta area, and Friday I was cast as an extra in a bunkroom scene with actors Robert Redford and Nick Nolte.  True to the book, it was set at Rainbow Springs, N.C. after an April snowstorm.  Needless to say, I had the Appalachian Trail on the brain and talked two friends in to a hike this weekend on the Trail.  Took my backpack straight from the set, and arrived at Hightower Gap on the A.T. on a beautiful spring day. We … [Read more...]

And the monsoons came. A tale from Good Friday…

The kids were out of school for Good Friday recently, so we took them backpacking on the Appalachian Trail near Tray Mountain.  Here they are at Tray Gap about a mile from the summit. Even the dog was having a great time at Tray Gap and went straight for a mega muddle puddle at the cross-roads.  Three 4x4 Jeeps did the same and entertained the kids before we hit the Trail.  All got a good smattering of mud as you can see below...  Uh, I gotta sleep with that? We considered … [Read more...]

Robert Redford Filming Of Walk In The Woods Underway

Passionate about the Appalachian Trail?  Live in the Southeast (particularly in Atlanta or North Georgia)?  Then this is your big chance to hang with Bob and Nick - they just started filming a Walk In The Woods based on Bill Bryson's A.T. memoir.  The movie is due for release in November 2015, and filming at The Lodge in Amicalola State Park began on 4/22/14.  Extra's casting is reportedly underway per this article in the Gainesville Times, and if your not the Trail Hard type - there's … [Read more...]

You can tell by the smell…..

Now you can smell like the Trail when you are off the Trail.... Some very clever marketing by the Appalachain Trail Conference. This is actually a fundraiser for the Appalachian Trail. Very creative ATC. Well done … [Read more...]

Spring Has Sprung, Time For A Hike On The Benton MacKaye …

After a unseasonably cool winter, the weather finally broke and we decided to take the kids out for an overnight hike. We did this one on a Friday night to avoid conflicts with spring sports and with spring break.  Here we are at the parking area at Three Forks on the Appalachian Trail. The dog is more excited than anyone and is hauling his own food, water, sleeping bag and sleeping pad.  All in - the dog's pack weighs about 8 lbs - nearly the same weight as my empty (and aging) Dana … [Read more...]

Bill Irwin, First Blind Hiker To Hike The Appalachian Trail, Passes Over The Weekend

I read Bill Irwin's book during my 1994 thru-hike - very inspiring.  He was the first blind hiker to hike the entire Appalachian Trail and did it with the assistance of his dog Orient.  Sad to hear that he has passed over the weekend: "Bill Irwin, who in 1990 became the first and only blind person to hike the entire length of the Appalachian Trail without human assistance or companionship, died Saturday morning." A video story on You Tube...             … [Read more...]