3W – Thru-Hiker Rendevous

I have a friend hiking the Appalachian Trail this year and his schedule (and some inclement weather) had him take a zero day in Gatlinburg, TN which gave us an opportunity to catch up with him last weekend.  Here is the World Wide Wanderer (aka 3W) relaxing on the balcony of the LeConte View Motel. He shared some photos and video from the Trail and detailed his first three weeks on the A.T.  We absorbed it like a sponge, then offered to buy him dinner - a gesture that no thru-hiker … [Read more...]


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Thursday (9/17/09) - (MA, NH) Arlene had breakfast ready for us when we woke this morning, and after powering down a quick bagel we took her Caddy to Concord for a 10am meeting with American Satellite.  Spent an hour talking business, then  went to lunch at a country-style restaurant nearby.  Enjoyed lunch with Todd/Tim, then I drove straight to the Boston airport.  Dropped off Carrie at the American terminal, then let myself out at the National car rental building.  Arlene headed home and … [Read more...]

50 Hikes In 50 States By 50 Years

As someone who likes to hike and backpack, I decided a number of years ago that I wanted to hike 50 trails in 50 States before I was 50 years old.  I’m certain that I’m not the first to do this – although I made the decision without any outside influence and with two basic rules: The hike has to be on an established trail (signed or blazed) that is known to the hiking public. The trail has to be at least one mile in length, and I have to hike this distance (or more) for it to … [Read more...]

Protected: Appalachian Trail, Wildcat Mountain Trip Report – May 2, 2015

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We weathered rain, slippery rocks, bears, and put Rebel to rest this weekend

Just returned from a loop hike at Blood Mountain via the Reece Memorial, Freeman, and Appalachian Trails. We were aware that bears were a problem in this area and reminded immediately by a sign at the trailhead. Here's two of our crew at the junction of the three trails. The 1.8 mile hike along the Freeman Trail was wet and slippery and much harder than I remembered it. There's not a lot of elevation change, but it's really rocky in sections. We arrive to an empty Woods Hole Shelter around … [Read more...]

There’s Rattlesnakes Among Us: Backpacking To Wolf Laurel Top

Brett (aka Therm Rider) and I start the hike at the Byron Herbert Reece Trailhead which gives us a bonus 1.7 mile hike this afternoon. We reach the Appalachian Trail after a gradual climb of 0.7 miles. After a mile descent, we meet up with Ken (aka Beer Run) at Neel's Gap. He's been watching our packs and the 20 bikers that rolled in to the parking area this afternoon. Bears are active and aggressive in this area. Parts of the Blood Mountain Wilderness have mandatory bear canister rules in … [Read more...]

Hard Labor Creek State Park – Campsite #2

Schools out in a week, so we decided to squeeze in one last camping trip with the kids before summer.  We had a total of 12 people (5 adults and 7 kids) - so a group site was a necessity.  A friend (and fellow Scout leader) recommended Hard Labor Creek State Park and we lucked out with an upgrade to Pioneer Campsite #2 - which was right on the water. Campsite #2 And to make things even easier, we were able to drive in to the site and unload right next to the picnic shelter. Scattered … [Read more...]

A Spring Hike To Coosa Bald (Via The Duncan Ridge Trail)

Sixteen years ago, The Ox and I did a winter ascent of Coosa Bald (4,271 feet) via a spur off the Coosa Backcountry Trail.  I remembered a few campsites scattered near the summit and decided to return via a much shorter route this time. Coosa Bald is located near (and approachable from) Vogel State Park, and we stopped at Neel's Gap a few miles South of the park.  The store was busy on this cool and clear weekend, and The Weasel snapped this photo of hiking boots hanging in the trees … [Read more...]