Signs it's time for a hike …. the Hampton Inn gives you a room key with hikers on it!!!

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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...]

Naked Rambler Gets “”Long” Jail Sentence

From the Daily Echo in the UK....A HAMPSHIRE man dubbed the Naked Rambler has failed in a bid to challenge his latest jail sentence.Stephen Gough gained notoriety after walking naked from Land’s End to John o’Groats ten years ago – and has since been handed prison sentences totalling more than six years.The 54-year-old was jailed for 11 months in June after being found guilty of breaching an antisocial behaviour order (ASBO) which bans him from appearing in public with his … [Read more...]

Episode #16: Long Trail Podcast Taping – One-Room Schoolhouse, Barton Vermont

Here's Glenn (aka The Helmet) in his blue Clemson shirt at the taping of Episode #16 of The Long Trail  podcast in Barton, Vermont.  Hopefully, the brook running below the deck didn't tank the audio. f His schoolhouse was built in 1858 and decommissioned in the 1960's.  It still has the original  chalk boards inside.  Feeling adventureous?  Ask him for a tour of the attic or the basement!   The front yard is ripe for a pick-up football game which Glenn and my kids enjoyed … [Read more...]

Even Hollywood Stars “Rock” Each Other’s Backpacks

It seems that even Hollywood movie stars get their backpacks "rocked" by mischevious friends.  During the filming of Monuments Men which also stars John Goodman and Bill Murray, Actor George Clooney tricked his 'Monuments Men' co-star Matt Damon in to carrying a backpack that was filled with rocks during a gruelling hiking scene.     Realbollywood.com reports that per Clooney's request the props guys filled Matt's backpack with solid metal bricks, which weighed about 50 pounds: "The … [Read more...]

Even Hollywood Stars “Rock” Each Other's Backpacks

It seems that even Hollywood movie stars get their backpacks "rocked" by mischevious friends.  During the filming of Monuments Men which also stars John Goodman and Bill Murray, Actor George Clooney tricked his 'Monuments Men' co-star Matt Damon in to carrying a backpack that was filled with rocks during a gruelling hiking scene.  Realbollywood.com reports that per Clooney's request the props guys filled Matt's backpack with solid metal bricks, which … [Read more...]

THE END OF AN ERA: SHAW’S BOARDING HOUSE “FOR SALE”

Nearly 20 years ago, I saw this sign while hiking northbound on the Appalachian Trail that directed me  (via a blue-blazed Trail) in to the town of Monson, Maine.    Here's how it looked back then with the fall foilage near peak and my hiking companion Harry (Delta Force) contemplating the two mile side hike to town. I spent two nights in Monson at Shaw's Boarding House before hiking the 100 Mile  Wilderness, and another night here after I summited Katahdin.   Mr. and Mrs. … [Read more...]

There Is Magic On The Appalachian Trail

Spring is a special time on the Appalachian Trail. Every year, 2000+ people show up at Springer Mountain (the official start of the A.T. in Georgia) to head north. In 1994, I was one of those people - and ever since I pause for a moment to think about the next group to head North. This year, I had a friend making the annual pilgrimage and drove across town to meet Scott "Zip" Willits on 3/16/12. We met up at his sister's house in metro-Atlanta, and it was a beautiful spring day - the kind … [Read more...]

The Best Hikes In The Southeastern U.S.

Backpacker Magazine just announced their Reader's Choice picks for the best hikes  of 2011.  Since I am most familiar with the Southeastern U.S. - I'll focus on the top picks in this area: 1. Ramsey Cascades, Great Smokies, TN - I've hiked countless miles in the Smokies and did a 30+ mile trip starting at Elkmont and ending at Laurel Creek Road, but the Ramesey Cascades have somehow escaped me.  Guess it's time to check this one out.  You can follow this link for maps of the Great Smoky … [Read more...]

Did Earl Shaffer Take A Shortcut On The First Documented Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike?

It is customary in the world of Appalachian Trail thru-hiking to pick a trail name, and in 1994 after reading Wingfoot's Thru-Hiker's Handbook - I came to realize that it was better to choose a trail name rather than have someone pick one for me. So after completing Earl Shaffer's Walking With Spring, I decided to take the trail name "BirdShooter" which was the brand name of the hiking boots that carried Earl Shaffer 2000+ miles up the East Coast and in to history as the first hiker … [Read more...]