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

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Leaving Las Vegas ….

There is nothing better than escaping a trade show in Las Vegas for the backcountry and fresh air of Zion National Park. After a 3 hour drive Fuller and I arrive in Springdale, UT and stay a short distance from the park. Our first mission is to hike the Hidden Canyon Trail. We climb 850 feet and link up with a steel chain that guides us around a cliff with an insanely sharp drop off.  It is at this point that I remember that I might have a slight fear of heights. And to make … [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...]

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...]

Hike Naked Day Comes A Month Early

Traditionally, "Hike Naked Day" is celebrated on the summer solstice (June 21st) on the hiking trails of North America.  After all - it marks the longest, and sometimes hottest, day of the year.  So why not go "a la natural".  Well apparently Taylor Powers, a University of Colardo undergrad, got a month jump on the annual event.  She was arrested this past weekend, high on mushrooms and hiking totally naked in Chautauqua Park near Boulder, CO with two friends.  Fox 31- … [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...]

Bears On The Appalachain Trail (At Blood Mountain)

Along The Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail made the news across the media channels in Atlanta last week when the U.S. Forest Service closed a section of the trail from Jarrard Gap to Neels Gap near Dahlonega, GA.  Persistent bear activity caused the trail closure in a section of trail that is heavily used by both day hikers and overnight backpackers around Blood Mountain.  My first thought was of the 2011 thru-hikers that had just started out and who were now making their way from Georgia … [Read more...]

Springer Fever

I always get nostalgic this time of year for a hike to Springer Mountain on the Appalachian Trail (or on the A.T. as it is more affectionately called).  It was 17 years ago this April that I left Amicalola Falls State Park near Dahlonega, Georgia and began a 2000+ mile thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail.  Since then, the A.T. has had countless hours of volunteer work to maintain, upgrade, and re-route the footpath which has added nearly 30 miles to the route since 1994 (the year of my … [Read more...]