Spring Hiking 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 Design backpack! Here we are climbing to Long Creek Falls along the A.T. and headed northbound.  The trail is nice and wide in this area and it is a pleasant walk to the waterfall and junction with the Benton MacKaye Trail. There is … [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 aviod 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 Design backpack!  Here we are climbing to Long Creek Falls along the A.T. and headed northbound.  The trail is nice and wide in this area and it is a pleasant walk to the waterfall and junction with the … [Read more...]

Farewell To Bill Irwin, First Blind Hiker To Hike The Appalachian Trail

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...]

Pacific Crest Trail DVD Just Released

Just got this DVD in the mail yesterday about the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and look forward to watching it.  It's received solid reviews from some respected members of the Trail community.  So I made the purchase.  I'm sure it will spark a desire to do another thru-hike - although taking six months off to walk in the woods will not fly the Mrs.! Follow a half dozen of the 300 or so hikers who attempt a Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike every year. Armed with cameras, they give us an insider's view into what it takes to spend half a year living in the wild. … [Read more...]

When The Weatherman Blows The Forecast (aka Our Epic Venture To Long Branch Shelter)

It is sunny when we leave Atlanta and the forecast is for temperatures in the 50's in nearby Franklin, N.C.  But as we drive the 2 1/2 hours north to the Appalachian Trail we spot a line of clouds and a cold front pushing in from the Northwest. Mobile checks at the Weather Channel has the forecast in constant flux - and deteriorating quickly. The light rain projected to hit in the late afternoon arrives as snow and a winter advisory is issued for North Georgia and Western N.C.  But we press on and take the Long Branch Trail two miles and 800 feet up to the ridgeline and the Appalachian Trail at Glassmine Gap. Fortunately we have heard rumors of a new shelter in this area but the two-story structure is not … [Read more...]