My back end made the Walk In The Woods movie trailer….

My back end made the Walk In The Woods movie trailer - minute 131 - wonder if that's what 20 hours of filming as an extra gets you?  A great experience nonetheless - movie is out this Labor Day weekend.... … [Read more...]

Benton MacKaye Trail Trip Video – March 8, 2015

  We had nearly perfect Spring weather for this hike last weekend in North Georgia.  My dog slept for most of the next 24 hours after our 9.7 mile loop hike on and around the Benton MacKaye Trail in the Cohutta Wilderness.  Spring has finally sprung! … [Read more...]

A Thru-Hiker Looks At 20

It’s been 20 years since I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail.  There’s no doubt, it was a different Trail back then – fewer thru-hikers, no cell phones, and no websites to research the A.T. prior to heading out.  Thru-hikers today are better informed, better connected, and significantly better prepared than when I hiked in 1994.  That said, here are some tips for the Class of 2015 as you start the A.T. this Spring:     Create, then ditch your itinerary. It’s fun to plan an itinerary and anticipate where you will be during your thru-hike. You should do it - but don’t live by it.  Schedules are for the workingman.  I had the most fun on the Trail when I ditched my itinerary and rolled with the Trail … [Read more...]

LEN FOOTE HIKE INN, NORTH GEORGIA – TRIP VIDEO (FEBRUARY 2015)

This is a winter hike to the Len Foote Hike Inn that we did with a group of dads and sons from St. Jude Catholic Church. Kudos to the staff at the Inn - who provided outstanding customer service during our visit. What a great place.... … [Read more...]

Back On The Chain Gang

Ice and steep cliffs make for some challenging hiking on the Hidden Canyon Trail at Zion National Park. Now it's my turn! … [Read more...]

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 things more interesting, we round a corner and see the Trail covered in ice.  Hmmm - better hold on to that chain!     I try not to look down - because damn it's a long way to the valley floor.  Get me off this … [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 even a slight deviation from the easy contact comfort of technology. What would she have done in a real crisis?   … [Read more...]

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...]

Red Flags In The Idaho Backcountry

When Mark John spotted two hikers in the backcountry of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness - something didn't seem right:  "Usually when you meet people in the back country, you have a pretty good encounter, you know, and talk about where they've been and where they're going. But they didn't want to talk," he told reporters at CNN.Salmon River - Frank Church River of No Return WildernessThe Idaho horseman was riding with his wife and another couple when he came upon James DiMaggio, 40 and Hannah Anderson, 16 who were hiking near the Salmon River.  He had a backpack, and she was wearing what looked like either sweatpants or pajamas.  "They were just like a square … [Read more...]