Warning: Hiking fever-inducing blog post

March 29, 2006

Les Jones recalls a trip to Gregory Bald in Great Smoky Mountains National Park that he made a couple years ago.

But beware before you check out his post.

He made the trip when the azaleas were in bloom. Viewing his photos is likely to make you start loading a backpack and thinking of a good excuse for calling in sick.


Help for the spelling-challenged

March 29, 2006

The folks at WordPress.com, the free blogging service used for creating and distributing this fine blog, recently introduced a spellchecker.

That's a welcomed new feature. But there's something perversely odd about it.

The spellchecker says the words "blog" and "blogging" are misspelled.

Name that shelter

March 29, 2006

By popular demand, I'm adding a new "name that location" photo.

Well, okay, so just one person said she liked the photo contest. But what difference does it make? This is my blog. I can waste pixels any way I want.

Here is another photo I took Sunday afternoon. And unlike the trip to Max Patch, I actually hiked a stretch of the AT when I took it.

The hike may have been only a couple miles, but that's longer than a trail's width, I'm sure of it.

So, can you name this shelter? It should be fairly easy to identify for many hikers who have spent time in the Southeast U.S.

And that's the only clue I'm giving.


Just one more thing: There are no prizes for this contest. No chocolate. Nothing.

Crimes against nature

March 28, 2006

In trying to catch up after my road trip, I just read the Carolina Mountain Club's newsletter that was issued last week. In it is an item about the Blue Ridge Parkway that just astounds me.

"The Blue Ridge Parkway's annual operating budget has only increased 0.5% (adjusted for inflation) since 1980. The maintenance backlog remains more than 200 million dollars."

The park unit is so poor it won't be able to print visitor guides this year, the chief means of letting people know where features are along the parkway.

We have a winner… er, winners!

March 28, 2006

Congratulations to Jan LiteShoe and eArThworm for correctly guessing that my great hiking adventure was a calendar week Triple Crown.

Sure, maybe Flyin' Brian and Squeaky hiked the length of all three trails, but it took them nearly a whole a calendar year. To the best of my knowledge, I'm the only person to hike the width of all three trails in a week!

I'm working on a detailed trip report and I'll publish that soon. But to quickly summarize, I hiked:

  • the width of the Pacific Crest Trail near White Pass in Washington
  • the width of the Continental Divide Trail just north of Rawlins, Wyoming
  • the width of the Appalachian Trail at the summit of Max Patch.
  • chocolate

    Somehow, in claiming victory in my little guessing contest that had no prizes, the two winners cleverly managed to work out a prize. They said they deserved chocolate for their correct guesses.

    But I'm smart too. After nearly 27 years of marriage I've learned to never, ever stand between women and their chocolate.

    So Jan and Linda, let me know if you prefer milk or dark chocolate!

    Name that location, part 3

    March 26, 2006

    So far, no one has been able to come very close to saying where I took the last two photos I posted, though there have been a few good guesses.

    I admitted those photos would be tough to figure out, but the one I took today should be easier to guess. For one thing, it contains a fairly obvious clue that narrows down the options considerably.

    Snowy trail

    Do you recognize the location?

    Also, a couple of alert readers have made excellent guesses about my hiking adventure, but I'm not yet ready to declare a winner. Though their guesses have been close, they're too general.

    Remember the hint I gave in my last post:

    "To my knowledge, what I’m doing has not been equaled by any other person, though two other people have done feats similar in one respect."

    That should pretty much give it away, but here's one more clue to narrow it down: Pay attention to when I took the photos. I mentioned that in each post.

    Name that location, part 2

    March 23, 2006

    Several people, including many of my Internet friends on the AT-L email mailing list, attempted to guess the first location of my great hiking adventure. Not surprisingly, no one came close to guessing correctly where I was on Monday.

    It was a tough one, I’ll admit.

    Today I made the second stop on my adventure. See if you can guess the location.

    Wide open spaces

    Okay, that one isn’t easier. But maybe if you start piecing things together you’ll figure out what I’m up to.

    Another clue will be posted in a few days.

    In the meantime, I’ll give you one more hint: To my knowledge, what I’m doing has not been equaled by any other person, though two other people have done feats similar in one respect.