Those lazy, hazy, crazy days of Summer
This week, I've got another diverse array of guests from Trail Days in Damascus a few weeks ago. While I guess a parade of hikers could have been interviewed, I preferred to go with others associated with the Appalachian Trail, so I've managed to get another interesting mix together. Dan Bedore is hiking a kind of alternative AT, keeping the pioneering spirit of the trail alive by spending large amounts of time totally by himself. He said that he preferred it that way. When I checked his website, bedore.org, I was amazed at the variety of trails that he has completed. For those of you wishing to go a little off the beaten track, Dan's site is a good place to start. You can reach out to Dan at email@example.com if you'd like to find out more about his journeys. Next, I spoke with the first of the vendors this week. One of the Jacks, of Jacks R Better, demonstrated the Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock, based upon the design of a suspension bridge. It provides a flat sleeping surface. I was a little doubtful, but it was terrific. Had I seen this in 2014, I may have even considered a hammock. You can find out more about the company at the Jacks R Better website and this video demonstrates the setup of the hammock. Eric Fox, the son of Alison and Bob Fox, hiked the AT a couple of years back. Bob wrote Eric's story for him, in a really interesting family collaboration, called The Endless Trail. Check out the book on Amazon. You can also see more about the book at Bob's website and Facebook page. Click on the appropriate link. Here's a picture of the two of us. Kyle Jeffreys introduced me to a very reasonably priced air pad. The company is Klymit, and I highly recommend their website. I tried out the Static V2. At just over $60, it is a bargain and extremely comfortable. The website will give you far more information, as well as some really excellent deals for somebody putting together a bunch of equipment from one supplier. Once again, click on the link that appeals to you. Moe Lemire is a hiker who wanted to give back. Instead of just talking about it, he joined the NY-NJ Trail Conference, responsible for more than 50 miles of the AT in these two states. If you're from that area, or simply want to see the great work that Moe and his team do, check out their website. Eddie Hinnant was showing us The Packa, his very own invention, at Trail Days. He demonstrated his combination pack cover and jacket with the fervor of a man who knows he has done good work. Let Eddie himself show you in this video. If you want to learn more, go to Eddie's website. Lisa Quigley, representing the Virginia Creeper Trail, told us as much as she could in the few minutes we spoke. If you'd like to learn more, you can see their pretty website or even their Facebook page. Finally, Dave Degler was kind enough to talk to me about the work of A Christian Ministry in the National Parks. I was so impressed with Dave and his charming team, three of whom are hiking the trail this year. If you'd like to learn more about the extensive outreach that they do, visit their website. I hope that you enjoyed meeting some of the people at Trail Days. I'm really glad that I went, and I PROMISE, the audio quality of outdoor recordings will improve if I do this again!! Charlotte Taney, a previous guest, was originally unsure about any concerns that she may have had prior to starting the AT. On reflection, however, it turned out that she had a few for this week's Fear and Loathing on the Appalachian Trail. Attie seems right back into it, so we're both looking longer term than we had in previous weeks. I can't tell you how delighted I am. I also know that I posted this picture a few weeks ago, but I wanted a Trail Days picture to go with the podcast on Facebook and this turns out to be it. One last thing. If you've read any of my three books and you HAVEN'T left a review, please do me a big favor and click on the appropriate link below to take you directly to the review page of that book. Thanks so much. My Appalachian Trial I: Three Weddings and a Sabbatical My Appalachian Trial II: Creaking Geezer, Hidden Flagon Hiking the Appalachian Trail is Easy: Especially if You've Never Hiked Before. By the way, remember that this last book is free at my author's website, though I won't be in the least bit offended if you want to pay me $2.99 for it!!