Entries For: April 2009
On Friday April 24, I attended the 75th Anniversary Governors' Proclamation Ceremony on Clingmans Dome, as a representative of the Carolina Mountain Club. It was an invitation only affair and CMC was invited to present a proclamation honoring the park for its 75th anniversary. The rangers were in their dress uniforms - now I know what they mean by the top brass.
Speech after speech recounted the history of the Smokies and the sacrifice that were made by those who had to leave their homes to make way for the park.
Yet, Principal Chief Michell Hicks of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians pointed out that the park provides protection for the Cherokee lands from development. Gov. Phil Bredesen of Tennessee said it is more difficult now to preserve land now than 75 years ago. Superintendent Dale Ditmanson, pictured above with CMC members, mused that in 200 years, he would like to see healthy hemlocks healthy, restored spruce and fir trees and the return of the American chestnuts.
North Carolina Gov. Bev. Perdue did not attend which caused great dismay among North Carolina residents. She was quoted as saying that "it was too far". Needless to say, Western North Carolina newspapers and blogs were very upset, including me.
But the Governor's absence did not take away from the momentous occasion. The CMC's proclamation recounted our early members, Chase Ambler, Horace Kephart and George Masa who advocated for the park. See the proclamation.
Happy Earth Day!
Hikers have never really celebrated Earth Day.
Started in 1970, it always seemed to be one day of good intentions, a new T-shirt and another reason to have a rock concert. Like fundamentalists who don't celebrate Christmas, hikers prefer to go on the trail to hike or maintain trails.
But of course, there's more to Earth Day than just the woods. Now we're concerned about global warming and our diminishing resources. But like today's Kathy's cartoon, are we willing to make the sacrifices? To take time to not waste water, to carry a water bottle rather than buying water, to carry some fruit as we go through our day rather than buy junk foods?
The last two days, Kathy has been right on the money!
On April 11, Sharon McCarthy (Smoky Scout) finished all the trails in the Smokies, the Smokie 900. She finished exactly a year after she started. This was her big 50th year project, one that also included a fundraiser for the Girl Scouts.
Her last hike, the Old Sugarlands Trail, was carefully chosen to be an easy one, one that would encourage many people to walk with her. Her husband and three children were there. The picture below is of the entrance into the CCC camp at Sugarlands.
By the way, this is what a real marriage looks like, one that encourages both partners to do what is important to them. Those that say they "can't leave their husbands" to accomplish such a goal should examine their relationship.
I finished my Smokies 900 in November but I helped Sharon a few times after that. Now we both have withdrawal symptoms. What's next? Watch this spot.
It was snowing and the wind was blowing since Monday.
I was worried that the weather would keep people away from my book launch and Fundraiser at Diamond Brand Outdoors. But last night, I was so happy and relieved to see a full house. They came to see slides of the Blue Ridge Heritage Area, buy a book and support the Trails Forever program. And oh yes, they also came to eat the great food that Earthfare provided. (If you need to woo people to an event, tell them about the great food.)
Above with me is Elaine Stewart who is the head of the North Carolina office of Friends of the Smokies. Elaine signed up new Friends members and give out lots of literature. In the back is Gary Eblen, the community outreach person for Diamond Brand.
If you missed the event, I'm going to be in many other locations. Check out my events page and come to say hello.
If you’re close to Western North Carolina, join me at the official launch of my new book on Tuesday, April 7 at Diamond Brand Outdoors in Arden, NC, a little south of Asheville. Diamond Brand is located at 2623 Hendersonville Rd., Arden, 828-209-1501. The picture on the left if of the book launch of my first book, Hiking the Carolina Mountains.
I’ll be presenting a slide show program and Earth Fare will provide some great food. For every book sold that evening, Diamond Brand Outdoors will donate 50% of the proceeds to the Trails Forever program, which benefits the maintenance and improvement of trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Additionally, Diamond Brand Outdoors will offer a $20 gift card for anyone that registers to become a member of Friends of the Smokies at the book launch event. And you’ll also be able to buy the new Dolly Parton CD, written and produced especially for the Smokies 75th anniversary.
It will be a great party.
I was at Joseph-Beth in Charlotte on Saturday (April 4) in the Southpark Mall. I talked to several folks who were new to the area or new to hiking. They seemed very excited when I told them about the various hiking clubs in Charlotte and Asheville. And for me, the hiking is what it's all about.