My hiking in 2011
I want to wish everyone a happy hiking year!
If my mission is to get people out of their cars and hiking, it might be a good time to review what I did this year and where I hiked.
My big accomplishment this year was finishing the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. I hiked 500 miles of the MST and completed it in the Outer Banks in May. I wonder what I'll do in 2012 to top that.
Right now, I'm busy writing a book proposal for a travel adventure book on the MST, tentatively called The Mountains-to-Sea Trail: Walking 1000 miles through North Carolina. If you can suggest a better title, I'd love to hear it.
I took the opportunity to visit several National Park Units as I traveled -
the Washington Mall and Arlington House in DC and Manassas National Battlefield when we celebrated Lenny's birthday in Washington,
Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh and Wright Brothers Memorial on the North Carolina Coast as I finished the MST,
Moore's Creek Battlefield on the way to a writing course in New Bern,
Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (the St. Louis arch) before taking my granddaughter to Family Nature Summits in Missouri,
Fort Frederica National Monument, De Soto National Memorial and Timucuan Preserve on our way to Florida.
Not bad. That's 11 parks without any of them being destination places for me. And that doesn't count Great Smoky Mountains National Park, my home park, and the Blue Ridge Parkway.
I also hiked on the Appalachian Trail regularly and participated in Virginia 2011, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy Biannual Conference.
This year, I started volunteering to lead monthly hikes on the North Carolina side of the Smokies for Friends of the Smokies. The point of these hikes is to show North Carolinians the beauty and accessibility of the NC Smokies. The top picture is of Hannah E. who scouted one of the hikes with me.
I continue to hike and lead hikes for Carolina Mountain Club and do trail maintenance on our section of the Appalachian Trail.
Even though hiking (and writing about hiking) is what I do, Lenny and I took a hiking vacation in England. We walked the Cotswald Way (102 miles) and the Norfolk Coastal Path (47 miles). Very different hiking from the Smokies.
But it's not all hiking. I'm on the Board of the Great Smoky Mountains Association, the cooperating association that runs the bookstores in the Smokies. I write for National Parks Traveler, the best website on all this National Park and for other outlets on the outdoors.
And of course, there's blogging and editing the eNews for Carolina Mountain Club.
I have gotten involved in a couple of non-hiking activities but this is not a family newsletter.
So what's next? Keep reading this blog.