Category Archives: appalachian trail

Walk In The Woods pre-screening in Midtown Atlanta

Walk In The Woods pre-screening in Midtown Atlanta last night with Ken “The Weasel” Knight.

Walk In The Woods Pre-Screening

No VIP passes for us but thankfully we did get seats. And Amy Knight earned them after her work on the Konnarock crew doing Appalachian Trail work for a week this (and last) summer in Virginia. Those are the real heroes of the A.T. – the volunteers that build and manage it.

Walk In The Woods Movie Theater

The movie is in theaters Labor Day weekend – based on the book by Bill Bryson. Ken/I are in the first 20 minutes, and the lesson here is that you can spend 20 hours on set as an extra and get 4.6 seconds of screen time – if you are lucky.

Walk In The Woods JPG-crop

So watch for us in the “deep background” and don’t quit your day job!

Appalachian Trail, Walking On A Dream – May 2, 2015

Took a hike with my son and our dog last weekend. Had an interesting start to the backpacking trip and nearly perfect weather for our camp out. Here is the dream version of the video.

Episode 27: Superwoman



In Episode 27 of the N2Backpacking podcast series, I speak with Niki Rellon.  You think you're tough?  Well she just might have you beat!  Niki's sports pursuits include professional kickboxing, ski instructing, cross-country cycling, thru-hiking, and currently a six month journey on the Appalachian Trail.  Did I mention that she is doing it on one leg?  Well now you know.

In the podcast, Niki talks about her first ventures in to the outdoors, her hike of the Pacific Crest Trail, and the event that changed her life – a 60' fall that nearly ended her life (and made her an amputee).  Niki is now a week in to her A.T. thru-hike and took time from a rest area in North Georgia to speak with us.  Click below for her inspirational story, or click this link to follow her on Facebook.

Subject: Superwoman

Interviewees:  Niki Rellon
Interview Date: 
March 27, 2015
Download Now: 
Superwoman  (WMA format 32.2 Meg);
Superwoman (MP3 format 44.8 Meg)

You can follow or subscribe to this podcast if you click here (via Blubrry, Facebook, Google+, iGoogle, iTunes, RSS, Twitter, Stitcher, Yahoo, Zune). Or click this link for a complete list of N2Backpacking podcasts.

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:


The First White Blaze On The Appalachian Trail – April 11, 1994

  1. 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 (and not against it).
  1. It’s the journey not the destination:  Take your time and enjoy it.  There aren’t many thru-hikers that finish and wish they went faster.  If you generally enjoy being on the Trail, you are far more likely to finish it.  Besides, many of you will be back in the 40+ hour/week grind soon enough.  Cherish your thru-hike while you have it.  You may not get this chance again or for quiet some time (although I hope you do).
  1. Don’t let the extreme thru-hikers ruin your experience. Don’t let anyone ruin your experience, this is your trip.  Hike your own hike.
  1. Keep a journal: Your mind will fade, trust me, and you will want to remember where you were on [insert date] on your thru-hike.  In the 20 years since my thru-hike, there isn’t a single month that goes by where I don’t look at my journal.
  1. Take lots of photos (or videos): No one was shooting video in 1994 when I hiked, but we did take 35mm pictures and I’m glad we did.  Photos (and video) capture many things your journal does not – what you are wearing, eating, doing, etc.  Many of these things are lost in a journal and over time.
  1. Swap photos (or videos) with other thru-hikers: Your Trail buddies may bring a different perspective to the thru-hike in the pictures they take, angles they shoot, moments they capture, etc.  They may also take a lot of pictures of you during the hike.  That’s something you can’t easily do on your own.
  1. Be grateful to those who provide services on the trail. You are setting a legacy for the future.
  1. Don’t forget those who made this possible. Thank every volunteer you meet. Pitch in when and where you can (now or later). The A.T. exists because of the Trail maintainers and they can’t be thanked enough for it.
  1. Mix a few hours of music into your hike each day. It will become the soundtrack of your thru-hike, and 20 years from now those songs will bring back memories just like your journal, photos, or videos.
  1. Know that this experience may haunt you for the rest of your life (in a good way): So embrace it.  The reality is that the trappings of life (jobs, mortgage, car payments, kid expenses, etc.) will find you soon enough.  Those things aren’t necessarily bad, but they make doing a second thru-hike a challenge.  This is truly your time – when you have the freedom to take every day at your pace and to answer only to the Trail.  So make the most of it.

Episode 26: Blind Courage

In Episode 26 of the N2Backpacking podcast series, I speak with Director Clint Ross who is hard at work with Producer Paula O'Neal on the film adaptation of the book Blind Courage, which is based on the 1990 Appalachian Trail thru-hike of Bill Irwin – the first legally blind hiker to complete the entire Trail within a single year.

In the show, Clint discusses the first draft of the screenplay, the trailer, and the upcoming plans to film the movie.  He also give us some personal insight in to Bill Irwin and how he overcame alcohol and tobacco addiction through faith in God and by heeding the call to hike the A.T.

For more information or to follow the making of this film, click here.  For the audio interview click below.

Subject: Blind Courage

Interviewees:  Clint Ross
Interview Date: 
February 25, 2015
Download Now: 
Blind Courage – The Bill Irwin Film (WMA format 68.2 Meg);
Blind Courage – The Bill Irwin Film  (MP3 format 49.2 Meg)

You can follow or subscribe to this podcast if you click here (via Blubrry, Facebook, Google+, iGoogle, iTunes, RSS, Twitter, Stitcher, Yahoo, Zune). Or click this link for a complete list of N2Backpacking podcasts.


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….

Bly Gap, North Carolina – January 31, 2015


This is a video of a January 31, 2015 backpacking trip to Bly Gap, North Carolina which is located just past the Georgia-North Carolina State line on the Appalachian Trail.  It was the first time I'd been here in 20 years and it was great to be back.  Northbound thru-hikers love this place because it marks the completion of the first of fourteen States on the A.T.  

The Boyz and the dogs do a walk over and leave me in the dust

Hiking northbound on the Appalachian Trail about two miles

from Bly Gap and the Georgia-North Carolina border. The Boyz and the
dogs do a walk over and leave me in the dust.

Walk In The Woods premieres to mixed reviews

Walk In The Woods premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this week to mixed reviews.  Here's a sampling…

The Guardian

Plenty of silly little incidents ensue along the way, with lots of jokes about advancing years. Most of these episodes are far too low-stakes to carry a movie and the bigger picture, about two men past their prime trying to figure out what to do in their dotage, is handled far too simply to have real impact. The result is something that is just fine. It’s pleasant enough to watch, but by no means riveting or revolutionary.”

Hollywood Reporter

A delightful journey with fine star turns by Redford and Nolte that should prove a good draw for finicky older audiences.” 

New  York Post

“Tame gags are about all the film has to offer. Major distributors were in attendance at the premiere; the chief of one of them left halfway through.” 

Salt Lake Magazine

“I fear the adaptation of the book that premiered at Sundance could destroy future sales of Bryson's travel cult classic—and could put the uninitiated off the AT itself.” 

Salt Lake City Tribune

“If you're going on a journey, it's good to have familiar traveling companions — which is why “A Walk in the Woods” is a trip worth taking.”

It’s pleasant enough cinematic comfort food, but even so, you may be hungry again soon afterward.”