Tag 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!

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.”

Baxter State Park Needs Federal Funding, And Soon!

There are four times the number of Appalachian Trail thru-hikers hiking and camping in Baxter State Park than there were 20 years ago – when I did my hike.  According to Jensen Bissell, Director of Baxter State Park, this is straining resources.

“From the perspective of Baxter Park, we are concerned that the use of Baxter Park is nearing or has surpassed an acceptable limit for the facilities and effort available from the Park to accomodate A.T. hikers” 

A letter to ATC Executive Director, Ron Tiptop, lays out the current issues – many of which focus on thru-hikers that overwhelm park resources and occasionally don't follow the rules of Baxter Park (ie. no public consumption of alchohol or drugs, camping only designated areas, no dogs in to the park, etc).

Bissell states, and I agree, that this problem will only get worse with the release of Wild and Walk In The Woods in the next twelve months, and with the popularity and Internet accessibility of Appalachian Trail documentaries that generate additional interest in thru-hiking.

Let's all hope that Baxter State Park gets federal funding to expand their operations, because there's no better place to finish (or start) an Appalachian Trail thru-hike than at Mt. Katahdin in the Park.

Just got my Georgia A.T. tag in the mail.  $10 annually goes to the ATC

Just got my Georgia A.T. tag in the mail.  $10 annually goes to the ATC for Appalachian Trail projects in Georgia. These include: trail and facilities maintenance, scenic easements and view preservation, environmental monitoring, increased public information, and education and outreach to Georgia residents.

PA, VA, TN, and NC are also participating.  If you live in these States and want to support the A.T., follow this link.

#7 Listen to music

Just read an article at Appalachian Trials on “9 Things A Former Thru-Hiker Wishes She Had Known Before Hitting The Trail“.  And what was on the list?   My personal favorite….

#7 Listen to music:

” It will help keep you positive in the present as you hike and afterwards the music you listened to will become a time machine back to exact moments on the trail. You may not know the place or even the state but the song will bring back a perfectly rendered memory. “

Many go in to the woods to leave technology behind.  I work in technology, and I promise you that when I go in to the woods there’s nothing more that I want to do than leave technology behind.

But when you are hiking ~ 2200 miles to Maine – it’s a long, long way to walk.  Yes, music helps – believe me.  Actually, everything helps – hiking in silence, listening to the birds, talking with a day-hiker or fellow thru-hiker, and  ….. even listening to music for an hour or two.  (It’s an 8-12 hour thru-hiking day, you get that.)

So this week, I’ve been listening to cassette tapes that a group of friends made me for my hike in 1994.  I summited Mt. Katahdin 20 years ago this October, and the music does bring me back – as the article states.  There truly is a soundtrack to a thru-hike (and your life.)  And yes … all the memories do come flooding back.

Even if it originated on cassettee tapes that were played on a yellow waterprooof Walkman.   On a thru-hike … the music does matter, maybe not today – but tomorrow.



Spring Has Sprung, Time For A Hike On The Benton MacKaye …

After a unseasonably cool winter, the weather finally broke and we decided to take the kids out for an overnight hike.    We did this one on a Friday night to avoid conflicts with spring sports and with spring break.  Here we are at the parking area at Three Forks on the Appalachian Trail.

The dog is more excited than anyone and is hauling his own food, water, sleeping bag and sleeping pad.  All in – the dog’s pack weighs about 8 lbs – nearly the same weight as my empty (and aging) Dana Design backpack!

Here we are climbing to Long Creek Falls along the A.T. and headed northbound.  The trail is nice and wide in this area and it is a pleasant walk to the waterfall and junction with the Benton MacKaye Trail.

There is a father and son from Orlando camped here when we arrive, and three guys camped nearby at the junction of the A.T. and Benton MacKaye Trail.  For a Friday, there’s a lot of action on both trails today.  We see a number of thru-hikers, and a number of larger groups that are day hiking.

But once we break off on the B.M.T., the crowds diminish and we walk to our campsite without seeing a soul.  It’s nearly 5:30pm when we arrive and there’s a group of four that are searching for lost items from the Army Rangers that train in this area.  They spot a water cache down the hill and are convinced the Rangers are training later tonight.

With the sun dropping in the sky, Ira and I walk back down the mountain to get water while Rob and Ken collect firewood with the kids.   It’s been in the 60’s today, but it’s due to drop in to the 30’s after dark.  So a campfire is a must – and after we pitch our tents we start cooking a late dinner around 8pm.

The kids are showing no interest in sacking out after dinner, but a brief rain shower has them heading for the tents at 10pm.  By now, it’s getting cold – especially away from the campfire.  Time to “mummy” up.

And the dog is tired too, but not cold enough to zip up in his sleeping bag – at least yet.  He’s content to sack out on top of mine!

But after a couple of rain bursts, it passes and the adults return to the campfire at a lower decibel level.  We hang out while the kids sack out … and we pay for it in the morning.  They are up early!

So after a quick breakfast, we are packed up and on the trail by 10:30am.  Many of the kids have soccer and baseball games today – or we would have hung out longer.

And as we hit the trail – we find out that Friday night was the right night to be on the B.M.T.  There is a 68 mile trail run right through our campsite this morning and many athletes and their supporters are in the area as we hike out.  There are also a lot of day hikers and backpackers on the A.T. and it’s the busiest that I’ve ever seen it in this area.  I feel fortunate that we had the last 14 hours with a campsite and the B.M.T. to ourselves.