June 15, 2005 |
Hiking and bicycling around the ever-more-congested Upper Main Line can be a challenge, but one worth the effort, according to local enthusiasts. Bicycling groups go to great lengths, plotting detailed routes to explore the region's back roads and scenic landscapes without having to dodge the heaviest motor traffic. Gloria Howard, of the Brandywine Bicycle Club, has mapped out a 15-mile route dubbed the "Willistown Wiggle. " It takes 34 turns in an effort to avoid busy roads but still includes short stretches on Route 252. "Each year it gets harder and harder for me to get the group away from the traffic," said Howard, of Malvern, who has hosted the club's Wednesday evening rides from the borough's municipal park for the last three years.
January 2, 2005 |
Bubbling springs forcing their way through rock, scenic vistas, and good fellowship are all just parts of a hike along the trail - the Appalachian Trail, that is. No, we didn't "through hike" the 2,000-plus miles that many trek from Georgia to Maine, but we hiked about a 50-mile section across Maryland, including side trails. My 21-year-old son, Brandon, and I backpacked this beautiful section of the trail over the summer. Traveling south from the Pennsylvania border, we entered Pen Mar Park with its beautiful view off the western side of the park.
December 29, 2002 |
Cindy Ross, a travel writer who lives in New Ringgold, Pa., in Schuylkill County, and whose work has appeared in these pages, was a veteran long-distance hiker when she met her husband 22 years ago. So was he. Then along came marriage. And then kids. Hiking - at least the walloping sort of trips that covered the entire 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail - was on the very back burner. Until it occurred to Ross and her husband, Todd Gladfelter, a furniture maker, that distance hiking could, possibly, be as much a family affair as anything else.
May 9, 2002 |
Earl V. Shaffer, 83, the reclusive Pennsylvanian who blazed a trail for generations of hikers by becoming the first person to cover the entire length of the Appalachian Trail, died Sunday of liver cancer at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Lebanon, Pa. In 1948, scarred from World War II experiences that included losing his best friend at Iwo Jima, Mr. Shaffer set off from Springer Mountain, Ga., and headed for Katahdin, Maine -...
July 14, 1998 |
Earl Shaffer reached the Bearfence shelter about 2 p.m. He peeled off his 40-pound pack and gobbled four hard-boiled eggs and a package of 20 crackers, spooning jelly on each one or directly into his mouth. He unrolled his bedroll on the wooden floor and slept for three hours with his boots on. Shaffer had hiked 860 miles in the previous 68 days, over the highest mountains in the Southeastern United States. He wore out his first pair of boots about 200 miles back. This folk hero and reclusive Pennsylvanian, now 79, was the first man ever to hike the Appalachian Trail continuously from Georgia to Maine, covering the historic mountain footpath in four months and four hours in the spring and summer of 1948.
July 14, 1998 |
A hiker's cellular phone brought a rescue crew to the aid of a 14-year-old Blue Bell boy who suffered an apparent asthma attack while climbing one of the highest mountains in New England, authorities in Rumford, Maine, said yesterday. David Andrew O'Hara was a couple of hours into a four-day hike along the Appalachian Trail from Maine to New Hampshire on Sunday night when he became short of breath and his arms went numb, said Paul Fournier, spokesman for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
July 12, 1998 |
You might not think that the Appalachian Trail would lend itself to a humorous book, but Bill Bryson never wrote about it before. Now he has, and the result, A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail (Broadway Books, $25), is an engaging, delightful look at the forest trail that stretches close to 2,200 miles through 14 states from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine. It's a book that features the marginally out-of-shape Bryson and the seriously out-of-shape Stephen Katz, an old school pal of his, as they set out to hike the trail.
September 14, 1997 |
Caught in an early spring storm, Rick Maerker and Sam Beyer trekked toward a log shelter miles ahead, high in the mountains of North Carolina. The winds blew the snow sideways and elbowed them off the trail. The winds whited out their vision and dropped already-freezing temperatures off the wind-chill charts. Walking produced enough body heat to survive. To stop was to die. They reached the shelter and awoke the following morning to a misty forest sanctuary blanketed white.
November 24, 1995 |
I have a theory that most New Year's resolutions are conceived the morning after Thanksgiving, in those desperate moments when the Alka-Seltzer has lost its fizz and the road to recovery looks particularly long and winding. I also believe that home-improvement shows are most often watched by people who wouldn't dream of actually owning this or any old house. Some of them, I'll bet, don't even own a hammer. So when I say you really ought to check out tomorrow's episode of "Trailside: Make Your Own Adventure," which records the journeys of several hikers along the 2,158-mile length of the Appalachian Trail, understand that I'm not saying you need to get off the couch and lace up your hiking boots.
June 5, 1994 |
Milt Kenney has been greeting hikers on the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail for 60 years from his post at Castle Crags, near the 14,162-foot Mount Shasta in Northern California. But this weekend he'll be exceptionally busy. The 2,638-mile trail - the West Coast's answer to the Appalachian Trail - was conceived in 1928 but took decades to complete. It will celebrate its first anniversary this weekend as a complete, off-the-road trail. Kenney will be rolling out the red carpet for anyone passing Castle Crags on the train that connects Campo, Mexico, with Manning Provincial Park, British Columbia.