ATC Conference – Saturday

Castleton CollegeThis is an example of the historic buildings at Castleton College.

I went to workshops today – photography and yoga for hiking. I also was the greeter for the ALDHA readings co-sponsored by the Appalachian Trail Museum Society and the Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association.

Most read from their book detailing their A.T. experience. J.R. Tate who wrote Walking with the Ghost Whisperers came with his grandson and said, “Your children may slow you down on the trail but your grandchildren will keep you going.” What a great line! His book emphasized the history on the A.T.

Larry Anderson wrote a biography of Benton MacKaye who first envisioned the A.T. MacKaye was a thinker and writer, not a doer. That was left to Myron Avery. MacKaye and Avery had a falling out over Skyline Highways, like the Green Mountain Parkway that I referred to yesterday.

I read a section from my book Hiking North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Heritage on the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Most of the audience knew little about the Smokies and that it was the 75th anniversary of the park. The session ended with Gene Espy, the second person to thru-hike the trail in 1951.

The last workshop that I greeted was on the Lebanon Mountain Trail, which goes from the Syrian border to the Israeli border. ATC staff and volunteers went to Lebanon to consult on the 275 mile trail. ATC has a great tradition of sharing their knowledge with other trail systems.

I’m writing this after the evening program. The keynote session was presented by Dayton Duncan, who wrote and produced National Parks: America’s Best Idea. He showed a small piece of the 12-hour video that will be shown on PBS in September. The small piece just happened to be about the Smokies.


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