A lot happened in the 2014 outdoor world. In no particular order, here are the important highlights:
* We celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. As part of the celebration, Carolina Mountain Club led several hikes in wilderness areas, including Cold Mountain.
* We mourned the 100th anniversary of the passing of the passenger pigeon.
* In Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Superintendent Dale Ditmanson retired. After 13 months and three acting superintendents, Cassius Cash will arrive in February, 2015.
* Carolina Mountain Club finished a major section of the MST east of Waterrock Knob. Speaking of CMC and MST, both were named number one in the Mountain Xpress, Best of readers survey. CMC was the number one hiking club and the MST was the number one hiking trail.
* Great Smoky Mountains Association opened a new Smokies store in Bryson City in the old Courthouse. It’s beautiful.
* Family Nature Summits announced that they’re coming to the Smokies in 2015. Yippee! Lenny and I will be hike leaders for the week. Check them out.
Personally, I visited 25 national park units on a six-week road trip from Asheville to San Francisco. But my major project is to visit all the national parks in the Southeast. This past year’s highlights include:
** Selma to Montgomery – Little did I know that a movie about the march would be made. It hasn’t come to Asheville yet, but I’ll be there the first week it does.
** Horseshoe Bend National Military Park in Alabama where I couldn’t find any reference to Junaluska.
** Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve in and around New Orleans.
In 1814 we took a little trip – Oh no, the song is going to stick in my brain again.
** and the three parks in St. Croix, the US Virgin Islands.
So what about 2015?