My hiking year – 2017

What did I do this year? It’s not a bad idea to look back and see what I accomplished in my hiking life. If my goal in life is to encourage boomers and seniors to get out there, it’s good to see what I did to further this goal.

The Great Smoky Mountains Association took over my book, Forests, Alligators, Battlefields: My Journey through the National Parks of the South. Later in the year, Steve Kemp, publisher of GSMA publications, retired.

I saw the eclipse on top of Clingmans Dome, literally a once in a lifetime event.

I kept writing to my congressional representatives about the importance of public lands. When I moved from North Asheville to West Asheville, my Congressman changed to Mark Meadows in the 11th Congressional District. I haven’t written to him yet, but will soon.

A lot of good all these letters and cards did! Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke promised to shrink the National Park Service. Zinke also looks at his accomplishments.

You can find this card here. Download it, print it out, and mail it to your representatives with a personal message.

Major Trips

Ocala National Forest in Florida

Saguaro National Park on either side of Tucson, Arizona

Walking the Camino del Norte and to Finnisterre.

Danny, Hannah, Charlie, Mina and Shaw on Mt. Fuji

Hannah and I visited Japan and climbed Mt. Fuji.

Family Nature Summits, of course, this past year at Lake Tahoe, California.  Next year, Family Summits will be heading to Western Maine. Hannah, Isa and I are all signed up.

Highlights of day hikes

Greenways of Buncombe County. Encouraged by Marcia B., I learned about our local greenways and joined Connect Buncombe.

Asheville Camino, a 16-mile hike around Asheville. The Western North Carolina chapter of the American Pilgrims on the Camino has made its mark with meetings, tertulias (get-togethers) and hikes.


Hall Cabin in Bone Valley

Bone Valley in the Smokies with Friends of the Smokies

MST in a Day. I led outdoor celebrities on a hike as part of the 40th anniversary celebration of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail

Chimney Tops Trail. I was curious about the condition of Chimney Tops Trail after the horrendous fires of 2016.

Books Worth your Time

Illustrated Guide to Great Smoky Mountains National Park by Dan Pierce

Cemeteries of the Smokies by Gail Palmer

On other fronts, I took a Wilderness First Aid Course, wrote a few articles, led Friends of the Smokies and Carolina Mountain Club hikes – my day job.

Next, time to put down my goals for 2018.

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