The Appalachian Trail Club of Florida
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20 May, 2015 Meeting:
A short walk, on a Long Trail.
The monthly meeting of the Appalachian Trail Club of Florida will be held on Wednesday, 20 May, 2015.
Jane "K-Fun" and Dennis "K1" Blanchard have been spending considerable time getting ready to go hike the Vermont Long Trail (VLT) in a few weeks. They've put together a fun/informative/interesting presentation to cover what they've learned as they've been preparing. Even though Dennis hiked the AT in '07/'08, things have changed with the gear and technology and he, and Jane will demonstrate the changes they've found.
Jane and Dennis are going to bring their equipment for a "Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down," club inspection. In addition they will cover what it takes to hike the VLT. It is only 270 miles, which for many club members, might be a short walk on a long trail. However, Dennis and Jane have been spoiled hiking in Europe with a bottle of wine every night and sleeping in beds most nights. This will be their first "primitive" walk in a very long time. Dennis is 68 and Jane is something less and they're finding preparation quite a bit different from when they were in their 30's.
Dennis will also have some slides from the VLT portion of the AT back in 2007. Hopefully, everyone will get something out of this and they hope to learn from those that have already completed the VLT.
Look forward to seeing you Wednesday night.
We're ALWAYS looking for speakers to come and tell their story, vendors to show us the latest gear and authors to talk about their latest book. Join us soon!
Doors open at 6:30pm, meeting begins at 7:30 (after potluck)
|Date||Meeting Theme||Comments and contacts||Host|
|Summer break||No meeting June, July and August and September|
|15 October, 2014 (Past Event)||Welcome home meeting.||This is a "Members meeting." Come and tell us about your summer adventures.|
|19 November, 2014 (Past Event)||Bonnie "CoMOMdo" Elozory, of Tampa||Tampa
Newspiece about CoMomDo and her daughters hike of
|17 December, 2014 (past event)||Sandra Friend||How to Hike the Florida Trail: http://floridahikes.com/|
|21 January, 2015
|Steve Adams||Steve's adventures last summer on the AT: http://myappalachiantrial.com/|
|18 February, 2015 (past event)||Stephen McEndarfer, pack review.||Stephen is doing a thru-hike this year and brought his gear.|
|18 March, 2015
|The Tracht Brothers, of Environeers||http://environeers.com/
|15 April, 2015
|Greg Fisher||AT hiking in 1969. Never before seen photos!|
|20 May, 2015
||A short walk on a Long Trail
||Dennis and Jane Blanchard on the Vermont Long Trail
|Summer break||No meeting June, July and August and September||Go hike!
|17 February, 2016||Kay and Kim from Quest Outfitters, from right here in Sarasota, FL||http://www.questoutfitters.com/index.html|
Send an email to:
and include your real name, trail name, old email address, and new email address and phone number. If your postal address has changed, include that as well so we can make certain you get the monthly Newsletter. Thanks!!!
Sarasota Garden Club (Click here for a map)
1131 Boulevard of the Arts
Sarasota, Florida 24236
Hosts Needed!Host: Sign up to be a Host at a meeting. Hosts arrive a bit early at the meeting and bring the ice and drinks and help set up the meeting room. We're looking for hosts for for future meetings. Do your part, Email, or call to sign up!
meets on the third Wednesday of each month at 6:30,
starting with a potluck dinner. Each member brings a
prepared dish to share with others, and their own personal
utensils, plates, and napkins, if required.
section of the meeting starts at 7:30, and usually
includes a guest speaker or some other informative event.
If you have a presentation the membership might enjoy, do
Click here to watch, or download the 100 Mile Wilderness Video of K1 and New York Minute
Reading The Trail...
From time to time I'll post a favorite book or journal that pertains to the A.T. PLEASEsend me your recommendation and a book report. It is highly recommended that you can help out the club authors by visiting their web sites and leaving nice comments for others to see. Companies, such as Amazon.com actually follow this activity and will put marketing efforts into books that show interest. If you have read one, or all of these books, do drop by Amazon.com and leave a review.
Skywalker: Highs and Lows on the Pacific Coast Trail: Bill's latest work. The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (PCT)is the perfect place for an average person to do something extraordinary. Bill Walker ("Skywalker"), who stands 6'11", might seem like anything but average. Yet in a brutally honest tone, he lays to bare all his considerable weaknesses and fears. Among these are crushing weight loss and fatigue, along with a fear of getting lost or a bear stealing his food. Nonetheless, he is bound and determined to hike the PCT, which at 2,663 miles, runs all the way from Mexico to Canada. The PCT's calling card is its stunning beauty. It has a diversity of geography unequaled by any footpath in the world.
Haunting and beckoning the PCT hiker are the implacable desert, the towering majesty of the so-called High Sierra, and the ruggedly bleak, northern Cascade range. Indeed, the PCT hiker faces much greater extremes of terrain and climate than on the famed Appalachian Trail. Completing this demanding challenge calls for overwhelming clarity of purpose.
Walker's signature characteristic as a writer is his real talent in capturing people ("Skywalker's humor, his delight in human foibles appeal to a broad audience."--Jeff Minnick, Smoky Mountain Book News). Obviously, he is a people person because he runs into and vividly describes a truly colorful cast of characters from seemingly all walks of American life. Among these are Uber Bitch, Shit Bag, and Serial Killer; the reader learns how these hikers ended up with their names (hint: blunders). The reader need not worry that Walker is a bully. Throughout this irreverent narrative, he turns his considerable supply of humor back on himself in ruthlessly self-deprecating fashion. It all makes for a delightful read.
Born and raised in Macon, Georgia Bachelors and Masters Degree University of Georgia in Accounting Accountant, Arthur Andersen, Atlanta Commodities trader in Chicago and London for 14 years Teacher of English as a second language in four Latin American countries for three years Author of Skywalker--Close Encounters on the Appalachian Trail In 2010 hiked el Camino de Santiago
SKYWALKER, Close Encounters on the Appalachian Trail, By Bill Walker. (ISBN 1-934144-26-6)
Note: Skywalker is currently out of printed copies of his book. He will let us know when more are available.
Bill Walker, a member of our organization (is "organization" too restrictive a description of our club?) did a thru-hike of the A.T. in 2005. His book about that hike is in a similar genre to that of Bill Bryson's "A WALK IN THE WOODS", but Bill has some bragging rights that Bryson doesn't, Bill finished the trail that year! This book explores what a newbie to hiking encounters when setting out to do a thru-hike of the A.T. and in fact, just setting out to spend his first night in the woods.
His descriptions are vivid, his sense of humor is gripping and his insight into what goes on in the mind of a hiker attempting such a feat is extremely detailed. His writing style is engaging and never dull, you finish one chapter and can't wait to get into the next one, you just have to know what happens next.
At 6'11" Bill is an imposing figure, and his book is one of the imposing books about hiking the A.T. and a "must read" for anyone setting out for their first long distance hike. This work will become a treasured classic in any hikers library. Contact Bill directly for a copy of his book, or go to his Website or Amazon.com, or Barnes and Noble, or Borders Books and order it now.
I'd rate it
Dennis Blanchard's promise to his brother haunted him for over forty years. Finally, when there were no more excuses, he set out on the Appalachian Trail to fulfill that promise. As he walked the trail, Dennis reconnected with the Norman Rockwell America that seems lost and forgotten. He learned that not only are the difficulties of walking over 2,200 miles easily underestimated but that trouble can begin long before setting a first step on the trail. Blanchard's introspective demonstrates that bears, rattlesnakes and challenging terrain may be far less formidable than some of life's more subtle dangers.
The book's web site is: ThreeHundredZeroes.com or you can entertain yourself at the book blog: blog.ThreeHundredZeroes.com
The web site has some amusing quotes concerning the book from a few of our members.There is a link on the web site to a secure eStore for orders, or you can order it directly at:
ITS ALWAYS UP, Memories of the Appalachian Trail, By The Mountain Marching Mamas. (Charme Burns, Sylvia Crump, Ellen Kilpatrick, Mary Pfennig and Lenore Bunny Schneider)
A half-dozen women once decided to take a hike. Two thousand miles and twenty-some years later, the "Mountain Marching Mamas" had traversed the entire Appalachian Trail -- Maine-to Georgia, "five million steps." Mountain Memories of the Appalachian Trail is their memoir. It is filled with tales of triumph and travail, humor and sincerity, common sense and nonsense, and wisdom and dim-wittedness that only a mama who marches over mountains could share. Any hiker, outdoors person, or "mama" will love these stories and this book.
Their insight, relationships and warmth beckon you to join them as they complete the trail a section at a time, a year at a time. They start their long journey as novices, but come away as experienced adventurers with a gripping story to tell. the book is a joy to read. Pull up a comfortable chair, a warm drink and stay dry and warm as they trudge through cold, rain, animal encounters, weirdo encounters and at times, wonderful weather and scenery.
The book can be ordered at http://stores.lulu.com/mamas or from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (It will ask if you are an ATC member or not, then go to the second page of book listings), or call the ATC at 1-888-287-8673.
Quest Outfitters (800-359-6931) specialists in outdoor fabrics (silnylon, Cordura, Packcloth, Supplex, fleeces, no-see-um mesh, neoprene, Thinsulate, Primaloft, and much more), outdoor wear and gear patterns (backpacks, bivy sacks, parkas, gaiters, etc), fasteners (side release buckles, d-rings, etc.) tent poles and zippers.
Click here for a map. Phone: 941-921-1467 Newsletter editor Grace Tyner
National Advocacy Group for the AT.
Click to join BackpackingLight
Contact Webmeister: Dennis Blanchard
Updated 24 February, 2015
- Club President: Alan "Boom Boom" Roddy
- Vice-President: Nancy Keegan
- Club Secretary: Bunny Schneider
- Club Treasurer: Libby Tyner
- Program Chair: Dennis "K1YPP" Blanchard
- Newsletter Editor: Grace Tyner