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  1. #1

    Default Hiker Season Kick-Off in Harpers Ferry - Saturday, May 5

    We're holding our "Hiker Season Kickoff" Saturday, May 5 in Harpers Ferry at ATC. We've got some great presenters, one well known to WhiteBlazers ("Blissful"), a couple of 2011 southbounders (Steadee and Deal, who are the new managers of Bears Den Trail Center), and some 2012 thru-hikers (we hope)!

    We've already had 40 northbounders photographed at ATC as of today--7 more than on this date last year, which was our biggest year ever for nobos reaching Harpers Ferry.

    Here are more details about Saturday's event from our press release:

    Dates: 5 May, 2012
    Location: Harpers Ferry, WV
    Address: ATC Headquarters - 799 Washington Street

    On Saturday, May 5th, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) will host an event to celebrate the arrival of the spring hiking season at the ATC’s Visitor Center in Harpers Ferry, WV. Admission is free and all are welcome to attend.

    The beginning of May marks the arrival of northbound thru-hikers in Harpers Ferry, the psychological half-way point of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.). Day-hikers and overnight hikers are also taking advantage of the warmer temperatures.

    To kick off the season, experienced hikers will give presentations on long distance hiking, kids will have the opportunity to get temporary A.T. tattoos, and gear displays will illustrate day-hiking and backpacking basics, including “the Ten Essentials.”

    The ATC staff will also be available throughout the day to answer questions, give day-hike and backpacking suggestions, and provide maps and guides.

    EVENT OVERVIEW:

    When: May 5, 2012 - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    Where: Appalachian Trail Conservancy Visitor Center
    799 Washington Street, Harpers Ferry, WV

    SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:
    11:00 a.m. – 2011 Thru-hike Presentation: Justin & Patrice Lavigne “Deal” and “Steadee,” managers of Bears Den Trail Center, will give a talk about their 2011 southbound thru-hike. They will also offer gear tips and advice for long distance backpacking.

    1:00 p.m. - Thru-hiker Q&A: Current 2012 thru-hikers will be available to answer questions and tell stories about their experiences on the Appalachian Trail in their first thousand miles from Georgia to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.

    2:00 p.m. - Women and the Trail: Lauralee Bliss “Blissful”, who has recently completed both an A.T. thru-hike and an A.T. section-hike and is an avid day-hiker, will provide tactics and advice for women hikers, including how to face mental, physical, and emotional challenges.

    These presentations will be held at the Curtis Freewill Baptist Church, which is part of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. The church is located off of Storer College Place, which is adjacent to the ATC’s Visitor Center. The parking lot behind this church is available for event attendees.

    Directions to the visitor center can be found at www.appalachiantrail.org or contacting (304) 535-6331

    Laurie P.
    ATC

  2. #2
    AT 4,000 miler, LT Blissful's Avatar
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    Yes Ladies, come on out!! I'm leading the women's session - good talk and pictures to share!



    Climb a mountain...wash your spirit clean - John Muir






    Hiking Blog- NEW Trail Angels - Maintainers
    AT NOBO and SOBO, LT
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  3. #3

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    Laurie P., thank you for putting this together and for all you do for the AT. I've been really impressed over the years with your knowledge of the AT and with how hard you work at sharing that knowledge -- including posting here at WB, which sometimes ought to qualify you for combat pay! And Blissful, I'm well aware of how diligent you've been about giving back to the AT community by sharing your experiences with so many.

    I'm certain a lot of folks will benefit from this upcoming program.

  4. #4

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    We have "Orange Lightening" and "Bomber" lined up to serve on our 2012 nobo thru-hiker panel tomorrow. Two other thru-hikers are tentative. Seven thru-hikers came in this morning, and a few more throughout the day I think--surely a record for so early in the season. Most are doing big miles and not taking a lot of zero days, as is typical of the early thru-hikers. We'll see who else might show up tomorrow, and we have lots of recent thru-hikers on standby to help if needed.

    Map Man, thanks for the kind words to me and Blissful. They go a long way.

    Laurie P.

  5. #5

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    Three cheers!
    1) 'We're holding our "Hiker Season Kickoff" Saturday'
    2) 'We've already had 40 northbounders photographed at ATC as of today'
    and
    3) 'Celebrating One Year Finishing AT SOBO!'
    Teej
    Baxter Park trail condition updates:
    http://baxtertrails.blogspot.com/
    Pick up your feet!

  6. #6
    AT 4,000 miler, LT Blissful's Avatar
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    Thanks so much. Really looking forward to seeing visitors and hikers alike.



    Climb a mountain...wash your spirit clean - John Muir






    Hiking Blog- NEW Trail Angels - Maintainers
    AT NOBO and SOBO, LT
    Shenandoah Ridgerunner, Author, Speaker


  7. #7

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    Thanks to "Blissful," "Steadee & Deal" (Patrice and Justin LaVigne from Bears Den Trail Center), and two 2012 thru-hikers, "OrangeLightening" and "Bomber," we had an outstanding series of presentations and an awesome amount of experience and gear to share with people for the event. Steadee & Deal helped us round up the thru-hikers. One lucky thru-hiker who was starting a thru-hike from Harpers Ferry that day got to hear some of the presentations and even got a shakedown from "Bomber." The newbie was able to safely reduce his packweight substantially, and sent a lot of unnecessary stuff home or left it in the hiker swap box. "Bomber" worked at a couple of outfitters before his thru-hike, so he knew his stuff. Of course, Blissful had a lot of sage advice to share not only about thru-hiking, but section-hiking, day-hiking, and the special issues women face. Last but least, we had a member of our new Friends of the A.T. in Harpers Ferry set up her backpacking hammock. Slowly but surely the local community is becoming more engaged with the A.T.

    We may have had the highest number of backpacking tents (and a tarp and hammock) ever set up in one place in Harpers Ferry in recent memory! Erecting tents is against the ordinances of both Harpers Ferry, neighboring Bolivar, and against the regulations of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. We got a special use permit from Harpers Ferry NHP to have the tents set up for the day.

    The local weekly paper will be running a story later this week, so hopefully I'll have a link to post soon. Thanks to all who helped us out, including Pop Tart and volunteers Gary Moeller and Gary Hill! Our intern Heather who's been helping us all semester couldn't attend because she had to go to her graduation ceremony, but she stopped by for a quick visit attired in a dress and pearls anyway.

    Laurie P.

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