View Full Version : How was the ALDHA Gathering

Former Admin
10-20-2002, 10:44

10-20-2002, 11:31
Well I was there on Saturday only - mainly to meet the folks from Moonbow and get measured for a Gearskin and to see how my gear would fit in the Gearskin system. While there I went to a few of the seminars/presentations including Baltimore Jack's and talked (mostly listened) with a few people such as Trail Dad. I finished up listening to Walkin' Jim's concert which was very good. I had dinner at the AYCE cafeteria - the food was good but not great (Aramark stuff) but it seemed the line was very slow to get into the cafeteria. I met a couple hiking friends from another forum but mostly was by myself. The crowd was fairly sizeable - not too sure how many (250-? maybe) since there was no one place where everyone was together. It was relatively well organized - there was only one seminar that I left when no presenter showed up.

Generally there was little in the seminar's that I found new and interesting but the presentations were well done. There was a lot of other stuff I should have gone to see such as the slide shows and videos but I did not have time for.

In broad terms I got what I came for (meet with Moonbow folks) and the rest while good was not really my cup of tea - would have rather gone hiking.

10-20-2002, 13:25
I was there Fri, Sat and Sun. Stacy Mikkalsen, who's trail name should be Sweetheart or Giggles, anchored the opening ceremonies on Friday evening. She read off every year and had all thru-hikers stand who completed the hike for that year. I thought Baltimore Jack was going to pass out from standing and sitting down so much.Too funny!! Way to go jack!!

There was a little emotional moment when she came to the year 1948, the year Earl Shaffer completed his first Thru hike. Some of his family were there and they were presented an award/gift to a standing ovation.

Then Flying Brian gave a slide show on his triple crown hike. I thought he slacked packed with ground control on this hike but apparently not. He said his biggest day was a 41 miler. Unbelievable!!!

Sat HH and I went to watch the slide show on Hiking Mt Kilimanjaro in Africa, 19,300 feet. This was from Blueberry and Cat in the Hat's hike this past Jan. Nice slides and presented well. Then we watched the slide presentation of the Colorado Trail by David Jones aka Wahoola. The scenery was just awesome!! David did an excellent job, added a lot of humor to his slides. He hiked this with 6 other guys, one was Telephone Man Mac McDaniels. Then we went to the Twenty Question seminar giving by Jack Tarlin aka Baltimore Jack. I thought Jack did a hell of job. He was very articulate, well spoken, organised, and honest. He admitted he carried a 50lb pack in public. Do that anywhere and people's eyeballs start rolling around in their heads. He preached the number one rule for hiking, hike your own hike. Good job Jack, I gave you an A Plus.

I left early Sunday morning but HH went back to get in the group photo and maybe do another seminar.

I also went and talked with Jonathon from Moonbow and switched out liner bags. He must have been in a circus, every time I saw him he was juggleing something, and doing it very well I must add.

We talked to Ed Speers aka Not to Worry. He was there promoting his hammocks and he gave a seminar as well. The last time I saw Ed was on Springer Mtn new years night of this year. I'm still amazed I survived that cold night. Ed said his thermoneter got down to 5 that night. BRRRRR.

HH and myself camped at Pipstem Resort. An awesome place in it's own. Just 1/4 mile away. We hung out at the group campfire Friday night after everyone came back together from the different seminars and eating ect. The big field filled up with cars. I couldn't guest the amount of people attending but, the one last year up north had 2000 people. There was quite a number at this one as well. This was my first time and I enjoyed it.

Here's a few other faces and names seen:

Lenquini-Charles Duane-HH said he thruhiked the AT in 100 days with a seven pound pack. WOW!


Spur and Ready

Weather Carrot

Leki Man-Chris Hall

Miss Janet

Warren Doyle

HH-- don't forget about Stinky that we had the privaledge to sit behind at the opening ceremonies.

Tomoka Ted-He sang a couple of songs at the opening ceremonies-Dude, he can play that guitar I tell ya!!

Mother Goose-This lady has thruhiked 5 times.

Make your plans now, every two years the Gathering comes back to Concord College.


10-20-2002, 18:06
I wasn't even there, and I know that it's a great time.

But why wait 2 years? next year it's back to Hanover (Hang-over).

10-21-2002, 12:00
The Gathering was, on the whole, a good experience for me. I met a bunch of thru hikers that I ambled along the trail with in May and it was good to see them again. I missed Walkin' Jim Stoltz's show, but made it to one of his seminars on long distance hiking without a long distance trail. Excellent information overall. Most of the workshops contained only information that is easily accessible on the web, but they did have lots of pretty pictures. There was a really interesting account of Brian Frankle's 113 mile walk across the Bonneville salt flats. The Hiker Fair had some interesting gear on display, such as hard sided packs and fleece overalls. I even purchased a rucksack style pack from ULA.

One of the more interesting facets for me was to meet in person all these people who I've run in to either on the internet or just read about. People like Brian Robinson, Ram Bunny, Warren Doyle, Baltimore Jack, Jim Stoltz, Miss Janet, etc. Not to mention people whose journeys I've followed on trailjournals.com. I wanted to talk to so many people while I was there, but there just wasn't the time. After all, there was a considerable amount of beer to be drunk and only so much time to talk.

On a darker note, there was a trend at the Gathering that I found a bit disturbing. Amongst the attendees at the various seminars, there seemed to be a fair number of people whose main purpose in asking a question or making a comment was self-aggrandizement. That is, some one would attempt to ask a question, but would really spin a tale or yarn about how great their hike was, how great their hometown is, how light their load is, how much trivia they know, etc, etc. That is, there were many "questions" asked which were really opportunities for people to say how great they were. Not all the seminars or question askers were like this. But it was a large enough number for myself and some other hikers to take notice of. I suppose this, perhaps, is innate to the type of meeting that the Gathering is. If I didn't know so many other hikers and didn't chat with other people at the Gathering, I would have taken a bad impression away from the Gathering of the type of people at the Gathering.

SGT Rock
10-21-2002, 12:04
So where and when is the next one?

10-21-2002, 13:50

It should be a Dartmouth College in Hanover NH next year around 10-11-03. This years Gathering was moved back a week because of a scheduling problem.

It alternates every year between Concord College and Dartmounth College.

Following is a link, it's too early for the official word on next years event.


Hammock Hanger
10-22-2002, 09:43
I had a great time, saw a lot of old friends, met some new ones.

Glad I went. I truly enjoyed BJ'd 20 questions workshop. Sue/HH