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Hiking / Backpacking Archives

 

 

From time to time I post information and articles on my announcement page, sharing news about accomplishments and/or specific happenings of fellow hiker friends and acquaintances. Once the article is old news it gets removed to make room for more current items, however, I have always felt that some of the information should still be available. To that end, this section has been created to archive such articles and news items.

 


 

ODYSSEY 2013: Great American Loop (GAL)


 


   Nimblewill Nomad's

Great
American
Loop
 

At 9:30 Friday morning, June 28th, the Nimblewill Nomad reached the intersection of FL-87 and US-90 east of Milton, Florida, to successfully complete Odyssey 2013, the Great American Loop (GAL). A trek of 1,555.5 miles, entirely a roadwalk, and a very difficult go at times. Thanks to all who offered their support and encouragement -- true blessings!

Odyssey 2013 was destined to go down as an extraordinarily grand affair, perhaps Nimblewill's final adventure, one he chose to call the GAL (Great American Loop).

Over the years, having envisioned no grand scheme, with no predetermined design or plan, dawned on the old fellow a year or so back that he was well on his way to trekking down the outer fringes of the entire lower 48. Yup, a path clear around our beautiful US of A--all four corners, all four sides.

If you've followed the old intrepid's wanderings even the least over the years, you'll know how he likes to connect places, hook them together, by trail, roadwalks, bushwhacks, whatever it takes. His very first long trek pieced together road and tread, a trail spanning near the breadth of the eastern North American continent. It's since become known as the ECT (Eastern Continental Trail).

In 2004-'05, a young, ultra long-distance hiker named Andy Skurka became the first to hike an amalgamation of roads and tread known as the C2C (Sea-to-Sea Route), a trail crossing the upper reaches of the United States, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. In 2007, not content, Andy kicked up a cloud of dust that hasn't settled to this day. He hooked the Continental Divide and Pacific Crest National Scenic Trails together, then to hike that amalgamation in one continuous trek, a trail he's named the GWL (Great Western Loop). Since, and to chime in the least, Nimblewill has cobbled together his own versions of the GWL and C2C.

And so, as for the GAL, of the near-countless miles around and across the lower 48 Nimblewill has hiked over the years (the byways and trails), connecting 18,257 of them now track the entire GAL--now including the 1,555.5 miles from the Continental Divide Trail in New Mexico to the Florida Trail in the Western Panhandle. So, as to this last segment of this last and final leg, as to the completing of it to close the loop that is the GAL? Well, that's what Odyssey 2013 was all about!

   

 

   

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by...”
[Robert Frost]

 


 

 

Check out this all new Guidebook for the Florida Trail

Winter’s coming, but hey--we don’t have to put our packs away till next spring. Let’s head for Florida! There’s a really great trail down there called the Florida National Scenic Trail.

Believe me, folks, the Florida Trail is a remarkably fun hike (the old Nimblewill has trekked it twice), whether we choose to hike it all the way, or perhaps do just a section.

And to support and help us along? What better than the all new guidebook by Sandra Friend and John Keatley, The Florida Trail Guide – Logistics for hiking and backpacking the Florida Trail.

So, load up; let’s go--Florida here we come!


 

ODYSSEY 2012 NET COMPLETED


 


 
 

Noon Sunday, September 9, 2012, Nimblewill Nomad reached the summit of Grand Monadnock Mountain, New Hampshire, thus completing his trek o’er the New England National Scenic Trail.

And as to the significance of that day? Well, it marks the successful conclusion of Nimblewill’s quest to hike all eleven of America's National Scenic Trails. He now becomes the second person, behind Bart Smith, to have documented this accomplishment.

 
 

From left to right: Chickety, Honey, Neighbor Dave, Nimblewill Nomad, Slider.
Mt. Monadnock, New Hampshire

 
 

“Not all those who wander are lost.”
[J.R.R. Tolkien]

 


 

ODYSSEY 2012 IAT COMPLETED


 


 
 

The Nimblewill Nomad successfully completed his trek along the Ice Age Trail on August 12th, a little before 6:00 p.m., 45 days, 1100 miles. In his own words the Nomad says, "Through His Grace, I was granted wide, safe passage -- angels resting both my shoulders." The a;; journal entries, photos, and videos have been published to the Odyssey 2012 IAT section.

During the Devil's Lake segment, and on the final day to St. Croix Falls, the Nomad had a trail companion. His name is Dave Caliebe (another IAT thru-hiker 2010). Please visit Dave's blog pages for his account of time spent with the Nimblewill Nomad in the Devil's Lake area and on the Nomad's final day on the IAT.

 


 

The Nomad has completed the Triple-O
(Ozark Trial - Ozark Highlands Trail - Ouachita Trail)








 

September 9, the final day of this journey, Odyssey 2011. You may recall this Triple-O hike was supposed to be a warm-up, purpose being to whip me into shape for trekking the final two National Scenic Trail(s), the Ice Age and the New England. But rather than whipping me into shape, this Triple-O has just plain whipped me, pure and simple. I should have been in Little Rock no later than mid-June. It’s now going on mid-September!

I’ve been humbled before, but it’s been awhile since I’ve been as firmly slammed in place—like the whipping these three trails have laid on me. And as to the virtue of patience? Oh my, daily do I pray for patience in all ways. Sitting around 18 days, waiting while my knees came back, then sitting again for nearly two months, waiting for my broken leg to heal—all those days spent just sitting (and waiting)—thank you, Lord, for a new appreciation and understanding of patience—and for granting me the strength (and patience) to endure.

Please enjoy trekking along with the Nomad in this journey along the Triple-O, an amalgam of three National Recreation Trails, spanning Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma.
 


Of the 500 miles of proposed trail in Missouri, some 350 miles of the Ozark Trail have been completed.  Isolated sections are interconnected (for now) by somewhat lengthy roadwalks.  It’s a scenic-but-rugged trail, as it traverses the highest land between the Appalachians and the Rockies, the Ozark Mountains, as they’ve come to be known. And these Ozark Mountains?  Well, they could be more correctly categorized as highlands, since they sprawl across an elevated, deeply dissected plateau.  And for sure, the region is unique, certainly as to its culture, in both folklore and folksong.  The descriptive term Hillbilly, or Ozark Hillbilly; they’re pretty much synonymous (Yup, that’s Nimblewill!).  It’s a remarkably diverse region.  Here can be found mountainous terrain marked by deep valleys through which clear, meandering streams flow.  Caves are numerous.  Hillsides throughout are heavily forested in oak, hickory, and pine.  Minerals abound.  Agriculture, forestry, mining, tourism, they’re the mainstay.

As the Nomad left Missouri, he continued his trek along the Ozark Highlands Trail. This cross-country route in northwest Arkansas stretches 165 miles from Lake Fort Smith State Park, across the Ozark National Forest, to the Buffalo National River. The trail passes through some of the most remote and scenic portions of the Ozark Mountains, like the Hurricane Creek Wilderness Area. It also visits White Rock Mountain, Hare Mountain, the Marinoni Scenic Area, and countless other breathtaking spots, and crosses more than 60 named creeks, streams and rivers, passing hundreds of seasonal waterfalls, lots of sandstone bluffs, giant boulders and scenic vistas.

The Nomad completed his Triple-O odyssey on the Ouachita Trail, which stretches 223 miles through the beautiful Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas and Oklahoma. The first 192 miles lie within the Ouachita National Forest; the remaining 31 miles, maintained by Pinnacle Mountain State Park, traverse lands owned by timber companies and Central Arkansas Water. However, to make his Amtrak connect in Little Rock (to head home at journey's end) the Nomad hiked this trail in reverse, picking it up at Talimena State Park, in Oklahoma, crossing into Arkansas, traveling through Queen Wilhelmina State Park, and ending the odyssey at Pinnacle Mountain State Park, near Little Rock. From there to the Amtrak and home.


 

Nomad's Second Transcontinental Trek
Sea-To-Sea Route (C2C)


 

 

Nimblewill Nomad and Webmaster, CyWiz, have been working diligently the past number of weeks creating an entirely new page for your enjoyment.  It’s about a fascinating long-distance trail known as the Sea-to-Sea Route.  Perhaps you’ve heard of it, perhaps not.  If, not, it could be because, to date, only two people have hiked it.

You see, it isn’t your ordinary, everyday trail.  Being transcontinental in magnitude, it stretches clear across our great nation (from sea to sea), some 8,000 miles--give or take a few hundred one way or the other.

We’ve had fun putting the page together for you.  There, you’ll find informative narrative, some neat maps.  To access this latest feature, just click on C2C 2000-2010 in the Site Menu to your left--and enjoy!

 


 

Odyssey 2010 Journals, Photos, and Videos


 



 

The past year was a most rewarding year for Nimblewill Nomad.  Early on, he’d set as his hiking goal for 2010 to thru-hike both the Arizona and the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail(s).  Ah, and did those plans work out so very well!  On June 8th, after 38 days trekking north through Arizona, he reached the Grand Canyon, and three days later, on June 11th, he completed his trek o’er the Arizona National Scenic Trail.  Then, on September 21st, after 65 days enduring rugged mountainous terrain through northern Montana, Idaho, and Washington, he reached the Pacific Ocean, successfully concluding his thru-hike o’er the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail.

If you’ve not yet read Nimblewill’s account, his day-to-day entries, if you’ve not viewed the remarkable photos, watched and listened to the interesting videos—all are available for your enjoyment.  So, you’re invited; come along on these remarkable adventures with him.  In the Site Menu to the left just click on Odyssey 2010 AZT or Odyssey 2010 PNT and enjoy!

 


 

Spring on Springer Trail Fest

The first ever Spring on Springer Trail Fest was held in  Dahlonega, Georgia
March 18-20, 2011.


 




 
 

The event was two-fold:

First, the Fest was Dahlonega’s way of expressing their pride--the honor of being selected as an Appalachian Trail Community.  You see, along the entire length of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail , to date, Dahlonega makes only the fifth community so recognized.  A true honor, indeed.  Congratulations, Dahlonega!

Second, this well-deserved honor/recognition served to pave the way for a long-needed kickoff celebration--a (less than formal) event marking that decades-long grand beginning.  And that beginning? Well, it became known as the hike of a lifetime--the annual pilgrimage north for thousands of wayward intrepid, those who set out to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail--that historic path that winds its way through the mountains and valleys of 14 states, from Springer Mountain, Georgia, to Mount Katahdin, Maine.

Ah, and don’t-ya-know, and what a very special honor; for as it’s turned, the old Nimblewill Nomad, (who takes his trail name from that very special place just below Springer Mountain--Nimblewill Gap), was invited to be Keynote Speaker for this first ever event; just a great honor!

 


 

AHTS 2011 Conference
February 25-27, 2011


 

 

The Alabama Hiking Trail Society tenth annual conference was a resounding success—huge turnout/attendance, much contagious energy and enthusiasm.  Monte Sano State Park, near Huntsville, just a spectacular facility.

Nimblewill shared a joy-filled time with many dear friends—and lots of new ones, too!His Keynote Address Saturday evening was well-received, as was the beautiful from-the-heart music performed by Jan Dutch Treat Benschop.

During the evening activities, John Mother Natures Son Calhoun was presented the coveted “AHTS Volunteer of the Year” award, and Joe Cuhaj was elected incoming president.  Congratulations, John, for work well done, and all the best, Joe, for AHTS in 2011!

 


 

 

Newfoundland Starlight Trail:
Advancements, improvements, new trail (in entirely new countries for the SIA/IAT) seem never-ending.  The Eastern Continental Trail Guide (ECT/AMT, Site Menu to the left) is certainly outdated as to this dynamic international segment.  Take a moment and check out what's currently going on in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, East Greenland, and across the ocean in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Norway, France, Spain, Portugal, and Morocco.  Be sure, though, and look at this report (and spectacular photos) about the Newfoundland Starlight Trail by IAT President Paul Wylezol.

Oh, and isn't it always neat to follow fellow intrepid, as they wend their way along the ECT, from Key West, Florida to Belle Isle, Newfoundland. lil' buddha (Says he's little and looks like Buddha!) is a great hiker--and an excellent writer. Want to indulge yourself in true adventure, check this hike out!


 


IATNL Attends Boston Travel Show
 


 

February 19-21 IATNL Chairperson Paul Wylezol, Communications Director Greg Wood, and Treasurer Kevin Noseworthy attended the Boston Globe Travel Show.  The IATNL was an exhibitor with its own booth to promote the International Appalachian Trail.  On February 19 they were joined by IAT Maine members Richard Anderson, Will Richard, and Walter Anderson.

The International Appalachian Trail runs through Maine, New Brunswick, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador. In Western Newfoundland this long-distance hiking trail extends from Port-aux-Basques in the south, through Gros Morne National Park, to Crow Head (just east of L'Anse aux Meadows) at the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula.

 


 


Nomad Backcountry Adventures
 


 

No, these aren't adventures led by the Nimblewill Nomad, but they are adventures offered by an organization founded by two women,  Meg Letson and Rachel Pomerantz, in 2004, who had a chance meeting with the Nomad, on the Pinhoti Trail, back in the year 2000. This encounter inspired these ladies to envision offering an affordable, accessible, and creative wilderness adventure experience to others. To them, Nimblewill Nomad symbolizes the inspiration, perseverance, commitment, and possibility that supported their creation of Nomad Backcountry Adventures.

 

Please read more about this fantastic organization, and what they have to offer, at their website:
Nomad Backcountry Adventures

 


 


Bismarck Tribune Article
- NCT 2009
A Spiritual Journey by Brian Gehring 10/22/2009
 



Nimblewill Nomad
North Country Trail

PICK CITY - It was closure for two men in the twilight of their years. For one, it closed a chapter in an ongoing sage as he hikes his way across America. For the other it closed a chapter in the book of his life - a chapter that dates back to 1994. Last week, M.J. Eberhart of Missouri spent a leisurely hour walking 1.9 miles of the north Country Scenic Trail at lake Sakakawea State Park, North Dakota. It was a walk that technically began last March. . . . . .Read the entire article here

 


Nomad with John Tunge
Sakakawea State Park Manager


Nomad with Gordon Smith
Trail supporter and long time friend


 


National Trails Days 2009
On The North Country National Scenic Trail
 


The Grand Traverse Hiking Club, one of 40 chapters and affiliates of the North Country Trail Association, celebrated National Trails Day 2009 with Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) officially opening a new spur trail linking the North Country Trail to the cities of Kalkaska and Traverse City. In a ceremony that also featured North Country Trail long distance hikers Joan Young and "Eb" Eberhart, aka Nimblewill Nomad, the GTHC recognized partnership efforts by the Kalkaska Area Recreational Trail and the Traverse Area Recreational Trail. These organizations along with GTHC and the NCTA worked together to create the newly opened spur, which enabled the linking of all the major trail systems in the area.

Photo: Senator Carl Levin, Joan Young and Eb Nimblewill Nomad Eberhart cut ribbon on new NCNST connector trail near Traverse City, MI.


 


Adopt-A-Mile / Paul Duffey's ECT Journey
 


Paul Duffey is planning to begin a thru-hike of the Eastern Continental Trail (ECT), from the northern tip of Newfoundland to the southernmost point of the Florida Keys, in the United States. The 13+ months he will be on the trail, and the cost involved in undertaking such an endeavor, has inspired Paul to create a website where folks can go to make a donation to sponsor his efforts. You can read more about it at http://adoptamile.webs.com/index.htm


 


Bob "Rascal" Behrens Suffers Setback - Still Fulfills Lifelong Dream
 


Bob Rascal Behrens, hiking with trail partner Jolene JoJo Smiley Koby-Burley, set out in 2008 to thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail, a 2,663-mile trek from Campo, CA to the Canadian Border. Hiking for months and only days away from completing a lifelong goal/dream, the unexpected happened. . . . . .read Rascal's story here


 


Meet Alvis Paw Paw Kinney
 



 

 

Most all the national news we’re fed anymore, almost all of it is negative. Dear friends, it doesn’t have to be like this, especially when there’s so many great personal triumphs to cheer about out there, ones that constantly get swept under. What say we change this news agenda! For beginners, why don’t we insist this article about my longtime hiking/backpacking friend, Alvis Paw Paw Kinney get national attention through AP and UPI? Please give a look. God bless you, Paw Paw. And thanks for your sacrifice and service to this great USofA!


 


Sue Hammock Hanger Turner - First Person To Hike G.E.T.
 


On April 3, 2007, Sue Hammock Hanger Turner started her adventure to be the first person to thru-hike the Great Eastern Trail, which begins at the Alabama-Florida line. . . . . . read about this adventure here

 
 
 

(Background music: "That's What Friends Are For"")
 

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 The Nimblewill Nomad




 

 


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