Monthly Archives: October 2018

Two Must See Documentaries About The Appalachian Trail (And One Book)

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The white blaze of the AT

I had the opportunity this morning to watch two excellent documentaries on the Appalachian Trail. The first, White Blaze-Stories From Appalachian Trail, was filled with interviews of thru hikers explaining not only why they decided to hike the AT, but also had it had changed them.

This documentary features M.J. Eberhart, also known on trail as the “Nimblewill Nomad.” His insight and  and wisdom is second to none as he has been hiking for more years than most people have been alive. His hiking accomplishments are many, and to me the most amazing is that at the age of 60 he hiked from the Florida Keys to the far North of Quebec. That is an astounding 4,400 miles!

He is also the author of Ten Million Steps: Nimblewill Nomad’s Epic 10-Month Trek from the Florida Keys to Quebec. I have read this and it is one of the best written hiking books out there. He is one awesome dude! I highly recommend this book to anyone that wants a detailed look at long distance hiking.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-UMoA-QmZU

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The second documentary took a little different path than the first. One group of people that thru hikers will encounter on their hike are “Trail Angels.” Trail Angels are folks that take time out of their lives to provide assistance to thru hikers. Often times in the form of a cooler left on the side of a trail, they can be filled with soda, snacks, beer and candy bars. Trail Magic can also be rides into towns, meals that are bought for you or even a free place to stay for the night.

This documentary featured “Apple,” a 30 year veteran of IBM who decided that in retirement he would spend his time providing Trail Magic to thru hikers.  He sets up a 12 person tent that includes a stove, food and drink. For many at the start of a thru hike, something like this can be a life saver as the weather can be incredibly unpredictable with night temperatures in the 30’s to mid 40’s. He goes into some detail as to why he does this and the cinematography is just outstanding.

Here is the You Tube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaZxBlVwhcE

Happy Hiking!!!

New Blog!!!!

From October 2nd through October 11th I posted several essays that had a distinct lean to the political right. After receiving some feedback from followers, I made a decision not to post anything political on The Zen Hiker to keep it just about hiking, the outdoors, photography and other things that I enjoy.

Over the course of the last couple of days I have started a new blog with the title Right On!, which I will solely dedicate to my political rants. I am writing this to let you know that if you were among those who did enjoy reading those types of posts you can now go to the new blog. If you didn’t enjoy them, I get it and won’t put them on The Zen Hiker.

With that said, if you are so inclined, please go to Right On! at the web address below and follow me there!!!!

https://right-on.blog

I am still constructing the blog so please bear with me on how it currently looks!

The Clouds

You see some pretty amazing things when you are sitting in your Jeep waiting for your daughter’s hockey practice to finish. Today, I was looking at the clouds while a nice tasty Eyes played in the background on the Grateful Dead channel and of course I started taking some photos. This is the result. What happens tomorrow?? More rain!

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The Road To Recovery

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My road to a full recovery…

It has now been 108 days since I slid on that damn rock and fractured my ankle. As those of you have sustained an injury like this know, the road to recovery is pretty long and much to my surprise, very difficult. First it was learning how to hobble with the walker without a cast. Then re-learning the whole thing with the cast and taking a shower on a chair with the cast (that’s a whole other story!) And finally PT and walking with a cane and then walking without a cane again.

Each stage came with its own set of frustrations and difficulties. I had plenty of days where I firmly believed that I would not be hiking for many, many months. The constant pain and long days of sitting around with my dog, cat and rabbit sometimes proved to be more detrimental than I would like to admit. Actually, having the animals around did make things more entertaining.

So what’s happening now? I have been riding my stationary bike with the thought that I will be able to go for a hike, albeit a short one, on the first day of November. Of course that all depends on my recovery continuing on the same path it has been for weeks now. I have also been stretching every day for at least 15-20 minutes just to try and stay limber in anticipation of that first hike. Never underestimate the power of stretching! Even though I have always stretched before and after hikes, the extra time really has made a difference. I am a now a believer!

Do I expect that first hike to be a great one? Or even a good one? Probably not. With that said, it will just be nice to get back out into the woods. More on that later.

Happy Hiking!!!

Thank You Ozark Mountain Hiker & MZ!!!

For those who read my blog you may have noticed an incredibly drastic change in my posts over the course of the last couple of weeks. When I started this blog I said that I would use it to share my love of the outdoors and especially hiking. Through my photography, posts and sometimes cringe worthy poetry I have pretty much kept myself to that promise.

Since I have not been able to hike since my surgery, I have had a great deal more free time to peruse the news and pay much more attention to what is going on nationally than I normally would. Now that’s not saying that I ignored politics before my injury, but I have just been spending a great deal more since I can’t blog about imaginary hikes.

Yesterday I received this comment from Ozark Mountain Hiker after my most recent political rant:

I miss your outdoor-related posts. Completely respect your right to express political thinking, but wonder if this is the best platform. Maybe another blog for politics and this one back to hiking?

I read that last night and spent some time on his blog checking out his photos and reading the great descriptions of his hikes. It got me to thinking that I really miss being to get out into the woods! I miss the smell of the woods, the light rain as it falls off of the leaves and the sound of my boots hitting the earth. I miss the camaraderie of greeting fellow hikers and the small talk of what is coming up on the trail.

But what I miss the most is the actual planning of my hikes. Taking out my maps and thinking about the type of hike I want to do. Long? Short? Easy? Hard? A hike packed with views or traveling through the forest? A short drive from home or a long one? If the forecast is for rain, do I still go?

Even after my decision is made, I have to figure out what to bring on the hike. I can’t explain why that makes me happy, but I love it!

So until I can figure out how to better convey my political rants, I am going to stop posting them on this blog. I am going to return to just making this about the outdoors, hiking, my photos and the other stuff that I used to post

Before I end this post, however, I do owe a huge thanks to Ozark Mountain Hiker (Jim Warnock (trail name – Tater) for putting things into perspective for me and making me realize that there is a time and a place for everything. Thank you sir!!!!

***In my haste to convey how I was feeling after I read the comment from Ozark Mountain Hiker, I realized that I should have mentioned someone else as well for hitting me with a dose of reality. I ran into a colleague of mine (after I had originally posted this) who I have known for quite a few years. Several days ago she mentioned the same thing about my blog. She told me now when she sees the political posts she scrolls right through them.

She said the same thing that Ozark Mountain Hiker did. Go back to posting about your hikes! So Meghan, thank you as well for what you told me and for getting my blog back to where it should be!

HAPPY HIKING!!!

Oh My…She Stepped In It Again!!!

 

Once again, Hillary seems to have stepped in her own fecal matter. In an interview yesterday with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, she stated the following:

“You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about.” She goes on to say that, “That’s why I believe, if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and/or the Senate, that’s when civility can start again. But until then, the only thing that the Republicans seem to recognize and respect is strength.”

Huh??? What??? Did I read that right? We’ll be nice if we get the House or the Senate back? What kind of backwards psychotic drivel is that? Even if you believe that, why oh why in the world would you say it out loud? And please, show me a time in the last 9 1/2 years when you have been civil!

Of course this falls right into line with the most recent filth being spewed by Maxine Waters about Republicans that may just happen to be out in public:

“Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”

Of course this nonsense is perfectly acceptable because it is directed at the right. Imagine for a moment that a Republican, any Republican said either of these things. Oh my…the hysterics and  feigned indignation would be the lead story for days. Newscasters would be falling over each other in shock and disbelief that anyone could even think about saying something like that. Oh the horror!!!!

But yet here we are again. Doesn’t Hillary realize that she is last years news? That she is irrelevant? The fact that the word civility even oozed out of her mouth shows you how out of touch and delusional she is.

And what about our friend Maxine? Her call for the left to harass law makers on the right was stupifying to say the least. But the one good thing about Waters is that she doesn’t even make the attempt to hide her special kind of crazy. She lets her freak flag fly!

I am sure that folks on the left that are farther on the fringe than these two will take these words to heart and continue to act in the same irresponsible and childish manner.