My favorite view so far on the Appalachian trail came unexpectedly a few miles before Betty Creek Gap in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina. Maneuvering through a thick tunnel of rhododendrons, hiking with what seemed like extremely exaggerated motions, I noticed an inconspicuous tunnel cut off towards the right side of the trail. At the end of the tunnel was something amazing to behold. Even though I didn’t realize at the time what peaks I was viewing, the solitude and sheer magnificence of that very spot will stay with me forever.
I may also note that Betty Creek Gap (where I ventured on down the trail) was also my favorite campsite. It was homey, there was a warm campfire with familiar faces, plenty of dry logs to squat on, and also where I found a colorful and lovingly weaved area rug (abandoned and thrown away on a downed tree) that I packed out and carried with me for miles. Though it made a toasty camp seat and vestibule decoration, we had to eventually part. Mom, you should be receiving this in the mail within the next couple of days. Her name is Betty, and It was time to part.
What’s that old hiker saying? I think it’s, “ounces equal pounds, pounds equal pain”.
A celebration at the Georgia/North Carolina border with my trail family.
It is amazing the close friends acquired on the trail thus far, well, 78.5 hiker miles to be exact. This was the first true milestone of the journey.
Our first state crossing!
Between mile zero atop Springer Mountain to here, many adventures were to be had. They include, but are not limited to: a sweltering hot first day of hiking that transitioned into an icy and freezing rain ridge ride, a tornado touching down at a neighboring gap, riding out an unseasonal snowstorm, and battling homesickness (yes, within the first two weeks). I realize that the majority of these experiences noted forever in my mind are weather related, but when you call the Appalachian Trail your home, foul or great weather become a larger component in your life than you ever thought possible. That said, I wouldn’t trade these experiences for anything. They are intangible and brilliant. They are life changing. They also make you seriously glad you brought along the Arc’teryx Alpha SL Hybrid jacket.
Appalachian Outdoors is proud to announce the beginning of Patagonia Advocate Weeks!
Patagonia will generously donate $10 to our own, Clearwater Conservancy, for every pair of Patagonia Footwear you purchase! You will also be entitled to a FREE 1% for the Planet album download card with your purchase of shoes!
Clearwater Conservancy promotes conservation & restoration of Central Pennsylvania’s natural resources through land conservation, water resource protection and environmental outreach to the community.
Please watch below to learn more!
Appalachian Outdoors’ owner Geoff Brugler & Clearwater Conservancy representative, Jennifer Shuey discussing Patagonia Advocate Weeks and their collaboration.
Summer quickly approaches and choosing a brand of sunscreen you can trust is no small feat!
Appalachian Outdoors can help!
Kiss My Face Natural Mineral Sunscreen with Hydresia, SPF 40
This product received excellent reviews in the 2012 Suncreen Guide provided by the EWG (Environmental Working Group).
Beware: Research shows that sunscreens containing the following chemicals can actually increase your skin cancer risk. Oxybenzone: once absorbed, enters the blood stream and can affect normal hormonal activity as well as cause cell damage. Retinyl Palmitate: may increase your skin cancer risk as well.
The EWG also concluded that sunscreens should be broad spectrum (protect you against both UVA & UVB rays) and should Not be higher than a 50 SPF.
Appalachian Outdoors’ own, Adventure Liz, begins her 6 month journey along the Appalachian Trail this month! As she hikes she will supply us with a running blog of her adventures with the Warrior Hike group. Stay tuned for her own, formal introduction next week!
In the meantime, here’s what we have from our brave Liz so far!
“My name is Elizabeth. I am an avid outdoor enthusiast and employee at Appalachian Ski & Outdoors in State College, PA.
My favorite outdoor activities include fishing, hiking, mountain biking and backpacking. My love of backpacking and general love for all things outdoors enticed me to explore the thought of hiking the Appalachian Trail. To submerse myself in Mother Mature herself and brush away reality for awhile.
Well, roughly six months.
Wanting to complete the trail for a few years was my drive, so when a fellow co-worker disclosed his plan to thru hike, I decided it was now or never, and jumped on the bandwagon. That was a month before my estimated start date. It was also the best decision of my life.”
Photo by E.Miska
Week 1: 3/23/2013 After an 8.5 mile trek from the bottom of Amicalola Falls, I reached the top of Springer Mountain, the start of my Appalachian Trail journey. It wasn’t until I reached this point that I realized the magnitude of what I was about to embark on. For the next 6 months I will be hiking all of 2,180 miles from this very spot in Georgia, to Mt. Katadin, Maine.
Please join us @ Appalachian Outdoors for a special one hour introduction to Iyengar Yoga with Senior teachers, Rebecca & Dean Lerner from the Center for Well-Being and the Iyengar Institute of Central Pennsylvania.
Learn about some of the main concepts of yoga and experience first hand the effects and benefits of practicing the postures in this hour long presentation.
Space is limited so please arrive before 7pm to get a good spot or squeeze in a quick chat before the class begins !
From competition to leadership, Dave Kurtz’ passion for whitewater continues to flourish.
In anticipation of Olympic kayaker Casey Eichfeld’s talk at the State Theatre (March 18th), the father of the sport, Dave Kurtz, stopped by Appalachian Outdoors a few weeks ago to elaborate on the Mach 1 Slalom Team and what his lifelong love for whitewater is all about.
Local legend and avid outdoors-man, Joe Humphreys has demonstrated his passion for angling, water, and wildlife throughout his life and career as a fly fisherman. Fortunately for the rest of us, Mr. Humphreys has been willing to share his knowledge and skills through his works as an author, educator, and conservationist. He has authored two highly acclaimed books, Joe Humphreys Trout Tactics and On the Trout Stream with Joe Humphreys, and many articles in regional and national periodicals. He has also hosted a nationally broadcasted fly fishing series on ESPN, been featured on three fly fishing videos (The Fly Fishing Series), and produced and been featured on his own four very well-received videos.
Mr. Humphreys has taught fly fishing for more than forty years, including directing Penn State’s angling program for nineteen years. Some high-profile pupils include former President Jimmy Carter, former Vice President Richard Cheney, and basketball coach Bobby Knight.
Please click on Joe’s photo below to be directed to his website where you can explore his books and DVD’s !!!