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For two years Jim Pader has been training for his hike up Mount Whitney near Death Valley, Calif. by hiking hundreds of miles on the Appalachian Trail and the Bartram Trail, often at night, and by himself. Many hikers take three days for this trip to the summit of Mount Whitney, camping out for two nights.

Pader did the 22 miles with his daughter Olga Suzanna, son Jimmy, and Macon County coach Sarah Lowell in one day. At 83 years old, he is the oldest man to accomplish this task.


On a drizzling Sept. 12, Bill and Sharon Van Horn completed their eight-year section hike journey of the Appalachian Trail (AT). Their last section of about 220 miles started in Rangeley, Me., and ended at the northern terminus at Mount Katahdin in Baxter State Park. It included 100 miles in the Maine wilderness (no towns, no place to resupply). Some hikers elect to complete the 2,189.5 mile AT in one calendar year and are known as thru-hikers. Others hike the trail in sections over any number of years, as long as it takes.


The film “Appalachian Impressions” will be hitting theaters this fall as part of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC)’s 2013 membership drive. Special programs will take place in 15 cities along the east coast from Connecticut to Florida, with four showings occurring in North Carolina: Franklin, Raleigh, Charlotte, and Hot Springs.

“The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is excited to present this film on the big screen,” stated Javier Folgar, director of marketing and communications of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. “This event provides the public an excellent opportunity to learn more about the Appalachian Trail and how to get involved with the Conservancy through our membership and volunteer programs. Every dollar raised will help preserve and manage the A.T. – ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come.”


Members and guests of The Bartram Trail conference will meet at The Mountain Retreat and Learning Center on Scaly Mountain on Oct. 11-13 to learn more of the mountains that William Bartram, in his 1775 exploration, called "The Cherokee Mountains."

On the evening of Friday, Oct. 11, three Cherokee artists will demonstrate traditional crafts. Ramona Lossie will show river cane basket making, Mary Thompson will display the art of stamped pottery, and Sonny Ledford will demonstrate moccasin making and the use of the blowgun.


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