Category Archives: Appalachian Trail

Doing Stuff Outdoors-105

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Dennis in the rain at Clingmans Dome. Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Dennis in the rain at Clingmans Dome. Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Our feature interview today is with Dennis Blanchard of Florida. He’s an outdoors enthusiast whose main interests are hiking, mountain bike racing and riding and occasional kayaking. In 2007, at the age of 60 he set out on a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. He even brought along some portable ham radio equipment to make radio contacts from every State the trail goes through. But partway through the hike something happened. Unfortunately (or fortunately for him, as the case may be) he had to take 300 days off for a six-artery heart bypass surgery. As soon as the doctors allowed him, he got back on the trail and finished last October 1st. He’s 62 and feeling great and his story is inspirational. In fact he’s writing a book about the experience called “300 Zeros.”

Also on the show more of your comments from Facebook and email. We hear about a hike up Mount Carleton in New Brunswick and experience the first snows of the year. Gary also wades into the touchy area of public health care and the impact it has on outdoor enthusiasts.  Email us at doingstuffoutdoors@yahoo.ca

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Filed under Adventure, Appalachian Trail, Health Care, Hiking, Outdoors, Trails

Doing Stuff Outdoors-103

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Lorne Blagdon experiences some real Trail Magic on this edition, those random acts of kindness, those good things that come to you when you least expect it. They’re on the Appalachian Trail in Tennessee, hear gunshots in the night again and see a wild turkey. But Trail Magic finds them in the form of a hamburger the size of a saucer and Lorne is given a free bottle of rum and offered some real Tennessee moonshine. It was a good day on the trail.

Culy Dan, Lorne, Naomi and Tom on the AT

Culy Dan, Lorne, Naomi and Tom on the AT

Also today a field report from Adam Fox in the Coast Range Mountains of Western Oregon. Adam is going on his second run in about ten years and takes us along with him. He follows a forest trail in the foothills of the mountains.

Podsafe music today from a California band called The Brew. Send your comments, story suggestions and accounts of outdoor adventures to Gary via email at doingstuffoutdoors@yahoo.ca

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Filed under Adventure, Appalachian Trail, Hiking, Oregon, Outdoors, Running, Trail Magic

Doing Stuff Outdoors-97

Today on the show we have another edition of Trail Magic with Lorne Blagdon. A few years ago Lorne and his daughter Naomi walked the entire Appalachian Trail. He’s written an account of that adventure and joins us from time to time to talk about it. Today Lorne tells us about the 60 plus pound pack he carried around (why, he doesn’t know) and being sprayed with Skin-So-Soft to protect him from the bugs. Also fears of being eaten by a bear, hearing gunshots at night and enjoying espresso coffee by the campfire.
Also today we begin a new summer segment on DSO called Runners. Every runner has a story and we’re going to hear some of them beginning with Ken McIntosh, a new runner who just finished his second 5 km race. He started running a few months ago after giving up a 34 year smoking habit. He’s changing his life and running is a big part of that transition.
Music on the show from Josh Woodward of Ohio. Send in your summer outdoor adventures to doingstuffoutdoors@yahoo.ca. Next time we’re going bass fishing in New Brunswick.

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Ken quit smoking and started running.

Ken quit smoking and started running.

Today on the show we have another edition of Trail Magic with Lorne Blagdon. A few years ago Lorne and his daughter Naomi walked the entire Appalachian Trail. He’s written an account of that adventure and joins us from time to time to talk about it. Today Lorne tells us about the 60 plus pound pack he carried around (why, he doesn’t know) and being sprayed with Skin-So-Soft to protect him from the bugs. Also fears of being eaten by a bear, hearing gunshots at night and enjoying espresso coffee by the campfire.

Also today we begin a new summer segment on DSO called Runners. Every runner has a story and we’re going to hear some of them beginning with Ken McIntosh, a new runner who just finished his second 5 km race. He started running a few months ago after giving up a 34 year smoking habit. He’s changing his life and running is a big part of that transition.

Music on the show from Josh Woodward of Ohio. Send in your summer outdoor adventures to doingstuffoutdoors@yahoo.ca. Next time we’re going bass fishing in New Brunswick.

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Filed under Adventure, Appalachian Trail, Hiking, Outdoors, Running, Trail Magic

Doing Stuff Outdoors-90

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Today another episode of Trail Magic with Lorne Blagdon. We’ll hear about an AT tradition where thru hikers hike naked on the first day of summer. So did Lorne shed his clothes? You’ll have to listen to find out. He also has encounters with a horse on the trail, a horse that kept following him. Also the joys of Tennessee whiskey, sleeping in the highest shelter on the trail and how to hang your pack to keep the mice away.

The Canyon Man shares a recent family adventure to the Buffalo National River in Ponca, Arizona. Gidds scolds Gary about his tendency to enjoy ‘little beers’ while he tries to shed the fat. We’ll look at a theory on why cross country skiing isn’t more popular and a family from Maine tells us about a 7-day, backcountry spring skiing trip in Gaspe, where the snow is still deep.

Music on the show from the Skating Teenagers and Sean Fournier. Email Gary with your outdoor adventures at doingstuffoutdoors@yahoo.ca

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Doing Stuff Outdoors-87

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Today on the show we have a feature interview with Kent Zotter (trail name Toothless) At the end of April he’s leading a group of hikers along a section of the Appalachian Trail. This group of about 50 people in total have been doing sections of the AT since 1998. So far they’ve completed over 600 miles from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Virginia. They hike four trips a year, two in the spring and two in the fall. The group consists of mostly professionals who live in North Carolina. Some are retired, most are still working with the oldest being 65 and the youngest 30. They hike an average of 30-40 miles per trip. The group recently hiked 75 miles in one leg. Kent is the coordinator of these section hikes. He also produces his own audio and video podcast called ATHiking as well as the blog AT Hikers.

Also on the show an interesting comment from Adam in Oregon, music by Brad Sucks and Gary talks about his social media incompetence. Email us at doingstuffoutdoors@yahoo.ca. Visit our website and check us out on Facebook and Twitter.

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Doing Stuff Outdoors-80

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We’re a little late with this week’s show because Gary had a bad case of laryngitis and couldn’t talk. So he kind of croaked out a shortened version of the program.

After a couple months absence, Lorne Blagdon and his Trail Magic series returns to DSO. We just haven’t been able to connect to record more segments until now.  Lorne picks up the story of his 2003 thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. Last time we left him in Hot Springs, North Carolina where a noisy rooster and a demon in the hot spring chased Lorne and his daughter out of there.  This week Lorne shares stories of broken ankles on the AT and doing twenty mile days on the trail.  He also experiences some ‘trail magic’ on his way to an ‘all you can eat’ Pizza Hut for lunch.

Gary plays a song by Christine Kane that he first heard on Anthony’s Audio Journal while out cross country skiing one afternoon.

Email your comments and suggestions to doingstuffoutdoors@yahoo.ca.

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Doing Stuff Outdoors-69

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We go mountain climbing on this edition of DSO. Gary and a group of outdoor enthusiasts head to Baxter State Park to climb the highest mountain in Maine. Mount Katahdin stands at 5,267 feet and is the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. Katahdin is a popular hiking and backpacking destination and the centerpiece of the park. The most famous hike to the summit is called the Knife Edge, which traverses the ridge between Pamola Peak and Baxter Peak. Katahdin has claimed over 20 lives in the past 40 years mostly from exposure in bad weather and falls from the Knifes Edge.


Our climb to the summit takes place just before access to the mountain is restricted  in mid October. Already higher elevations have seen snow and ice and during the climb, patches of snow are still visible. The group chose one of the more challenging trails to the summit that was still open because of the high winds. That day we experienced sustained winds of 60 miles-per-hour with gusts to 80 mph. So come along on the climb with Gary and the other members of his party. He also stops and talks to other climbers they meet along the trail, including some thru-hikers completing a seven month Appalachian adventure at the summit.


Podsafe music this week from Lisa Redford of the UK. We’ll also hear updates on Gary’s fitness challenge to lose weight and news about putting a new kayak through its paces. Also an email about ‘Becoming an Outdoorswoman’. Contact the show at doingstuffoutdoors@yahoo.ca

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Filed under Adventure, Appalachian Trail, Hiking, Maine, Mount Katahdin, Mountain Climbing, Outdoors