Category Archives: Hiking

Doing Stuff Outdoors-105

LISTEN

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

Advertisements

1 Comment

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

Doing Stuff Outdoors-103

LISTEN

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

Leave a comment

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.

LISTEN

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.

Leave a comment

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

Doing Stuff Outdoors-90

LISTEN

img_1987

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

Leave a comment

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

Doing Stuff Outdoors-87

LISTEN

img_1099

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Adventure, Appalachian Trail, Hiking, Outdoors

Doing Stuff Outdoors-82

LISTEN

fendler-taylor-traverse-northrim-6

Today on the show Gary talks to Kevin Earley of the ‘Church Club’. Here’s Kevin’s account of their latest outdoor adventure:

Church Club – Grand Canyon Adventure

We are group of 40 something guys busy with family and careers living near Philadelphia.  We  mountain bike early on Sundays, often meeting at 6 AM for a couple of hours of adventure.  We’re home before noon ready to tackle the day and spend some time with the family.  When our children were young they would ask where we went.  “Dad’s church” was our excuse, but in many ways it was our time for spiritual reflection.  Church Club was formed and is indeed religious for each of us.

Besides the weekly Sunday services, every year we  plan and enjoy a big adventure that is typically sold to our families as a long weekend out west, simply for exercise and health purposes.  Typically we look for peaks to bag like Mt. Elbert in Colorado, or multi-day mountain biking trips like the Centennial Trail in the Dakota  Badlands.  We typically combine a couple of activities (river running, biking, hiking, and camping), and we jam it into 3 or 4 exhausting days.  In September, 2008 we tackled a grand Grand Canyon adventure.

The trip took months of planning and training.  Kevin, Jim, Frank, Chuck, Drew, Steve, and Cliff met in Flagstaff, AZ on a Wednesday evening.  Thursday we drove to the south rim of the Grand Canyon, looked at the big hole, and boarded a shuttle van for a 5 hr drive to the north rim.  We camped at the north rim and awoke early in the morning for our big hike across the canyon in one day.  We dropped our camping gear at the general store where the shuttle service promised to return our stuff to the south rim that day.  The 7 of us hit the trail  by 6:30 AM –at an air temperature of 35 degrees it felt good to be a live.  Beginning at the North Kaibab Trailhead, We hiked 14 miles and dropped 5,850 ft.  to the bottom of the canyon where it was about 90 degrees when we arrived around 1 PM.  We ate lunch at Phantom Ranch and walked to the Colorado River for a dip in the frigid river.  Some time around 2:30 PM we crossed the bridge and headed for the south rim up the South Kaibab Trail.  The Bright Angel Trail up to the south rim is easier and more popular because there are three water sources.  But we opted for the challenge of no water, more scenery and solitude.

earley-denecke-at-botom
The route we took required 7 additional miles and a climb of 4,800 ft to get to our cars.  Our group which had hiked to the bottom as one group, broke into 3 groups traveling at slightly different paces. As the sun set the vistas and views were spectacular and spiritual.  Storm clouds arrived as the sun set and we were all trudging along in our own trance.  We were feeling the impact of the elevation gain, as we each carefully tried to keep hydrated and fueled.  As darkness approached we knew the trip was epic and we also knew we would get out of the hole.  Except one of us was suffering from dehydration and made our climb a scary adventure.  Drew was one of the fittest in our group, and was drinking regularly and even took salt tablets at the river bottom.  For whatever reason, he got sick and his progress slowed to a crawl.  Fortunately we were all in small groups, and Cliff made sure Drew was OK.  Close to the top, Drew vomited on the trail, and with the team’s  help he made it out, in the dark.  It was a brief scare but fortunately Drew was back in form the next day.  We all hiked out with our lights, and experienced a rare thunderstorm.  It is hard to describe the sublime and surreal experience that night as we completed an epic 14 hour, 21 mile canyon crossing in one day ending with rain, lightening and beautiful darkness.

Like all of our adventures, we did more.  After a rest day, we tackled the highest point in Arizona, Humphrey’s Peak – 12,633 ft.  It was easy for us,  a 10 mile round-trip scenic hike with about a 4,200 ft vertical gain from Arizona Snow Bowl.  The hike through Ponderosa pines and then onto volcanic rocks with great views was just magical.  We didn’t want it to end, we were having fun.  As usual, it was very windy at  the top of the world.  With this climb finished, we satisfied our goal of going from the Colorado River to the top of the world  (9,000 vertical feet) in 48 hours – not bad for some middle-aged 45+ old men from the east coast.   And we knocked-off one more high peak (we have a secret desire to bag all of the high peaks in the US).

The long weekend was completed with some mountain biking near Sedona and beers at the Weatherly Hotel – and Zane Grey Ballroom in Flagstaff, Arizona.  It was an exhausting trip, and we thoroughly enjoyed it.  The adventure is just one of many more to come as we live our life motto:

“Life is not a journey to the grave with intentions of arriving safely, in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming… WOW What a ride!”
fendler-taylor-traverse-northrim-7
In 2009, we are contemplating another extreme adventure – this time our goal will be to go from Badwater (the lowest point in the northern hemisphere at -282 ft below sea level)  to Telescope Peak (11,049 ft) in Death Valley.  This is the warm-up, we really want to get on top of Mt. Whitney (14,500 ft), the highest point in the continental US, in the same trip, is it possible?  I don’t know, but I didn’t think we could cross the grand canyon in one day.  I’m betting that the Church Club, will pull it off.

Also on the show, more comments from listeners about their own outdoor adventures and favorite adventure books. Check out the websites ‘The First 13,1 Miles‘ and ‘Southern Ontario Outdoors‘. Podsafe music this week by Great Big Sea.

doingstuffoutdoors@yahoo.ca

Leave a comment

Filed under Adventure, Grand Canyon, Hiking, Outdoors

Doing Stuff Outdoors-80

LISTEN

img_1471

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.

Leave a comment

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