Mike Wise and Tom Jacobsen to speak about hiking the Appalachian and Pacific Coast trails

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Mike Wise and Tom Jacobsen will give presentations on their recent hikes of the Appalachian and Pacific Coast trails at 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 3, at Kettleson Memorial Library.

Mike will discuss his hike over a section of the Appalachian Trail, which runs from near Atlanta, Ga., to Mt. Kathadin, Maine, a distance of about 2,180 miles. Mike and his family/friends hiked 135 miles of the trail, from Pennsylvania to mid-Virginia, which took him about 11 days. Hiking the Appalachian Trail was the focus of Bill Bryson’s popular book, “A Walk In The Woods” (second book listed). A few of Mike’s photos make up the slideshow at the top of this post.

“I over-nighted in different 3-sided shelters each night, carried all my food and supplies, and filtered water from local springs I found along the trail,” Mike said. “The AT (Appalachian Trail) is 2,180 miles long, traverses 14 states, and is marked with approximately 80,000 trail blazes.  About 2,000 hikers start out at the southern end of the trail near Atlanta with hopes of finishing at Mt. Kathadin in Maine.  About 200 a year actually complete the hike. ”

Tom will discuss his hike of the John Muir Trail, which is a section of the Pacific Coast Trail that runs from Canada to Mexico. The John Muir Trail runs from through the Sierra Nevadas for about 215 miles from Yosemite National Park to Mt. Whitney, Calif. This was the third time Tom has hiked the John Muir Trail, and he was joined over part of the trail by his two daughters and their boyfriends.

Mike and Tom will each have slideshows from their trips, but Tom said the presentations are about more than recounting their epic adventures.

“I’ll discuss logistics and how to prepare for a hike like this,” Tom said. “I’ll talk about planning, permits, how to get your pack weight down below 20 pounds, what kind of food to take. My hope is to be a mentor for others who want to take this hike. … And I also want to remind people about the trails we have here in Sitka, right in our backyard. These are world-class trails that people pay a lot of money to come hike.”

Kettleson Memorial Library has been hosting several recent talks about hiking in Sitka and elsewhere recently. On Sunday, Feb. 24, Jeff Budd and Laura Kaltenstein talked about hiking El Camino de Santiago, also known as The Way of St. James, pilgrimage trail in northwestern Spain. At 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 10, Carin Farley with the Sitka National Historical Park and Deborah Lyons with Sitka Trail Works will talk about The Trails of Sitka, and there will be a gear exchange just before the talk from 3-4:30 p.m.

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