Adventures on the Appalachian Trail Program Is April 1

Adventures on the Appalachian Trail is the subject of a workshop April 1 at Ashland Community and Technical College.

Ashland residents Carl "The Fireman" and Carrie "Mudfoot" Stambaugh will share their experiences in walking 1,400 miles of the trail last year.

The Appalachian Trail is a 2,178 mile National Scenic Trail that stretches from Georgia to Maine. Over the course of 112 days, the Stambaughs walked off a combined total of 75 pounds and wore out four pairs of shoes.

The journey inspired them in countless ways, and they will share photographs, stories and lessons from their journey. From the scenery to the wildlife, towns and people, hiking the AT is more than just a walk in the woods. It's a total immersion experience in American landscapes, history and culture.

It was important to us to experience everything the trail had to offer, the wildlife, the scenery, the towns, its history, said Carrie. Although we had planned to hike the whole trail, we had a limited time frame of five and one-half months, and we experienced some set backs. Rather than rush to finish the trail, we decided to wait and complete the last 700 miles when we have time to enjoy the experience.

Carl is an engineer with the Ashland Fire Department. A lifelong Ashland resident, he is a partner with other firefighters in Rescue Pro, a confined space rescue services company. When he was in the U.S. navy in his early 20s, he read a story in Backpacker magazine about the trail and decided to walk it someday.

Carrie, a Cincinnati native, moved to Ashland in 2005 to work as a reporter for The Independent. She is now a freelance writer and has been recently published in the Huntington Quarterly and Kentucky Farm Bureau News. She started backpacking as a teen and decided she would hike the AT one day, like her mother had talked about when Carrie was a child.

Both Stambaughs are outdoors people, experienced in hiking and camping, and the trail taught them even more. They will share tips on how to plan and prepare for a hike on the AT whether considering a "thru" hike of the whole trail or "section" hike of part of the trail.

Their presentation is Friday, April 1, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The workshop is free, but preregistration is requested through ACTC Lifelong Learning, 326-2072 or email: as_LLL@kctcs.edu.

The Staumbaughs are shown below on Round Top Mountain in Tennessee.