Wednesday, August 2, 2017 – 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Thru-hikers share their experiences about walking the 2,190 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Ranging in age from their 20s to 80s, Peter Morgan, Ed Morgan, Laura Blankenship, Judith Foster, and Collins Chew will share pictures, talk informally, and answer questions. Chew wrote about the geology of the trail in Underfoot and walked it in segments. Morgan hiked it in 2000 after graduation from college. Others who have connections to the trail are invited to share their experiences too.
Blankenship is an Abingdon native where she lives as a working artist. As a solo female hiker, Laura (AKA “Brave Lamb”) has hiked the lower 1,000 miles of the trail from Springer Mountain GA, to Harper’s Ferry, in two 36-day, 500-mile sections from 2015-16. She is currently working on a project called Painting the AT with Love, painting murals for trail angels with money she raises as she completes the trail. (See LaMBFineArt.com.)
Chew wrote about the geology of the trail in Underfoot and edited six editions of the AT Guide: Tennessee/ North Carolina. He section hiked the entire AT between 1966 and 1987. He was a team leader for maintaining sections of trail for the Eastman Hiking Club for 51 years. He worked as a Chemical Engineer with Eastman Kodak/Eastman Chemical Company in Kingsport, TN.
For Foster, a trip to Europe sparked an interest in walking, but a move from Texas to Nashville lit the fire that called her to be a hiker. A local hike club there fostered her ability, and she answered a call to hike the AT beginning in April 1996 and finishing in September 1997. Her career spanned more than 30 years as a teacher of hearing impaired children and a speech/language pathologist.
Peter Morgan (AKA “Porkchop”) is a native of Abingdon. In 2000 he completed a southbound thru-hike of the AT following graduation from Roanoke College. He is a nationally recognized ceramic artist, who lives in Phoenixville, PA. When he is not working in the studio, Peter is an avid birdwatcher and runs ultramarathons.
Ed Morgan, the father of Peter Morgan, hiked on the AT, primarily in New England, in the summer of 1967. His outdoor experience includes hunting, fly fishing, rock climbing, caving, canoeing, and birding. He is co-author of The Virginia Creeper Trail Companion, an interpretive guide to Virginia’s favorite “rail to trail”.