Tag Archives: Approach Trail

Here Comes the Sun!

Oh, how I love sustainability and alternative energy. So it stands to reason I have to love the “Above the Grid” program we recently kicked off at the Len Foote Hike Inn. I’ve been hanging around the AT and the AT Approach Trail for years. And for nearly 20 years, I have been associated with the Len Foote Hike Inn — just one mile off the Approach Trail. We have pushed solar hot water heating for our bath house, solar photovoltaics for our Sunrise Room, rainwater catchment to water our native plants, composting toilets to conserve more than 200,000 gallons of water each year, worms to eat our waste paper and food scraps, a composting cube to dispose of other waste and a number of other practical technologies we use every day to save water and energy and to reduce pollution. That’s one reason we proudly wear Gold-level designation from the U.S. Green Building Council, among other honors.

“Above the Grid” takes us a big step farther down the sustainability path. Thanks to a grant from All Points North Foundation, a loan from the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority and installation by the experts at Radiance Solar, we are now using state-of-the-art photovoltaics to supply more than two-thirds of our electricity needs. We are still looking at ways to use improving battery technology to boost the percentage of power. And we are doing all this in a practical and sustainable way. Guests who visit the Hike Inn learn that solar power is a practical and economical alternative to the conventional power grid. I’m not bad mouthing utility companies. Heck, I spent a career in the oil and gas business. I’m just saying that sustainability is coming. The Hike Inn is a great example of how it can happen.

Our new solar display — cleverly mounted on an actual photovoltaic panel — tells the story of our new solar project. Hike up to the Hike Inn to see it. Check http://www.hike-inn.com for details on how to make a reservation. Stay vertical and keep walkin’!

 

 

 

 

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The Old Dunhams Get Resurrected

The Old Dunhams Get Resurrected

Joe Harold, the manager of the Appalachian Trail Museum, sent me this photo taken near the entry of the museum showing a “spinner” book display with my books in it. What amused me is that on top of the display are the four-decade-old Dunham boots I wore on my 1973 thru-hike. As I told my family, this is enough to delight an old codger. If you live in the area, visit the museum and buy a book!
I spent yesterday manning a table at the Thru-hiker Kickoff weekend at the Lodge at Amicalola Falls State Park. The AT Approach Trail trailhead is there, and for many aspiring thru-hikers, it is their first memory of the AT. My table was at an expo crowded with AT lovers of all ages, including the famous Gene Espy who I first met many years ago. He and I traded signed copies of our books. I also spent time talking to the guy who wrote AWOL on the Appalachian Trail and the big tall guy who wrote the book, Skywalker. Kindred spirits galore. I sold and signed a number of copies of THRU: An Appalachian Trail Love Story and generally had fun promoting the heck out of the Len Foote Hike Inn. Great fun! As my character, Brave Phillie, said: “I love this Springer Mountain. It’s the startin’ line for dreams.” Indeed it is. There are many who dream and do nothing more, but each year, a large group of hopefuls decide to hit the Approach Trail and actually pursue the dream. Now is the time to say Godspeed to them. Stay vertical, you all, and keep walkin’!