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Appalachian Mountain Club Reviews "Ramble On: A History of Hiking"

Earlier this week the Appalachian Mountain Club published a review of my new book, Ramble On: A History of Hiking. I want to sincerely thank Priscilla Estes for publishing a glowing and gracious review of the book in the latest edition of Appalachian Footnotes, the quarterly magazine of the Delaware Valley Chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club.

Ms. Estes concluded her fairly extensive review by stating: "Doran’s book is a treasure: a well-written, entertaining, knowledgeable, and exactingly researched book on the roots of hiking and hiking clubs, the history of trail-making, the evolution of hiking gear and clothing, and the future of hiking on overcrowded trails. Doran weaves the social, cultural, industrial, and political milieu into this fascinating history. Amusing, astonishing, and sometimes alarming anecdotes, along with photos, footnotes, and an extensive bibliography, make this a fascinating and significant account of the history of hiking."

To read the entire review (on page 6), please click here.



Jeff
HikingintheSmokys.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Who Established The World's First Hiking Club?

Most writers and historians have credited the Alpine Club of London as being the first mountaineering or “walking club” in the world, and the Alpine Club of Williamstown as being the first hiking club in America. The Alpine Club of London was formed in 1857, during the "Golden Age of Alpinism", for accomplished mountaineers who had successfully climbed a mountain higher than 13,000 feet. Six years later the Alpine Club of Williamstown was founded by Professor Albert Hopkins of Williams College in Massachusetts. Although not widely known, or even properly recognized, the Exploring Circle preceded both of those clubs by several years. The Exploring Circle was founded by Cyrus M. Tracey and three other men from Lynn, Massachusetts in 1850 in order to advance their knowledge of the natural sciences. Although it continued as a very small club, it remained active for more than 30 years. If you would like to learn more about the formation and the significant contributions of these clubs, and many other hiking clubs that formed between the Civil War and World War I, you can read about them in my new book, Ramble On: A History of Hiking, now available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1725036266/



Jeff
HikingintheSmokys.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

L`homme, l`animal de vérité et la connaissance !

Salut à tous,

Du site FuturaSciences : L'Homme est un animal, et en cela il est infiniment petit ; mais il est le seul animal à avoir accès à la connaissance. Seul parmi les êtres vivants, il s'interroge sur sa nature et la valeur de ses actes, et cette faculté le rend infiniment grand.  
  
   ¨ Nous sommes, en tant qu'Homo sapiens, d'une affligeante banalité biologique et génétique. Sur le plan génétique, notre proximité avec les grands singes est considérable ; elle atteint 98,7 % avec le chimpanzé et est encore de 80 % avec la souris et de 50 % avec la levure.       

   Les caractéristiques génétiques de l'Homme sont ainsi proches de celles d'une grande diversité d'êtres vivants. De plus, les primates catarhiniens du genre Homo et de l'espèce sapiens - nous, en d'autres termes - ne comptent pas même parmi les mammifères qui ont évolué le plus vite.

 D'où nous vient cette aptitude à nous intéresser sur notre origine ?

   Pourtant, nous sommes sans aucun doute les seuls à nous étonner de cette étrangeté, à connaître cette proximité et cette différence génétique, à nous interroger sur sa signification et à tenter d'analyser les mécanismes de notre spécificité et de nos capacités mentales. D'où nous vient cette aptitude à nous poser la question de notre origine, de notre nature, de nos pouvoirs, de notre responsabilité ? En bref, comment peut-on expliquer l'émergence évolutive du roseau pensant dont parle Blaise Pascal (Pensées, fragments 339,346, 347 et 348) ?

   « Je puis bien concevoir un homme sans mains, pieds, tête (car ce n'est que l'expérience qui nous apprend que la tête est plus nécessaire que les pieds). Mais je ne puis concevoir l'homme sans pensée : ce serait une pierre ou une brute.

   L'homme n'est qu'un roseau, le plus faible de la nature ; mais c'est un roseau pensant. Il ne faut pas que l'univers entier s'arme pour l'écraser : une vapeur, une goutte d'eau, suffit pour le tuer. Mais quand l'univers l'écraserait, l'homme serait encore plus noble que ce qui le tue, puisqu'il sait qu'il meurt, et l'avantage que l'univers a sur lui, l'univers n'en sait rien. Toute notre dignité consiste donc en la pensée. C'est de là qu'il faut nous relever et non de l'espace et de la durée, que nous ne saurions remplir. Travaillons donc à bien penser : voilà le principe de la morale.

   Roseau pensant - ce n'est point de l'espace que je dois chercher ma dignité, mais c'est du règlement de ma pensée. Je n'aurai pas davantage en possédant des terres : par l'espace, l'univers me comprend et m'engloutit comme un point ; par la pensée, je le comprends. »

 La question du « propre de l'homme » est posée depuis des millénaires !

    On sait aujourd'hui qu'elle est sans doute biaisée car elle implique que nous serions d'une essence particulière nous différenciant de façon radicale du monde animal auquel nous aurions cessé d'appartenir, selon une conception évolutionniste, voire n'aurions jamais appartenu, selon une conception créationniste¨...   ( Voir le long et instructif document au complet )


Pégé 
  
 Windows 7 / Windows XP Pro / Windows 10 / Ubuntu 14.04 LTS / Linux Mint 17 MacOS X iBook, version 10.4.11 ¨Tiger¨.


Tennessee State Parks Kick off New Year with First Day Hikes

Tennessee State Parks will once again sponsor free, guided hikes to kick-off the New Year. Each state park will host its own special hike during the first few days of the New Year.

The First Hikes begin on December 31st, New Year's Eve, at Harrison Bay, Pickett State Park and Paris Landing State Park, which will host midnight hikes. The First Hikes will continue throughout New Year’s Day with morning, afternoon and evening hikes.

“Our First Hikes have been very popular and we are excited to continue this series in the New Year,” TDEC Deputy Commissioner Brock Hill said. “The First Hikes offer a great way to get outside, exercise, enjoy nature and welcome the New Year with friends and family.”

From Reelfoot to Henry Horton to Roan Mountain and every state park in between, the 2019 First Hikes are designed for all ages and abilities. Some hikes will be approximately one mile in length and tailored for novice hikers, while others are lengthier and geared toward more experienced hikers. For a more in-depth look into planned First Hikes in your area, please click here.

The Tennessee State Parks’ First Hikes of 2019 are part of America’s State Parks First Day Hikes initiative in all 50 states.



Jeff
HikingintheSmokys.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Update: Man charged with First Degree Murder and Aggravated Sexual Abuse within Blue Ridge Parkway

A federal grand jury has issued a superseding indictment charging Derek Shawn Pendergraft, age 21, with First Degree Murder and Aggravated Sexual Abuse resulting in the death of a coworker within Blue Ridge Parkway. Pendergraft was previously charged with Second Degree Murder after an incident this past summer.

According to allegations contained in the superseding indictment and other court documents, on the evening of July 24, 2018, Pendergraft, who worked at the Pisgah Inn on the Blue Ridge Parkway, reported that his co-worker, Sara Ellis, was missing. Court documents allege that when initially interviewed by investigators, Pendergraft stated that he and Ellis got off work shortly after 4:00 pm, and decided to go for a hike on an unnamed trail near the employee housing area of the Pisgah Inn. Pendergraft stated that shortly after starting their hike it began to rain, and the victim decided to return to the housing area while Pendergraft continued to hike. Court documents allege that Pendergraft stated that on his way back, upon reaching the point where he last saw the victim, Pendergraft saw the victim’s umbrella and hat lying on the ground. Pendergraft informed the management staff at the Pisgah Inn that the victim was missing. Rangers and first responders searched the area and located the victim’s body lying off an embankment, near a trail, within Blue Ridge Parkway boundaries.

Court documents state that on the evening of July 25, 2018, the manager of the Pisgah Inn contacted law enforcement and advised that Pendergraft was in her office and had made statements regarding the death of Sara Ellis. Law enforcement arrived at the Pisgah Inn, interviewed Pendergraft, and arrested him shortly thereafter in connection with the victim's murder.

Pendergraft is currently in federal custody. His court hearing on the new charges is set for Friday, December 7, 2018. An indictment is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The case is being prosecuted by the US Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina. In making today’s announcement, the US Attorney thanked the National Park Service, the FBI, the SBI, the Transylvania County Sheriff's Office, the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office, and the Cruso Fire Department for their respective work and assistance in this case.


Previous case update: August 10, 2018

A federal grand jury has indicted Derek Shawn Pendergraft, age 20, with second degree murder. Special Agents with the National Park Service Investigative Services Branch (ISB) are working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Charlotte Division, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, Transylvania County Sheriff’s Office, Haywood County Sheriff’s Office, and US Park Rangers of Blue Ridge Parkway on the investigation.

According to allegations contained in the indictment and criminal complaint filed in federal court, on the evening of July 24, 2018, Pendergraft reported that a co-worker was missing. Both Pendergraft and the person he reported missing were employees of the Pisgah Inn, a concessionaire within the park. The complaint alleges that, when initially interviewed by investigators, Pendergraft stated that he and the other employee both got off work shortly after 4:00 pm and decided to go for a hike on an unnamed trail near the employee housing area of the Pisgah Inn. Shortly after starting their hike it began to rain and the other employee decided to return to the housing area while Pendergraft hiked on. On his way back, upon reaching the point where the two separated, Pendergraft saw the other employee’s umbrella and hat lying on the ground. Pendergraft told investigators that he immediately began to search for the other employee and informed the management staff at the Pisgah Inn that she was missing. US Park Rangers and first responders searched the area and located the missing employee’s body lying off an embankment near a park trail.

Investigators interviewed Pendergraft and took him into custody in connection with the murder. The criminal bill of indictment was returned on August 9 by a federal grand jury sitting in Asheville, NC. The charge of second degree murder carries a maximum penalty of life in prison. An indictment is an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. The case is being prosecuted by the US Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina.



Jeff
HikingintheSmokys.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Who Made The First Hike in Recorded History?

Undoubtedly there are scores of unknown people throughout the ages that have walked for pleasure or sport. Although the record is sparse, there are a few examples of individuals who took to the woods and mountains prior to the modern era. In all likelihood, the oldest recorded hike for pleasure was taken during the second century when the Roman Emperor, Hadrian, ascended Mount Etna on the island of Sicily for the simple pleasure of seeing the sunrise from its summit. Hadrian ruled the Roman Empire from 117 to 138 CE, and was considered to be one of the “Five Good Emperors.” During his reign Hadrian travelled to nearly every corner of his sprawling empire. During a return trip from Greece in 125 Hadrian made an apparent impromptu detour to Sicily to make his ascent of the 10,922-foot mountain, which is still among the most active volcanoes in the world.

It would be several centuries before another hike for pleasure was recorded in the annals of history. One reason for this extended gap is that people simply didn't have a need to record their simple acts of walking. More importantly, however, mountains were seen as dangerous and mysterious by most Western cultures prior to the fifteenth-century. People from the Middle Ages widely regarded mountains with fear, awe and disgust. Some men even swore affidavits before magistrates that they saw dragons in the mountains. It wasn't until the Renaissance era that fear of mountains began to slowly subside, and men began venturing into the highlands. If you would like to learn more about the early years of hiking, as well as many other stories associated with the history of hiking as it progressed to become one of the world's most popular activities, you can read them in my new book, Ramble On: A History of Hiking, now available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1725036266/



Jeff
HikingintheSmokys.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Something To Remember: N.E.A.R

You've probably heard dozens of times the old adage that you should remain in place if you were ever to become lost or injured in the wilderness. But does this advice makes sense in every situation? Last week I was watching SOS: How to Survive on the Weather Channel. The host, Creek Stewart, introduced a "test" to determine whether you should remain in place, or take steps to self-evacuate. The "test" asks three simple questions. The answer to these questions could save your life one day:





Jeff
HikingintheSmokys.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

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