IAT Founder Dick Anderson was honored at the ALDHA annual business meeting by an Honorary Lifetime Membership in the Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association. Well deserved!!!
The Annual Gathering of the Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association, www.aldha.org, was held at Williams College, October 9-12. Maine Chapter members Dick Anderson, Walter Anderson, Will Richard, Julie King and Don Hudson represented the IAT at the Gathering, offering four presentations during the weekend.
ALDHA Attendees viewing IAT booth
IAT thru-hiker Julie King provided a glimpse of some of the outstanding hiking that she and her hiking companion Ed Talone experienced on and off the IAT in Atlantic Canada. Will Richard introduced his new book, Maine to Greenland: Exploring the Maritime Far Northeast, written with William W. Fitzhugh, director of the Arctic Studies Center at the Smithsonian Institution. Will has assisted Bill during research expeditions to the Quebec North Shore and Labrador for the past many years, and he has traveled numerous times to the Canadian Arctic and Greenland. Will’s photographs provide the bulk of the outstanding illustrations, and the chapter on the Maritime Provinces includes a section on the IAT.
(Left to Right) Will Richard, Hikers Julie King, Jo-Jo Koby-Burley (who is the only woman to have hiked the ECT and the IAT and is former Coordinator of ALDHA), Frank Burley and Dick Anderson
Walter provided an excellent overview of the role that the IAT and the Ancient Appalachian Mountains play as ambassadors of the geosciences to the modern world. Since the proposal for the IAT was presented on Earth Day, April 22, 1994, we have explained that the IAT traces the ancient mountains, first in North America and then around the rim of the North Atlantic Basin to the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. The story is a compelling one, and the IAT is increasingly recognized for the role it plays in interpreting the geologic history of the Earth.
(Left to Right) Walter Anderson, Dick Anderson, Don Hudson
Don Hudson reported on the International Annual General Meetings in Iceland, Scotland, and earlier in the month in Plymouth, England, and reviewed the recent work on the trail throughout Europe and Morocco.
Don Hudson presenting
No one was more surprised than Dick Anderson when it became clear that he was the highlight of the annual business meeting at the Gathering. Bill O’Brien was half way into his description of an outstanding long-time ALDHA member when Dick realized that Bill was talking about him! Much to Dick’s surprise and the delight of the others in attendance, Dick was awarded with ALDHA’s highest distinction–an Honorary Lifetime Membership in ALDHA!
The Maine Chapter has been represented at ALDHA meetings since 1998, and Dick has been there at nearly every meeting since to tell the story of the trail.
On 9/27/2014 – members of the IAT Maine Chapter Walter Anderson (Yarmouth), Nancy Hathaway (Surry) and newly recruited members Bill Rixon (Freeport) and Katy Sullivan (Portland), set out on a beautiful Indian Summer day to attend the “Stars Over Katahdin” (SOK) event hosted by Elliotsville Plantation Inc.(EPI) Katahdin Woods & Waters on the East Branch of the Penobscot River. EPI is the landowner of many thousands of acres east and adjacent to Baxter State Park. Both Bill, and Katy are skilled astronomers and educators who graciously agreed to perform as the principle astronomical instructors for the SOK event.
New IAT Members Bill Rixon (Freeport) and Katy Sullivan (Portland)
Approximately 35 souls, including the Maine Chapter IAT, Maine Conservation Corps, Colby Outing and Space Clubs, Forest Ranger and family and assorted locals, assembled at 11:00A on a beautiful Indian Summer day at the EPI Woods & Waters Sand Bank Picnic area. Susan and Mark Adams, Recreational Managers for EPI at Lunksoos Camp led a daytime tour of the EPI Katahdin Woods and Waters Loop Rd. followed by group hike and mountain biking up Bernard Mt. near the IAT. At sunset EPI hosts, Susan and Mark, generously provided a sumptuous campfire supper for all, complete with dogs, corn, veggies and assorted goodies.
After sunset, the group assembled at the Star Watch site close to and just east of an imposing Mt. Katahdin. Devoid of any light pollution, an incredibly dark sky provided the backdrop for a vast and brilliant assortment of stars, constellations and astronomical phenomena. The highlight of the SOK on the EPI Loop Rd. event occurred when Bill Rixon and his colleague, Katy Sullivan, with skill and patience, expertly delivered several hours of awesome North Maine Woods astronomy to a rapt audience of star gazers.
We all express our heartfelt gratitude to Susan and Mask Adams (EPI) and Nancy Hathaway (IAT) for organizing and coordinating this unique and spectacular event!
Updates from Paul Wylezol and Don Hudson at the IAT AGM in Plymouth….
10/9/14 – Final day of the IAT AGM in Plymouth, England. It started out with a half-day walk of the Mt Edgcumbe section of the IAT South West Coast Path National Trail (http://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/south-west-coast-path), led by City Councilor Andrew Thompson and trail manager and AGM organizer Mark Owen. The walk ended in Plymouth where the IAT/NT executive members had lunch with the Lord Mayor and his wife at Royal William Yard (the historic dockyard where the Royal Navy supplied its ships). The group then continued on to Plymouth Hoe – site of the Eddystone Lighthouse, Sir Francis Drake statue (Drake lived in and sailed from Plymouth) and various war memorials – and the Mayflowers Steps, where the Mayflower Pilgrims departed for America in 1620 and Sir Humphrey Gilbert departed for Newfoundland in 1583. From there it was off to the Plymouth Gin distillery for a tour and a few sips of the gin supplied to the Royal British Navy. No wonder they were once the largest navy in the world!!
10/8/14 – Day Three of the IAT AGM in Plymouth, England included a day-tour of English Riviera Geopark and South Devon AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). Stops included the seaside town of Torbay, Kent’s Cavern (site of many prehistoric hominid and animal bone discoveries), Thomas Newcomen’s steam engine in Dartmouth (the world’s first steam engine) and Prawle Point, a National Trust landscape in south Devon.
10/7/14 -IAT AGM at the National Marine Aquarium at Plymouth, England. Guest presenters included BBC presenter and Plymouth University Professor Iain Stewart and English Riviera Geopark Coordinator and Chair of the UK Global Geoparks Forum Melanie Border.
10/7/14 – We dined at the Plymouth Gin Distillery’s Barbican Kitchen last night following a full day of meeting. The IAT is in good hands.
10/6/14 – Day one included a day tour of Dartmoor National Park (pictured below) and Morwellham Quay (an historic copper mine and UNESCO World Heritage Site), as well as a train ride back to Plymouth on the scenic Tamar Valley Train Line.
10/5/14 – Wonderful walk on Dartmoor, stopping to see Bronze Age mining sites
Dick Anderson, Eddie Woodin, Don Hudson
Eddie Woodin continued his long-time support of the IAT Maine on October 26th when he presented a check for $1,000 to Don Hudson and Dick Anderson. Eddie has been a supporter from the beginning in 1994 when he helped get our small bank account started. With his help, and the help of many other members, our small budget has always been balanced. We really appreciate the financial support of all our members and friends, without which we would not have been able to make the amazing progress we have made in the last 20 years.