At the 24th annual IAT Maine meeting, President Don Hudson surprised long-time Board Member and IAT Chief Geologist Walter Anderson with a formal certificate recognizing him as an Honorary Director. Walter had decided a few months earlier that enough time, wear, and tear had passed that he should step down as an active member of the Board. We appreciate all of Walter’s efforts to teach us and anyone who encounters the trail the rich geological heritage and history of the Earth at the heart of the IAT. Walter is a great champion of our mission to think beyond borders. There is no better way to tell the story of the Atlantic Ocean than to look at the common origin of the mountains that rim the North Atlantic Ocean Basin from Alabama to Morocco. Walter’s enthusiasm for that story is contagious, and he has made geoheritage the language of the IAT.
The 24th gathering for the annual meeting of the Maine Chapter of the International Appalachian Trail began at the Patten Lumberman’s Museum at 3:00 pm on Thursday, May 3rd. We have watched the museum grow at a pace with the acquisition of the land that became the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument in August 2016. Now, the museum is one of two in-town visitor’s centers for the monument, the other on Penobscot Avenue in Millinocket.
Shin Pond Village and Mt. Chase Lodge partnered again this year to host the annual meeting, with lodging and meals shared between the two. Thursday night’s dinner, Friday breakfast and lunch, and Saturday breakfast were provided by Shin Pond Village, and Friday dinner — our informal banquet — on the shores of upper Shin Pond at Mt. Chase Lodge. The turnout for this year’s annual meeting was good, with people traveling from across the state — and further afield — to attend. We had the nice surprise attendance of Bryson Guptil and Greg McKee, who traveled from Prince Edward Island to attend the annual meeting. Greg is the current President of the Board of Island Trails (and Bryson has held the post in the past), and they wanted to get a sense of how we manage things in Maine.