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The Gathering

Before all the 96 thruhikers sign off and head for Springer - last weekend
was the ALDHA planning meeting for the Gathering.  So - some details about
the Gathering -

The 96 Gathering will be at Carlisle, PA on Oct 11-13.   Thruhikers,
prospective thruhikers, wannabe thruhikers, section hikers and anyone else
interested in long distance hiking are invited.  Brochures & information
will be available at ATC and at some of the hostels north of Harpers Ferry.

There are 2 Gathering sites.   One is the campground and meeting hall at the
Eagles facility  on Wolf Bridge Road east of town.  The other is the David L
Swartz Intermediate High School, which is where the workshops, slide shows
and other activities will be located.  The 2 locations are 3 miles apart.
At previous Gatherings there's never been any problem with getting rides.

This is a "bring your own tent, food, etc."  weekend, but there are lots of
good restaurants in Carlisle.  For those who are rich and so inclined, there
are also lots of motels.

If you show up and don't know where to go - just follow  the beards.  They'll
probably lead you to food first, but eventually they'll get to the

Registration will start on Friday morning at the campground.
Pre-registration is a good idea, but not necessary.  If you show up at
Carlisle, you won't be turned away.

The activities will start Friday evening.   The schedule hasn't been worked
out in detail, but there will be music and there will be some people to
specifically talk to and answer questions for  prospective thruhikers.
For those who are interested, there'll be a campfire.

On Saturday and Sunday, there will be an AT workshop run by Warren Doyle,
slide shows and workshops on the PCT,  CDT, Colorado Trail and probably a
lot of others.   Other workshops will be on Trail security, trail popularity
and liability, PA trails,  Life after the Trail (by Cindy Ross), AT extensions,
environmental issues, photography(?), food dehydration, etc. We'll even fit
in an ALDHA business meeting for those who are interested.

The Saturday evening program will include a tribute to Jean Cashin and
a contra dance, followed by a campfire.

This is a low cost weekend - $17 single/$27 couple includes a 1 year
ALDHA membership.

For this year's class of thruhikers it's a chance to get together with
your Trail family and with past thruhikers to talk Trail and learn about
where you'll want to hike next year - or maybe the next year (after your
knees heal).   For future thruhikers, you'll get to meet people who have
done it, and you'll find out they're not that much different from you.
You can do it, too.

Y'all come - and bring your thruhiking friends.

Jim Owen
Bald Eagle, AT-92