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[ft-l] Trail Days Report

Just back from a whirlwind trip up to Trail Days in Damascus, VA.  Saw a
bunch of folks from Florida including Jon Phipps who is really cranking out
the miles on his AT thru-hike.  We shared the FTA booth with Nimblewill
Nomad who sold and autographed 100 of his books.  Our booth was right next
to that of the Hike for Hope kids.  They are at Hot Springs on their ECT
attempt and all six of them are still going strong - including the first
woman to attempt the ECT.

I'd like to thank Chuck "Swamp Eagle" Wilson, Betty Wilson, Carol Ann
Schiller, Fred Schiller, and Jon "Wachor" Phipps for helping out in the FTA
booth Friday and Saturday.  Most of all, I'd like to thank Pam "Flamingo"
Glass without whom there would have been be no booth and Eb "Nimblewill
Nomad" Eberhardt who provided a great draw of hikers.

The purpose of the FTA booth at Trail Days was two fold - general PR and to
get hikers who are thinking about thru-hiking the FT to contact the office
for info and permits BEFORE their hike.  I think we succesfully accomplished
both goals.  The FTA booth looked very nice.  Look for an article with
photos in the next Footprint.  We added a blue and white striped canopy tent
and a table cover embroidered with FTA and FNST logos to the photographic
display and state map.  I lost track of how many people we talked to but we
handed out all of the FNST brochures I took (approx. 100), just under 200
FTA membership brochures, all of the Thru-hiker FAQ's that I had printed up,
and about 1/2 a box of Footprints.  I also gave out about 150 of my business
cards (with office 800 number and website) to AT thru-hikers - figured the
business cards had a better chance of making it to Maine than the paper
flyers!  I'd guess that there are 400 - 500 people who now know considerably
more about the Florida Trail than they did last Thursday.