Chapter Meeting Programs

CHAPTER MEETING PROGRAMS: Our chapter meetings are held at 7:00 pm on the second Tuesday of each month at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 2810 N. Meridian Rd., Tallahassee, FL. For more information, contact the Programs Coordinator,  Liz Sparks (850) 570-5950, the Chapter Chair, Dawn Brown (850) 668-0091, or the Publicity Coordinator, Linda Patton (850) 668-4334.  Meeting programs are free and open to the public.  If you have ideas for speakers or programs for our monthly meetings, or if you have a program you’d like to present, please contact the Chapter Programs Coordinator: Liz Sparks — email: liz.aparks@gmail.com

2016-03-08 POSTER…ABOUT OUR PROGRAMS

WINTER 2017

Jan. 10 Trail maintenance vacation in one of America’s great wilderness areas. Steve Babcock’s  experience on an American Hiking Society volunteer vacation doing trail work in the Bob Marshall Wilderness in Montana. Five nights in the  back country with 10 others, clearing trail on a remote mountain.  7:00 p.m. Unitarian Universalist Church, 2810 N. Meridian Rd., Tallahassee, FL. Contact: Liz Sparks (850) 570 5950 liz.aparks57@gmail.com

Feb. 14 Beyond Bryce and Zion. FSU art professor Mary Stewart will describe more of Utah’s hiking destinations, including Snow Canyon State Park, Grand Staircase Escalante-National Monument, Dixie National Forest, and Capital Reef National Park.  7:00 p.m. Unitarian Universalist Church, 2810 N. Meridian Rd., Tallahassee, FL.  Contact: Liz Sparks (850) 570 5950 liz.aparks57@gmail.com

Mar. 14  The Chilkoot Trail: Retracing the Steps of the Klondike Gold Rush.  Retrace the steps of the 1898 “stampeders” that traveled from Alaska to the Klondike goldfields in the Yukon Territory in search of gold! Join Kevin and Holly Curry as they share stories from their own two-week hike on the Chilkoot Trail. Kevin was the Chilkoot Trail’s Artist in Residence in 2015 and was selected to create art inspired by the trail, terrain, history and challenges of the journey while interacting with other hikers along the way. Kevin and Holly will discuss and show images of their time on the trail as well as artwork that Kevin has created reflective of his focus while hiking through Alaska, British Columbia and the Yukon Territory.  7:00 p.m. Unitarian Universalist Church, 2810 N. Meridian Rd., Tallahassee, FL.   Contact: Liz Sparks (850) 570 5950 liz.aparks57@gmail.com

FALL 2016

October 11 “ENGLAND’S COAST TO COAST WALK.” The Coast to Coast Walk is a 192-mile unofficial and mostly unsignposted long-distance footpath in Northern England–from St Bees on the Irish Sea through the Lake District and the Yorkshire moors to Robin Hood’s Bay on the North Sea. It passes through 3 national parks: the Lake District NP, the Yorkshire Dales NP, and the North York Moors NP. Linda Williams and a friend walked it in 2011 to celebrate their 70th birthdays. They did the hike without a guide, but with support from an outfitter: their luggage was moved each day; they had only to find it by nightfall. It is described as a long, tough walk…and it was.  Contact: Liz Sparks (850) 570 5950 liz.aparks57@gmail.com

November 8 “HIKING IN IRELAND: THE WICKLOW WAY.” The Wicklow Way is one of Ireland’s most popular National Waymarked trails. It is a moderate to strenuous long-distance trail in southeast Ireland—beginning in Marlay Park in the southern suburbs of Dublin, crossing the Wicklow Mountains, and ending in the village of Clonegal in County Carlow. It follows forest tracks, mountain paths, and quiet country roads and lanes. Mountains, upland lakes and steep-sided glacial valleys make up the terrain of the initial northern sections of the Way before giving way to gentler rolling foothills in the southern sections. Dawn and John Griffin hiked this popular trail in May 2015.  Contact: Liz Sparks (850) 570 5950 liz.aparks57@gmail.com

December 13 “HOLIDAY PARTY & POTLUCK.” Celebrate the season by joining our annual holiday potluck and gift exchange. Bring a dish to share (turkey/ham provided by the Chapter) and a wrapped gift to participate in the exchange. The gift should be trail or outdoors related if possible, and can be purchased-but-inexpensive or hand-made. If you’re feeling extra festive, write a short poem or limerick describing the gift!  Contact: Liz Sparks (850) 570 5950 liz.aparks57@gmail.com

SUMMER 2016

July 12 “SOCIAL MEETING and TRAIL TALK.” Come meet fellow trail enthusiasts who want to share their experiences. Meet others who share your dream to explore and want to plan a future event but don’t want to go it alone. Share your favorite hike/paddle trails by bringing your guidebooks / maps / scrapbooks and any upcoming backpacking/hiking/paddling plans. Help others working on their bucket list of trails like the FNST, AT, PCT, Santiago de Compostela, other European trails, or perhaps a paddle down the Apalachicola River. Want to take your first day hike or backpacking trip, or paddle our rivers? Start planning your adventures! Grab dinner and a beer/wine and meet in a relaxed atmosphere on the patio at Milano’s Pizzeria located at 514 W. Tharpe St. (in the SW corner of Northwood Centre), Tallahassee at 6:30 p.m.

August – NO MEETING THIS MONTH. Enjoy the vacation.

September 13 USED GEAR SALE, VOLUNTEER AWARDS, “TRAIN FOR THE TRAIL.” 6:30 p.m.–If you have used gear for sale, arrive early to get it displayed. 6:00 p.m.–Annual used gear sale–gear for hiking, backpacking, camping, cycling, and paddling! 7:00 p.m.–Presentation of our annual Volunteer Recognition Awards. 7:30 p.m.–PROGRAM: What can you do off the trail, in the way of exercise, to enhance your hiking experience? In this interactive session, exercise physiologist and hiker, David Wheeler, will help you develop a fitness strategy to train for the trail. This program will combine lecture and discussion with active participation. Come dressed and prepared to exercise. Mats will be provided. David is Wellness & Health Recovery Coordinator at Premier Health & Fitness Center and provides fitness training & health coaching for those contending with health challenges and for healthy adults who want to stay that way. Location TBA.

SPRING 2016

April 12 “Monarchs and Milkweeds.” Scott Davis, Biologist at the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, will share the mysteries of monarch migration and the plants that sustain them during all their phases of life. Learn why the migration of this dazzling butterfly is one of nature’s greatest miracles.  Find out what you can do in your backyard to help sustain this dwindling species as they journey to Mexico. . Early Learning Coalition, Suite 70, Northwood Centre, 1852 North Martin Luther King Blvd., Tallahassee. Contact: Liz Sparks (850) 570 5950 liz.aparks57@gmail.com

May 10 “The Many Facets of the Suwannee River.” Edwin McCook, Land Manager for Suwannee River Water Management District, will discuss the changes in the river as you travel downstream from the Okeefenokee Swamp to the Gulf of Mexico. In addition, hiking, bicycling and other recreation opportunities will be covered. McCook is an avid paddler and has traveled most of the river by watercraft. He is a professional conservation photographer, member of the Suwannee Chapter of the Florida Trail Association and Suwannee Bicycle Associationwhere he leads trips. Many of his photographs are used by the SRWMD for their publications. Program Room A, Leon County main library, 250 W. Call St. (between N. Bronough and N. Duval streets), Tallahassee. Contact: Liz Sparks (850) 570 5950 liz.aparks57@gmail.com

June 14 “New Guide to Old Florida Attractions.” Many of Florida’s classic attractions still exist–and even thrive–in the shadow of mega- theme parks and interstate highways. A New Guide to Old Florida Attractions, Doug Alderson’s newest book, takes you to these places and more on an unforgettable journey across the Sunshine State. In this program, discover what Florida’s golden age of tourism was, and still is, all about–magical, beautiful and fun! Program Room A, Leon County main library, 250 W. Call St. (between N. Bronough and N. Duval streets), Tallahassee. Contact: Liz Sparks (850) 570 5950 liz.aparks57@gmail.com

WINTER 2016

January 12 “Protecting the Northwest Florida Wildlife Habitat Network and Maybe Closing Some Gaps in the Florida Trail.”Those of us in northwest Florida enjoy the privilege of living amongst extraordinary wildlife diversity–sea turtles nest on the beaches, red cockaded woodpeckers live in the old pines, gopher tortoises burrow in the uplands, mussels filter the waters of our rivers, and black bears roam the woods. We still have the opportunity to protect the landscapes, the habitats of our region’s rare and endangered species, and corridors for wildlife before they are lost to roads and development.  Kent Wimmer will present Defenders of Wildlife’s vision for conserving a habitat network that links conservation lands across Northwest Florida, which may also help close gaps in the Florida Trail in the Panhandle.

February 9 “The Adventures of ‘Little Wing’ on the Appalachian Trail.” In 2006, Jill Lingard dropped out of her usual life for five months to attempt a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail.  During her walk across 12 states, she immersed herself in beautiful landscapes and a community of northbound hikers whose impacts have lasted well beyond the last mountain climbed.  With her current involvement in Paddle Florida and the Florida Paddling Trails Association, you’re more apt to find Jill in a kayak than on a mountain these days. Her presentation will highlight the significance of her trail experiences on land and water, and forecast a potential final chapter for her A.T. explorations.

March 8 “The Experts’ Guide to Hiking the Florida Trail.” Florida is different. Stretching 1,400 miles from the edge of the Everglades to Pensacola Beach, the Florida Trail is Florida’s own National Scenic Trail and one of only 11 National Scenic Trails across America. It starts in a swamp, and ends on a beach. What you’ll see in between will give you a new appreciation for natural Florida. Join Sandra Friend and John Keatley, authors of “The Florida Trail Guide,” for this visual journey on how to prepare for hiking in Florida and what you’ll see along the Florida Trail, followed by an open discussion on planning your next day hike or backpacking trip.  ALSO: ELECTION OF CHAPTER OFFICERS

 

FALL 2015

Oct. 13 “Brendan Biggs: Trekking in the Solo Khumbu.” Join Brendan Biggs as he shares his experience of trekking in one of the world’s highest and most breathtaking places, the Everest region in Nepal. Find out what it’s like to travel the footpaths and journey with him as he recounts and shares photos of his adventures, including visiting the famous Buddhist monastery at Tenboche, the Khumbu ice fall at Everest base camp, and his attempt to summit Imja Tse–a 20,000-ft “trekking” peak.Early Learning Coalition, Suite 70, Northwood Centre, 1852 North Martin Luther King Blvd., Tallahassee. Contact: Liz Sparks (850) 570 5950 liz.aparks57@gmail.com

Nov. 10  “Hiking the Camino de Santiago.” During the summer of 2014 the local media followed Gregg and Morgan Patterson as they made a 500-mile trek along the Camino de Santiago, starting in St. Jean Pied de Port in France. The Camino is a 2000-year-old pilgrimage trail and is known by many as the Way of St James. This was a spiritual quest for Morgan. Gregg went along for the athletic challenge. Then something happened. They will share this ‘something’ when they speak. This trail tracks over several mountain ranges, through the countryside and cities of northern Spain. Their journey took 38 days before reaching the end in Santiago, Spain. Traveling with all their possessions in their backpacks, they stayed mostly at hostels breaking bread with people from all over the world. During their presentation both Gregg and Morgan share both the physical and mental challenges of this journey. Most importantly, they will share life lessons learned on the Camino. Early Learning Coalition, Suite 70, Northwood Centre, 1852 North Martin Luther King Blvd., Tallahassee. Contact: Liz Sparks (850) 570 5950 liz.aparks57@gmail.com

Dec. 8  “Holiday Party & Potluck.” Celebrate the season by joining our annual holiday potluck and gift exchange. Bring a dish to share (turkey/ham provided by the Chapter) and a wrapped gift to participate in the exchange. The gift should be trail or outdoors related if possible, and can be purchased-but-inexpensive, a white elephant, or hand-made. If you’re feeling extra festive, write a short poem or limerick describing the gift!

SUMMER 2015

July 14 “Oh, the Places You‘ll Go!” Come meet fellow trail enthusiasts who want to share their experiences. Meet others who share your dream to explore and want to plan a future event but don’t want to go it alone. Share your favorite hike/paddle trails by bringing your guidebooks/maps/scrapbooks and any upcoming backpacking/hiking/paddling plans. Help others working on their bucket list of trails like the FNST, AT, PCT, Santiago de Compostela, other European trails, or perhaps a paddle down the Apalachicola River. Want to take your first day hike or backpacking trip, or paddle our rivers? Start planning your adventures! Grab dinner and a beer/wine and meet in a relaxed atmosphere on the patio at Milano’s Pizzeria located at 514 W. Tharpe St. (in the SW corner of Northwood Centre), Tallahassee at 6:30 p.m.

August — No meeting in August.

September 8 “Rules of Two: Recognition and Preparation for Life’s Emergencies.” The program will be preceded by presentation of the Chapter’s annual Volunteer Awards.   For our hiking-season kick-off, join Al Ingle as he categorizes emergencies that we may face in our lifetime, and provides simple guidelines to
prepare for and overcome the challenges faced. Based on Al’s former experience as an Assistant Scoutmaster in an active outdoor-focused Boy Scout troop, and lessons learned as an Alaskan bush pilot, he will offer his summary of experiences and how to survive by expecting, categorizing, and preparing for the risks of a given activity.   COME EARLY–5:30 SELLERS to display your used gear for sale; 6 p.m.–BUYERS for our annual used hiking/backpacking/camping/cycling/paddling gear sale!

SPRING 2015

April 14  “Why That Beautiful Plant is not Your Friend!” Managing Invasive Plants. Join Linda King, FWC Upland Invasive Plant Project Manager, as she shares the big picture on how the State tries to tackle an onslaught of unwelcome plant species. Learn to identify the bad guys and how you can help locally.

May 12Project Remote.” Remote Footprints operates as a branch of Coastal Plains Institute–a non-profit based in North Florida but with a nationwide scope. The remoteness of the natural landscape is still continually diminishing despite America’s best efforts to preserve its public wildlands. The U.S. road network fills the national landscape so fully, that it is no longer possible to be more than 5 miles from a road within the vast majority of the conterminous 48 United States.  The number of roads continually increases, even within many conservation lands.  Opportunities for humans to “get away from it all” are all but gone outside Alaska.  Ryan Means is a conservation ecologist, naturalist, and outdoor explorer.  Join us to hear his exciting approach to preserving remote and roadless areas, and learn more about the problem and solutions for preserving America’s famed remoteness.

June 9  “FWC Bear Aware Program.” Sarah Barrett from FWC’s Bear Aware Program will share valuable tips and information to keep your bear interactions positive when hiking through Florida’s wild lands. The state’s largest land mammal has come back from just several hundred bears in the 1970s to more than 3,000 today and is one of Florida’s conservation success stories. For many people, seeing a black bear is a thrilling, rewarding experience. The presence of bears is not necessarily a problem or a threat to your safety. But it is important to remember that bears are wild animals and deserve respect. Sarah will share technical advice to residents to help them take actions that will discourage bears from becoming a problem in the first place. Learn how to react if encountering a bear during your outdoor adventures, and keep your encounters on the safe side.

WINTER 2015

January 13 “Ticks and Chiggers and Skeeters, Oh My!” Get geared up for bug season and learn how to prevent and treat mosquito and tick-borne illnesses.  Ross Beck, RN, will share tips to make your outdoor adventures safe in a bug-filled world.

February 10 “Valentine’s Day for the Rest of the Animal Kingdom”.  Explore an array of oddly fascinating and amusing reproductive wonders of the natural world.  Join Barb Shoplock, Director of ‘Saturdays at the Sea’ at FSU’s Marine Lab, as she shares her brilliant humor and wry insight into one of life’s most basic functions.

March 10 “ Adventures of an Apalachicola RIverKeeper”.  Dan Tonsmeire has served as Riverkeeper since May of 2010.He began his tenure with Apalachicola Riverkeeper in 2004. Dan is passionately committed to saving not only the Apalachicola River, which is truly an American treasure, but to protecting and restoring the Apalachicola Bay, one of the last great estuaries left in America.

FALL 2014

October 14 “Exploring the White Continent (Antarctica).” Join chapter member Dawn Brown on her greatest “Bucket List” adventure, a 14-day cruise to Antarctica.  Highlights include penguin watching, zodiac cruising in iceberg-filled waters, a walk on fast ice, kayaking and the infamous polar plunge.  This is truly the trip of a lifetime.

November 11 “Gems of the Galapagos.” FTA member Cathy Briggs shares memorable moments and wonderful photos from her recent trip to Galapagos Islands.  You won’t want to miss her tales and adventures at this fascinating destination.

December 9 Holiday Party, Used Gear Sale, & Potluck.” Bring your used hiking/camping gear to sell, marked with a price. Try to arrive by 5:30 to get it arranged on the tables and see what’s for sale before dinner begins. Celebrate the season by joining our annual holiday potluck and gift exchange. Bring a dish to share (turkey/ham provided by the Chapter) and a wrapped gift to participate in the exchange. The gift should be trail or outdoors related if possible, and can be purchased-but-inexpensive, a white elephant, or hand-made. If you’re feeling extra festive, write a short poem or limerick describing the gift.

SUMMER 2014

July 8 “Hiking Mt. LeConte – Great Smoky Mountains National Park.” Dawn Griffin shares information on hiking Mt. LeConte in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and staying in LeConte Lodge which is considered the highest guest lodge in the eastern United States. It is situated in an open glade just below the summit of Mt. LeConte at an elevation of about 6400 feet. The Lodge serves as a grandstand for the entire Park and commands spectacular views of the Smokies. It is accessible only by hiking and is the only place in the Smoky Mountains where a visitor can sleep overnight in a snug permanent structure.  

August 12 “Accessible Recreation for All.” In 1988, David Jones was shot in a hunting accident, resulting in a serious head injury that left him with paralysis of his left leg and no use of his left hand. He remains paralyzed in one arm but is now able to walk with a slight limp without any device. In the process of his rehabilitation, he became aware of the importance of recreation – not only to improve mobility, but to improve mental well-being. In 1990 he formed the Florida Disabled Outdoors Association to help overcome the challenge of sports participation by the disabled. Come and hear his story and more about the organization which came out of his positive experience using sports and recreation for his own rehabilitation.

September 9 “Hiking through History: Exploring Archeological Sites in the American Southwest.” FTA member Mary Stewart will describe several hikes in the Four Corners area, including trips in Mesa Verde and Canyonlands National Parks and Hovenweep National Monument.  Click here to view a PDF of the presentation.

 SPRING 2014

April 8  “Breathtaking Coastal Footpaths of England and Wales.” Join mother/daughter hiking pals, Margaret & Liz Sparks, for a sampling of breathtaking coastal footpaths of England and Wales. Yes, it is possible to hike a challenging hilly landscape and still gain weight. Enjoying Cornish pasties, local ales and cream teas makes hiking the coastline a visual and culinary joy.   Azure waters, hillsides quilted with wildflowers, ancient castles, and fluffy sheep offer stunning views at every hilltop.

May 13 “Balancing Your Life: Juggling Fun, Fitness, and Long-term Health.” Don Rapp is retired from FSU where he taught Child Development, Gerontology, and Creativity. Since retirement Dr. Rapp has been the balance enhancement instructor at the Premier Health Club where he is a personal trainer. Don will speak from a neurological standpoint on how to enhance physical balance regardless of condition or age. He teaches how not to fall, as well as improving functional and athletic performance. Don is a long-time juggler and will demonstrate how he uses pre-juggling skills to enhance the nervous system. The audience will be asked to participate in chair exercises for fun and heath enhancement.

June 10 “Celebrate Tallahassee Trails!”   Celebrate National Trails Day and join local recreation experts from City of Tallahassee Parks & Recreation, Office of Greenways & Trails, Florida Forest Service, and others to explore the wealth of outdoor recreation opportunities within a thirty minute’s drive of Tallahassee. Learn why ‘Trailahassee’ is a premier destination to hike, bike, paddle, and saunter on scenic byways in the Panhandle region.   Join us as we share exciting trail plans for the future.

WINTER 2014

January 14 “Currie Leggoe:500-Mile Hike on The Camino, Spain.” The Camino, or The Way of St. James, is a pilgrimage trail across the north of Spain that is more than 1200 years old. It is a river of people all flowing West to Santiago de Compostela one step at a time. There are still many Catholics amongst those who walk, but now others of different faiths or no faith at all participate. It is not a wilderness backpacking trip, but rather a walk through mountains and fields and towns and forests while staying in albergues (Pilgrim Hostels) at night. Currie will  share with us the scenery, the pattern of life, the wonderful parts and the difficulties of the 500 mile section that she journeyed.

February 11“Liz Sparks: Breathtaking Coastal Footpaths of England and Wales.” Join mother/daughter hiking pals, Margaret & Liz Sparks, for a sampling of breathtaking coastal footpaths of England and Wales. Yes, it is possible to hike a challenging hilly landscape and still gain weight. Enjoying Cornish pasties, local ales and cream teas makes hiking the coastline a visual and culinary joy. Azure waters, hillsides quilted with wildflowers, ancient castles and fluffy sheep offer stunning views at every hilltop.

March 11“Holly Parker and Kevin Curry: Backpacking in the Grand Canyon.” Join Kevin Curry and Holly Parker as they share their great adventures in the Grand Canyon! Find out everything you need to know about hiking in the Grand anyon, and enjoy breathtaking photographs from their three-day hike from the South Rim to the North Rim.

FALL 2013

October 8  “Dave Cook, “Turtles and Gators and Snakes, Oh My!!” Join Dave Cook, FWC Wildlife Biologist extraordinaire, who will share some special wildlife friends you may encounter while hiking and paddling in North Florida.  Get up close and personal with a variety of species who share Florida’s wonderful natural resources.

November 12  “Samantha Sexton, Pew Charitable Trusts.” Discover why Pew Charitable Trusts got involved in ocean conservation, its efforts to end and prevent overfishing and the campaign’s expanded focus to protect forage species important to a healthy marine food web. Samantha will share ways FTA members can get involved.

December 10  Holiday Party & Potluck. Celebrate the season by joining our annual holiday potluck and gift exchange.  Bring a dish to share (meat provided by the Chapter) and a wrapped gift to participate in the exchange. The gift should be trail or outdoors related if possible, and can be  purchased-but-inexpensive, a white elephant, or hand-made. If you’re feeling extra festive, write a short poem/limerick describing the gift!

SUMMER 2013

July 9  “Sinkholes in Florida.” Media attention was recently focused on a tragic event that happened near Brandon, Florida.  A person lost his life during a catastrophic collapse of his home into a sinkhole.  Sinkholes are part of Florida’s landscape.  Why do sinkholes occur in Florida?  How many are there?  Can a sinkhole occur under my home?  What happens if I have a sinkhole on my property?  These questions and more will be addressed by Harley Means of the Florida Geological Survey, as we discuss sinkholes in Florida.

August 13  “Caring for Our Hiking Trails.” Our August meeting will kick off with an Ice Cream Social at 6:45 p.m.! Joining us will be FTA Trail Staff, Eric Mason and Megan Donoghue, who will speak about this year’s new FNST trail program. We’ll learn how newcomers and experienced trail workers can be involved, different trainings FTA has to offer, volunteer recognition, and more.  New initiatives for chapter-led projects and trail crew leader information packets will be covered. Apalachee Chapter trail care opportunities will also be discussed.  Come see what is in store for the 2013-2014 Trail Season.

September 10  “Canoeing and Camping on the Historic Suwannee River.” Join the Apalachee Chapter for a special presentation by authors Rose Knox and Graham Schorb of their new paddler’s guidebook, “Canoeing and Camping on the Historic Suwannee River.” In their comprehensive book, Rose and Graham cover topics from the history of pioneers and early native inhabitants, to river-side cookery. Their guide details the river from the Okefenokee Swamp all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.  Also this evening: Volunteer Recognition Awards.

SPRING II 2013

May 14  Florida’s Royal Road. Join Andy McLeod, Coordinator of Viva Florida 500 for the Florida Humanities Council, for a discussion on Florida’s earliest roads. The east-west corridor that travels over 400 miles from St. Augustine to Pensacola reveals an abundance of Florida’s long, fascinating history.  As we mark the 500th anniversary of “La Florida” this year, this “Royal Road,” or “Mission Road,” deserves greater attention for reasons of landscape beauty, education, preservation, recreation, and even commerce.  Holly Parker (850) 567-3393.

June 11  “DIRT! The Movie.” It’s our summer movie night! We will host a joint screening of “DIRT! The Movie” with the Big Bend Group of the Sierra Club. The film, “takes you inside the wonders of the soil. It tells the story of Earth’s most valuable and underappreciated source of fertility–-from its miraculous beginning to its crippling degradation.” Join us for a fascinating and fun look at this often overlooked subject.   Holly Parker (850) 567-3393.

SPRING 2013

January 8  Three Weeks in Wildest Alaska: Father and Sons and 155 miles by Canoe. Sons to father: “Dad, before you die, we’ve got to do another wilderness adventure together.”   Dad: “I know just where–the Wood River/Tikchik Lakes Wilderness Region of SW Alaska.  It’s remote even for Alaska!”  During summer break in 1967, while attending FSU, Bruce Means surveyed by helicopter this 2-million-acre wilderness and always lusted to return.  Forty-five years later, in September 2012, his dream was realized accompanied by his sons, Harley and Ryan.  The Means men float-planed to the upper end of Nishlik Lake and canoed their way for 16 days to the system’s outlet at the south end of Lake Aleknagik.  Come hear about the once-in-a-lifetime canoeing/camping adventure and experience tales of 18 grizzly bears, lake trout, arctic char, rainbow trout, red salmon, pink salmon, silver salmon, grayling, northern pike, rugged mountains, boreal forest, and arctic tundra.  You won’t regret/forget it.

February 12  Our Big Bend Coast. Get to know our local coastline. The Big Bend Coastal Conservancy will discuss our local coastal ecosystems and the most pressing issues they face today Get to know St. Joe Bay, Apalachicola Bay, Alligator Harbor Bay, Apalachee Bay–off the Ochlockonee to Suwannee Rivers, and the smaller Deadman Bay–off the Steinhatchee River.  Ever wondered what exactly a red tide is? Learn about our water quality, species and habitat conservation, and seagrass conservation efforts.  Don’t miss this chance to find out why the Big Bend Coast is one of a kind!

March 12  Apalachicola RiverTrek 2012. The Apalachicola is one of Florida’s most dynamic rivers, the only Florida waterway to emerge from the Appalachian Mountains. It has the largest volume of water flow of any Florida river and it supports an incredible number of unique plants and animals, not to mention those sumptuous oysters in Apalachicola Bay. But in recent years, the river and bay have been starved of fresh water by Alabama and Georgia, causing the near collapse of the bay’s oyster fishery and the loss of an estimated four million tupelo gum trees in the river floodplain. Author Doug Alderson will discuss these issues and more, and will show photos from the recent high profile Apalachicola RiverTrek, a five-day paddling journey on the entire river.

April 9  The Apalachee Transit. In November 2012, four backpackers from the Apalachee Chapter–Mike Tucker, Dawn Brown, Barry Haber, and Rayanne Mitchell–completed all of our Chapter’s section of the Florida National Scenic Trail. The group backpacked from Camel Lake east, to the north end of the Aucilla–in celebration of the Apalachee Chapter’s 30th anniversary. Join these intrepid hikers for photos, adventures, and lessons learned.

FALL 2012

September 11 Tuesday P/L  Meeting Program.  30th Anniversary Celebration and Volunteer Recognition. Join the Apalachee Chapter as we celebrate thirty years of trail creation, trail maintenance, outdoor education, and friendship. Following our Volunteer Recognition Awards ceremony, enjoy a brief video on our early Chapter history.  Bring your own memories, photos and stories to share.

October 9 Tuesday  P/L  Meeting Program.  ANF: The Amazing Understory! When you think about the FNST in the Apalachicola National Forest, you probably see majestic pines, towering oaks, and abundant wildlife. But have you ever considered the amazing drama unfolding below your knees?   Join Brian Pelc with the Nature Conservancy to learn about the forest layer of grasses and wildflowers that provide fuel, nutrients, cover and diversity to one of the most dynamic ecosystems in North America.

November 13 Tuesday P/L Meeting Program.  Wild About Wild Edibles. Ever wondered what you can eat in the woods? What about the plants you can eat in your backyard or in urban areas? Join Scott Allen Davis from the Florida Native Plant Society to learn about wild edibles in our area.  Learn how to identify and prepare edible and medicinal plants.

December 11 Tuesday M (and guests)/L  Chapter Meeting.  Holiday Party & Potluck. Celebrate the season by joining our annual holiday potluck and gift exchange.  Bring a dish to share (ham and turkey provided by the Chapter) and a wrapped gift to participate in the exchange. The gift should be trail or outdoors related if possible, and can be purchased-but-inexpensive, a white elephant, or hand-made. If you’re feeling extra festive, write a short poem/limerick describing the gift!

SUMMER 2012

May 8  “A.T. Adventures.”
Join speaker Thomas Lynch as he discusses his 2009 Appalachian Trail thruhike that he completed with his hound dog, Rufus. Thomas will share pictures and tales from the trail. Get his tips and advice for those interested in thruhiking either alone or with a dog. We’ll be sure to save time for Q&A.    Information: Holly Parker (850) 567-3393  hollyep@gmail.com

June 12 “Movie Night: Big Cypress Swamp.”
It’s movie night with the Apalachee Chapter! Join us for a screening of award-winning Big Cypress Swamp: the Western Everglades–the story of Florida’s famed river of grass, highlighting people who share their passion for this wild place, seasons of scenery that pull you into the rhythm of the swamp, and a chorus of nature sounds scored into a symphony.  Follow filmmaker Elam Stoltzfus as he captures some of Florida’s most unique scenery, while sharing its fascinating conservation legacy–on a journey through one of Earth’s great treasures.   Information: Holly Parker (850) 567-3393  hollyep@gmail.com

July 10  “All About the Panhandle Chapter.”
Enjoy a presentation by Charissa Thacker from the Panhandle Chapter of the Florida Trail Association. Get to know the section of the Florida Trail that stretches from the Apalachicola River and Blountstown,  through the beautiful Econfina Creek area and Pine Log State Forest, and finally to the Choctawhatchee River.  Learn about their traditional Chapter events such as the Annual Hike to the Springs, Annual Pine Log Gathering, and Annual Flower Hike. And learn about kayak/canoe and other hiking trails in the Panhandle Chapter area.   Information: Holly Parker (850) 567-3393  hollyep@gmail.com

August 14 “Climbing Denali.”
Join Leon County Commissioner Bryan Desloge to learn all about his three-week summit of Mt. McKinley, the highest point in North America. Bryan spent 18 months training for the expedition by dragging around a sled on weekends, and climbing stairs while carrying a 60 pound pack.  This  dangerous climb left six people dead while he was on the mountain. Hear all about Bryan’s adventures and pointers for those interested in tackling Denali’s 20,320 peak.  Information: Holly Parker (850) 567-3393  hollyep@gmail.com

 

SPRING 2012

January 10  “30th Anniversary Kickoff with The Florida Trail’s First Thru-Hiker”

Twenty two years after being recognized as the first person to hike the Florida Trail in one concerted effort, Steve Sheridan has finished and published his experiences in “Florida Any Way You Can.” Steve will kick off the Apalachee Chapter’s 30th Anniversary with a presentation and discussion of his experiences while becoming The Florida Trail’s first thru-hiker!  For information contact Holly Parker 850-567-3393

February 14  “Wilderness and Back-country First Aid”
Join Megan Eno for a refresher course on the essentials of Wilderness First Aid. Brush up on life-saving skills and participate in hands-on demonstrations. Stay safe on the trail this hiking season! [also Chapter Elections]  For information contact Holly Parker 850-567-3393

March 13  “What the Heck is a Geocache?”
Lynda Tiefel, president of the Tallahassee Area Geocachers, gives us an introduction to geocaching- a high tech treasure hunt! Lynda has found almost 2000 geocaches, a number of which were hidden along the Florida Trail. Find out how you can become a geocacher and try your hand at locating a “cache” around the Florida Trail office!  For information contact Holly Parker 850-567-3393

April 10 “The Bird is the Word!”  Florida’s public and private lands provide habitat for more than 500 bird species! Join the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission to learn about the Great Florida Birding & Wildlife Trail and get to know the basics of birding. Find out what species live in our neck of the woods and how you can locate them.  For information contact Holly Parker 850-567-3393

FALL 2011

September 13 “FNST Adventures: Aucilla River and Sinks” plus Hiking Season Kick Off. Kick off the hiking season with a used gear sale, meet and greet with Dennis Miranda, the new Executive Director of the Florida Trail Association, and see a presentation on the Aucilla River and Sinks. This 21-mile portion of the Chapter’s section of the FNST is home to rapids and the unique “peek-a-boo” underground river. GEAR SALE: Bring your used hiking/camping gear/clothing, marked with a price, and arrive at 6:30 to display it for sale. Be sure to get there early if you’re looking for great deals on gear! Information:  Holly Davenport (850) 567-3392.

October 11   “Hiking and Backpacking in Central and South America.” Benjamin and Johanna Poston will describe their hiking and backpacking travel adventures through scenic Central and South America.  They will present a photographic tour and share stories about their favorite trails to active volcanoes, cloud forests, waterfalls, ancient ruins and Andean mountaintops. We’ll also be presenting our annual Chapter volunteer awards, so be sure to join us!

November 8  “Invasion of the Exotic Plants!” You don’t have to look far to realize that invasive exotic plants are taking over our neighborhoods and public lands. Identification and eradication of these species is a must if we are to preserve the botanical integrity of our roadsides, wetland areas and uplands. Join Leon County Master Gardener Gary Griffin for a discussion of what you can do to help rid our trails (and your yards!) of these unwanted plants.  Information:  Holly Davenport (850) 567-3393.

December 13  “Annual Apalachee Chapter Holiday Party.” Celebrate the season by joining our holiday potluck and gift exchange. Bring a dish to share (ham and turkey provided by the Chapter) and a wrapped gift to participate in the exchange. The gift should be trail or outdoors related if possible, and can be purchased-but-inexpensive, a white elephant, or hand-made. If you’re feeling extra festive, write a short poem/limerick describing the gift.

SUMMER 2011

May 10  “FNST Adventures: Apalachicola National Forest-East.”
This 32-mile section of our Chapter’s FNST, running from St. Marks NWR at US319 west of Medart to Porter Lake on Forest Hwy 13, is home to the beautiful blackwater-and-cypress Sopchoppy River, the infamous Bradwell Bay, and the historic Langston Homestead. Section Leader Richard Graham and Trail Master George Weaver will present a photographic tour and give us information on how to hike it. Kent Wimmer will talk about his annual Bradwell Bay “Swamp Stomp.”

June 14  “FNST Adventures: Aucilla River and Sinks.”
This 21-mile section of our Chapter’s part of the FNST extends from CR 14 in the north to St. Marks NWR in the south. The northern portion with its scenic river and rapids, and the south with its unique “peek-a-boo” underground river make this one of the most interesting places on the FNST. Section Leader Barbara Donner will present a photographic tour and give us information on how to hike it.

July 12  “FNST Adventures: St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge.”
Section Leader Dale Allen will present a photographic tour of our 48-mile coastal section and give us information on how to day-hike or backpack it. This part of our Chapter’s trail traverses the greatest variety of forest types and wildlife zones on north Florida’s FNST. It is also rich in natural history, with Indian mounds, Confederate salt works, tram roads, and old Port Leon. Where the trail passes through the town of St. Marks, Fort San Marcos de Apalache (est. 1679) is nearby.

August 9 “FNST Adventures: Apalachicola National Forest-West.”
This 46-mile section of our Chapter’s FNST runs from Porter Lake west to the Apalachicola River. Section Leader Ronny Traylor will present a photographic tour and give us information on how to hike it. One of the most remote sections in Florida, it’s where you’ll find remnants of the old settlement of Vilas and savannas with ground orchids and a profusion of pitcher plants.

SPRING 2011

January 11  “Twelve Days through the Grand Canyon.” Chapter member Dawn Brown will discuss her rafting and hiking trip down the Colorado River, through the Grand Canyon.  From the put-in at Lee’s Ferry to the helicopter ride out at mile 188 the trip was filled with rapids, scrambles up waterfalls and incredible views of the most striking geological feature in the USA.  Come share the adventure.

February 8 “Tunisia.” Once Rome’s bread basket, Tunisia is now a contrast in cultures: from metropolitan youth in the north’s city apartments to nomadic Bedouins in tents on the south’s Sahara Desert.  Ken and Virginia Loewe will present pictures of Carthage/Roman structures, olive and date palm farming, ancient granaries, modern fish markets, and shopping in the medinas’ labyrinth-like alleys.  If some of the pictures look familiar, it may be because parts of “Star Wars’” were filmed on Tunisia’s lunar–like landscape!

March 8  “Southern Brothers in the Far North.” Ryan and Harley Means’ epic 150-mile trek through the vast Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska:  an 80-mile backpack to the head of the Chisana River, a 65-mile float downriver in solo packrafts and a final 5-mile bushwack thru taiga to the Alaska Highway.  They have decades of experience, but Alaska provided the greatest wilderness experience of their lives.  They went in search of solitude and communion with nature on the grandest scale; they discovered that sticking together and having each other’s backs was the only way to complete the journey.

April 12  “Five-Star Western Trails.” Jerry Lawrence is a local veterinarian who has hiked and photographed over a hundred trails in the western United States.  This program is a photographic review of his favorite hikes in California, the Pacific Northwest, the Colorado Plateau, and the Rocky Mountains.

FALL 2010

September 14  “Cool Down with the Cypress Giants on the Sopchoppy River along the FNST.” VIDEO: Celebrate the survival of summer and the kick-off of the hiking season with Ern Jones’ video of paddling on the Sopchoppy River.  USED GEAR SALE: Bring your used hiking/camping gear/clothing, marked with a price, and arrive at 6:30 to display it for sale.  See old and new friends at our Fall “Homecoming.” Be there before 7:00 to get some good gear deals and enjoy ice cream and other special desserts.

October 12  “Creating Wilderness Trail Experiences in Your Own Back Yard and Beyond.” With the help of David Copps we will identify patterns and features of natural landscapes, talk about recreating them in our residential areas, and maximizing the appeal of natural landscapes with trails. David is a landscape designer with more than 25 years of experience in landscape design and conservation.

November 9 “Sneak Preview of Outdoor Gear Just in Time for the Holidays.” Holiday gift list, here I come! JC Gayhartt, owner of Trail and Ski, and Georgia Ackerman, co-owner of The Wilderness Way, will bring us the newest and best in outdoor gear.

December 14 “Apalachee Chapter Annual Holiday Party” Bring a covered dish or dessert and a wrapped present to our fantastic December meeting. The present for our fun gift exchange should be trail or outdoors related if possible, and can be purchased-but-inexpensive, a white elephant, or hand-made. Liven up the exchange by writing a short poem/limerick describing the gift or the kind of person it might be good for.  For more information, call Terry Tenold, Chapter Chair 850-877-1612.

SUMMER 2010

May 11 “Bucky McMahon – Adventure Journalist, Artist, Author.“ In 1992, Bucky McMahon, FSU graduate and native of the Southeast, published his first article with Outdoor Magazine which was to become the beginning of a long and strange adventure in the travel writing business. Come join us for an evening of story-telling which will inspire and perhaps terrify, depending on your tolerance for the wild and unusual. For more information regarding Bucky and his work visit http://www.fsu.edu/~fstime/FS-Times/Volume5/sept99web/8sept99.html

June 8 “Wilderness First Aid.” Bring your first aid kits and worst case scenarios for an evening of Wilderness First Aid basics with Megan Eno, Florida Trail Staff, Wilderness EMT and Wilderness First Aid instructor. We will cover what everyone should have in their first aid kit, how to best prepare for a backcountry trip with safety in mind and a round of injury scenarios where we can discuss as a group, “what would you do?”

July 13 “Incredible India!“ Ken and Virginia Loewe share their visit to India, where the majesty of the Himalayas meets the mystery of religious rites, seducing the senses and challenging one’s world view. Their introduction to north and central India includes amazing architecture, jewel-colored saris, spicy cuisine, hikes through rural villages, and many friendly faces.

August 10 “Film Presentation: ‘The Saint Andrew Bay Watershed’.” Travel down one of Florida’s precious Corridors of Life in this film – a collaboration between the Northwest Florida Water Management District and Dr. Bruce Means who explored the hydrological, geological and ecological features of the St. Andrew Bay Watershed just north of Panama City, starting at the headwaters of Econfina Creek and finishing at Deer Point Lake. This area is home to our Econfina Creek section of the Florida National Scenic Trail. A representative from the NWFWMD will introduce us to the film.

SPRING 2010

January 12 “Ocean to Lake Trail.” Johnny Molloy, author of dozens of outdoor guidebooks, will give a slide show and presentation about his 2009 thru hike of the Ocean to Lake Trail (O2L Trail), a 70 mile east-west spur of the main Florida Trail, running from Port Mayaca on Lake Okeechobee to Hobe Sound on the Atlantic Ocean. Molloy will give an overview of the trail, terrain and campsites so you can plan your trek on the O2LTrail. Bring your questions!

February 9 “Outdoor Photography.” Wildlife photography adds a whole new dimension to enjoying the outdoors. In this program, local author and photographer Doug Alderson will focus on wildlife photography techniques and suggested equipment. What makes a good wildlife photograph? What are some tried and true methods of photographing wildlife? Where are the best places to take wildlife photographs in this area? Doug will show many types of photos, from winners to bloopers, and he’ll also cover some basic landscape photography techniques.

March 9 “Open Forum with FTA Directors.” Come hear what is being achieved and worked towards on your behalf, with your support! Executive Director Deborah Stewart-Kent will update us on exciting developments and FTA objectives. Development Director Mike Eurich will outline some exciting activities taking place & answer any giftgiving or legacy questions. This is a rare opportunity to meet State HQ staff face-to face and directly ask the hardhitting questions you want answered. Plan to attend. And bring a friend.

April 13 “National Treasures: My Incredible Western Road Trip.” Chapter member Linda Patton will show her slides and tell us how she spent 78 days, 14 thousand miles and one night in a teepee while visiting the mountains, dunes and red-rock canyons of 21 National Parks, Monuments, Forests and Recreation Areas in Colorado, Utah, Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota during the summer of 2009.

AUTUMN 2009

September 8 “Hiking Florida’s Western Panhandle.” From meanders through pitcher plant bogs to hikes on the dunes, author Sandra Friend shares a virtual walk in the woods along hiking trails west of the Apalachicola River. While the Western Panhandle isn’t as well known as the rest of Florida, it offers a wide variety of hikes – from easy nature trails to rugged climbs – with spectacular scenery, unusual geology, botanical diversity, and the opportunity for backpackers to get out and stretch their legs on the Florida Trail.

October 13 “Exploring Lost Worlds In Northern South America.”The ancient Guiana Shield region supports mesas–called tepuis by local Amerindians–which jut from rainforest up to 10,000 feet in altitude. Come hear Dr. Bruce Means talk about these tepuis, his exciting herpetological and backpacking adventures during two decades of tepui exploration, and discovery of numerous new frog species, a new family of vertebrate animals and giant earthworms.

November 10 “Adventures in New Zealand and Australia.” Diving the Great Coral Reef and flying high above beautiful Milford Sound, Ken and Ginger Loewe traveled from hostel to hostel throughout New Zealand and the metropolitan coast of Eastern Australia, where they enjoyed climbing on glaciers and espying wild kangaroos and rare yellow-eyed penguins, among other adventures that they will share with us.

December 8  “Annual Holiday Social.” Bring a covered dish or dessert and an inexpensive wrapped item for the gift-exchange game. Socialize with your fellow hiking and outdoor enthusiasts as we celebrate another year of hiking and outdoor adventures. For more information, call Terry Tenold, Chapter Chair 850-877-1612.

SUMMER 2009

May 12 “Voices of the Apalachicola.” Faith Eidse, public information specialist at the NWFWMD will talk about the history of the Apalachicola River and some of the remarkable individuals who lived out their entire lives in this region–people such as the last steamboat pilot on the river, turpentine workers in Tate’s Hell, and a Creek chief descended from a 200-year unbroken line of chiefs. Copies of her award-winning book will be available for purchase. 7 p.m. at Woodcrest Office Park, 325 John Knox Rd., Bldg. F (first bldg. on the right).  Look for Florida Trail signs on wooden door at east end of building.

June 9 “The Apalachicola River: An American Treasure.” Come on an exciting journey down the Apalachicola river system, exploring its rich history and current issues, and meeting people who live and work along the waterways. Award-winning filmmaker Elam Stoltzfus will be with us to introduce his film–which uses interviews, historical reenactments, photographs by such renowned artists as Clyde Butcher and Richard Bickel and a soundtrack by Sammy Tedder to weave a not-so-simple but well-told story. Copies of his films will be available for purchase.

July 14 “Paddling Trails of the Apalachicola.”Concluding this series of summer programs about the Apalachicola River, Liz Sparks of Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will share news about their exploration of some intriguing scenic paddling trails along the River. They are in the process of developing maps and trip reports for an exciting interactive website project for paddlers.

August 11 “Climbing Colorado’s Mountains. Mountains! – just the thing to cool us off in the heat of summer. In Colorado, there are 54 mountain peaks over 14,000 feet high. Chapter member Dawn Brown shows her photographs and recounts her experiences hiking and climbing some of these high peaks.

SPRING 2009

January 13 “Colorful Peru.” Ken and Virginia Loewe will present highlights of their introduction to the resilient cultures and hospitable habitants of an ancient land, where stone-age ruins contrast with the current floating villages of Lake Titicaca and the shanty towns of modern-day Lima. The presentation will also feature their venture into the amazing Amazon rainforest with its unusual tree-top trails.

February 10 “Nokuse Plantation and its Gopher Tortoises.” The FNST now passes through a portion of Nokuse Plantation–a 48,000 acre private preserve with a goal of restoring natural communities to their pre-European- settlement conditions. >“Turtle” Bob Walker will tell us about this restoration effort and the approximately 500 wild gopher tortoises on the property, along with the relocation of over 1800 tortoises rescued from development sites where they would otherwise have been buried by developers with “incidental take” permits.

March 10 “Hiking in New Mexico’s Fabulously Diverse Backcountry.” Will Sheftall presents six trips to the Sangre deCristo Mtns. (Pecos Wilderness, Carson NF), Gila Wilderness (Gila NF), Sacramento Mtns.  (Lincoln NF), Guadalupe Mtns. (Guadalupe NP, TX), and Davis Mtns. (TX) — one of The Nature Conservancy’s “Last Great Places.”

April 14 “Backpacking Equipment Show-and-Tell.” Our chapter’s backpacking members will display their backpacks, tents/hammocks, sleeping bags/pads, cooking gear, etc. and will be available to talk to you about their gear.

FALL 2008

September 9 “The Florida Trail and YOU.”Get inspired at our hiking season kickoff meeting! See some short trail videos–including a brief history of the Florida Trail. Learn about building it, supporting it, and hiking it. Hear about the Trail’s current status. Find out how to get hiking information. Honor our Chapter’s volunteers–past and present–and learn how you, too, can help.

October 14 “So What’s New?” J.C. Gayhartt, owner of Tallahassee’s Trail and Ski outfitters, and an avid hiker, will show us the very latest in outdoor clothing and hiking gear.

November 11 Hiker’s Guide to the Prehistory and Archaeology of North Florida.”Ryan Means will inform hikers where and how to experience north Florida’s extensive archaeological record. He will tell us about the prehistoric human cultures and animals that went extinct during the last 15,000 years of our history and will teach us about projectile points–their types and ages. He’ll bring a teaching collection of artifacts for an interactive, hands-on experience.

December 9 “Annual Holiday Social.”Bring a covered dish or dessert and an inexpensive wrapped item for the gift-exchange game. Socialize with your fellow hiking and outdoor enthusiasts as we celebrate another year of hiking and outdoor adventures. For more information, call Richard Graham, Chapter Chair 850-878-3616.

SUMMER 2008

May 13 Program: ‘Florida’s Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail.’Beginning near Pensacola, extending around the Florida peninsula and Keys, and ending near the Georgia border, this trail is a 1,550-mile sea kayaking paradise. Doug Alderson, Florida Office of Greenways and Trails field director for this project, will show photos from nearly all of the trail’s 26 segments & discuss a new statewide group recently formed to support the trail.

June 10 Program: ‘Carnivorous Plants of the Panhandle.’ These plants are fascinating because of their great beauty and intrigue. The Florida panhandle has 30 of the 33 naturally-occuring Florida species of these animal-eating plants. Dr. Loran Anderson of FSU will present a program of color slides of most of the thirty and discuss their life histories and the variety of mechanisms through which they attract, capture, and digest their prey.

July 8 Program: Tracks and Scat: Is Our Poop Fascination Hardwired?’ Trackers, hunters and trappers of yore and primitive cultures depended on reading the woods for their survival. Will Sheftall, Natural Resources Agent for UF’s Leon County Extension Office, will give hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts a chance to ramp up their skills. Learn to identify animal tracks, scat, and other traces and signs found on our trails and woods roads.

August 12 Program: ‘Thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail.’ Larry Thompson, a 54-year-old county Extension Office agent at the time, and his 26-year-old son, Matt, thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 1996. They had no idea what they were getting into. “Old Swamper” and “Grasshopper” will discuss preparation for–and the mental and physical difficulty of–a long-distance hike and show images of the Trail and of the other backpackers they met that year.

SPRING 2008

January 8 Program: ‘Trekking in Viet Nam.’ Journey with Apalachee Chapter members Ken and Virginia Loewe through the lush topography of this scenic country, where they hiked on rice paddy dikes, dodged motorbike traffic, enjoyed homestays, survived rickshaw rides, and sailed the Mekong Delta.

February 12 Program: ‘Tales from the top of Africa.’ Member Dawn Brown will present the story of her successful summit attempt of Mt Kilimanjaro (19,340 ft.), the highest peak on the African continent. She will also speak about her walking safari and descent into the Olduvai Gorge in the Angata Kiti area of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area; driving safari in the Ngorongoro Crater and cultural exchange with the Massai people.

March 11 Program: ‘Hiking the Florida Trail: 1,100 Miles, 78 Days, Two pairs of Boots, and One Heck of an Adventure.’ Johnny Molloy, outdoor adventurer and prolific guidebook writer, will wow us with images of his 2005 thruhike, talk about his trail experience–the good, the bad, and the ugly– and let us in on his thoughts about the Florida Trail. His newest book is the very first narrative of a Florida Trail thruhike.

April 8 Program: ‘The Geology of Florida’s Springs.’ Florida has over 700 springs–possibly the largest concentration in the world– due to the presence of underlying limestone and dolostone which dissolve away over time, leaving voids that fill with water–the Floridan Aquifer System. This is both a curse and a blessing. Harley Means of the Florida Geological Survey discusses the issues facing our Florida springs.

FALL 2007

Sept 11 Program: “The Florida Trail: Florida’s Own National Scenic Trail.” By Seidler Productions of Sopchoppy, under the direction of the FTA and the USFS, a version of this film was previewed at the 2007 FTA Annual Conference. The completed program debuted May 27th on WMFE-TV in Orlando. Robert Seidler brings us this wonderful film to kick off our Florida Trail hiking season, and also shows a selection of short films on successful green economic programs involving nature-based and heritage tourism, trails and greenways. (Related FNST hike on Sep. 15 )

Oct 9 Program: “New Zealand and the Milford Track” Chapter member Dawn Brown will present her hiking and kayaking trip to New Zealand, including a hike of the dramatic and awesome Milford Track. Milford Track traverses the heart of Fiordland National Park–the wildest, wettest and most isolated part of the country–and has long been described as “the finest walk in the world.”

Nov 13 Program: “The Nature Conservancy” Deborah Keller, coordinator of TNC’s Northwest Florida Greenway Project, will talk about the urgency of preserving Florida’s remaining open spaces and methods of funding the protection of high-quality habitats. She will highlight the use of military lands as conservation and recreational places. (Related hike on the FNST at Eglin Air Force Base: November 17)

Dec. 11 Program: “Annual Holiday Social” – Please bring a covered dish or dessert and an inexpensive item for the gift-exchange game. Socialize with your fellow hiking and outdoor enthusiasts as we celebrate another year of hiking and outdoor adventures. For more information, call Richard Graham, Chapter chair, at 878-3616.

SUMMER 2007

May 8 Program: “The Australian Outback.” Harley, Ryan and Bruce Means spent three weeks driving across the “top end” of Australia, investigating the geology and natural history of this wonderful continent, with its geological wonders and critters of all kinds.Harley Means tells us what it is like to be immersed in the real Australian Outback!

June 12 Program: “Tales of the Great Outdoors.” Edwin McCook, Public Use Coordinator for the Suwannee River Water Management District, talks about recreation opportunities available on the District, reaching from the Wacissa River to the Waccasassa River and including the path of the Florida Trail along the Suwannee and Aucilla Rivers. (Related hike on June 16.)

July 10 Program: “An Arctic Adventure.” Ryan Means and Rebecca Meegan backpacked nine days in the heart of the Brooks mountain range in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, encountering the Porcupine caribou herd, dall sheep, grizzly bear, and musk ox.Ryan will recount their trip, presenting Arctic natural history and the importance of preserving great wilderness.

Aug. 14 Program: “Butterflies of North Florida.” Most of the 120 species of butterflies in North Florida can be found along the trails we hike–like in Elinor-Klapp Phipps Park, with 78 recorded species. Dean and Sally Jue, of the Florida Natural Areas Inventory and the local Hairstreak Chapter of the North American Butterfly Association, will provide an overview on local butterfly identification and good places to see a variety of them. (Field trip on Aug. 18.)

SPRING 2007

Jan. 9 Program: “Geology and Paleontology from the Aucilla to the Apalachicola.” Harley Means, District Geologist from DEP’s Florida Geological Survey, will talk about the geology and paleontology of the area along the Florida Trail between the Aucilla and Apalachicola rivers. Harley will lead a hike to Alum Bluffs & Ravines on Jan. 27.

Feb. 13 Program: “Thru-Hiking the Appalachian Trail with ‘Awol’.” David Miller, whose trail name is ‘Awol’, will discuss his 2003 thru-hike of the A.T. His talk will be accompanied by slides with A.T. facts and beautiful scenes from the trail. He will bring his backpack and exhibit the gear used during his hike. Come and learn how it’s done.

Mar. 13 Program: “Alaska, the Yukon and Northwest Territories.” Vic and Carlene Danart will present a slide show of their 2006 trip to Northwest Canada and also Alaska, from the Arctic Circle to Juneau, with maps and a video of the pipeline. Brochures of these areas will be available.

Apr. 10 Program: “Hiking and Paddling in WMAs.” Liz Sparks, Recreation Planner with the Office of Recreation Services at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, will tell us about opportunities for hiking, paddling, and wildlife viewing in FWC’s Wildlife Management Areas within a day’s drive of Tallahassee. Maps, brochures and area information will be available.