The purpose of this blog post is to capture the photos we shared on Twitter during our trip south -- Tuesday, September 7, 2021, through Wednesday, September 15, 2021.
This blog post focuses on the interesting places we visited together along the route of the Appalachian Trail after Stuart's backpacking adventure, and then visiting water-related locations in New York state on our way home. After many years of hearing from Stuart about the places we visited along the Appalachian Trail, it was really fun for Julie to finally see them!
While Stuart was backpacking on the Appalachian Trail, he wrote down places he wanted to show Julie after his hike. It is his way of involving her in his multi-year journey north up the trail.
Many of the best locations are not accessible due to difficult terrain or the number of miles from trailheads, so this blog post shows just a few of the places we had the ability and time to visit.
This was our first big outing since receiving our COVID-19 vaccinations. The three attractions that we went to were adapted to encourage social distancing, but this was still the first time being around so many people in an inside venue. It actually felt kind of strange. Everyone was required to wear masks in all areas of the Hershey’s Chocolate World building.
It was very appropriate that we started our journey toward Stuart's starting point on the Appalachian Trail at this "sweet" place, since he has often visited Hershey’s Chocolate World as part of his many previous backpacking trips on the A.T. in Pennsylvania. A chocolate treat goes perfectly with backpacking.
Since Julie and our son, Kevin F. Smith, are on the Board of Euclid Beach Park Now, we knew we had to visit Knoebels Amusement Resort. Similar to Cleveland's Euclid Beach Park, which closed in 1969, Knoebels is a free-admission amusement park. While it is free to enter the park, visitors can purchase individual ride tickets or an all-day wristband. Also, since Julie volunteers as a ride attendant at the restored Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel at the Cleveland History Center, it was a special treat to see the Knoebels Carousel Museum.
I have now written several social distancing blog posts during this time of the coronavirus crisis, about how I spend my time -- with park walks and online activities. I have also been attending some Facebook Live events about hiking trails, which I am featuring in this blog post.
During these sad times, I want to first acknowledge how fortunate I am that everyone in my family is healthy, and that I have the luxury of being able to participate in, and write about, interesting social distancing activities.
Secondly, I want to thank the organizations that are investing their time and resources to create these live video events featuring hiking trails. It is helping take the sting out of the fact that I was scheduled to be on a long-distance backpacking adventure at this time. I appreciate being able to join others online to celebrate trail life. Thank you!
The sections of this blog consist of:
Weekend Journey: New York & Massachusetts Parks, and Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association (ALDHA) Gathering
Every year, we go to the Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association - ALDHA Gathering weekend for workshops on how to backpack the great trails around the world. Normally, we make it a four-day weekend (including traveling), but this year we added some extra days on each end of the trip. These extra days enabled us to see some great New York State Parks with beautiful waterfalls, and more of the park where the Appalachian Trail crosses the highest mountain in Massachusetts.
It was fun to "bookend" our trip to the Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association - ALDHA Gathering with waterfalls. We write our blog posts to share what we learn about organizations and about places that we enjoy. We hope you will share them with others.