Carolina Mountain Club                                                                              August 2012
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From The Editor 

If you were inspired by the Olympics in London, you will enjoy the eNews articles about CMC members who have participated in the ultimate international sporting event.  In this issue read about Ann Hendrickson who was injured in the 1968 Olympics doing gymnastics, and competed in the 1980 Olympics in long distance skating. Part two featuring two more CMC hikers will be in the next eNews.

August 14 marked the 75th anniversary of the Appalachian Trail's completion. Lenny Bernstein who is chairing the steering committee for next year's Appalachian Trail Conference (ATC) Biennial, and CMC's councilor for communication Stuart English and CMC maintainer Bill Newton share different perspectives of their A.T. experiences in this issue.

Here are a few numbers about the trail CMC hikers enjoy and help maintain. According to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, 2 to 3 million people visit the trail, and about 2,000 attempt to thru- hike it each year. It is the longest hiking only footpath in the world - about 2,180 miles in length. Since it was first completed in 1937, 99 percent has either been relocated or rebuilt, and 99.7 percent is now in public ownership.
Go create your own new memories on the trail, and volunteer to help with the ATC biennial. 

If anyone has any articles for the newsletter, send them to me at

The newsletter will go out the last Friday of every month. The deadline to submit news is the Friday before it goes out.


Kathy Kyle
Carolina Mountain Club


Sharon McCarthy Finishes SB6K  
Story and Photo By Danny Bernstein 

Sharon, a CMC member from Charlotte, finished the 40 peaks over 6,000 feet on July 22 on the Black Mountain Crest Trail.

Her last mountain was Potato Hill.  


"Once I decided to focus on the SB6K it went pretty quickly.  I absolutely would not have considered completing this challenge without Jeff Rinehart." She says that "He guided me to the hardest trail-less peaks, including Reinhart Knob in the dead of winter when the Parkway was closed. He also came on a very tough three-day backpack in the Smokies in June to tag six peaks, all of which he had already done."


Congratulations, Sharon.                
Lighting of the torch at the Olympics in Mexico, the first Olympics Ann attended.
Three CMC Members Share Their Olympic Experiences - Part I  

By Bobbi Powers 

Three CMC members have seen the Olympic Games as insiders. Ann Hendrickson and Keiko Merl were participants - yes, real Olympians! Lee Silver did not participate, but she was there in a way the rest of us could only dream about. Ann participated in two Olympics, 1968 and 1980 and almost participated in 1972 - in three different sports! Keiko was an alternate in the skiing competition, representing Japan at the Lake Placid Games in 1980. Lee, at age 15, was competing in gymnastics at the national level, but was too young (the rule has since been changed) to compete in the 1968 Mexico City Summer Olympic Games; however, her coach took the team to Mexico City for an Olympic experience.


Because of the wealth of fascinating information that Ann, Keiko, and Lee were willing to share, their perspectives will be aired in two parts.


This month Ann's story takes center stage. Stay tuned for the September eNews to learn about Keiko's and Lee's adventures at the Olympics.



Ann Hendrickson comes from a family whose motto is "Be the labor great or small, do it well or not at all." Starting gymnastics at age 7, with extended training beginning at age 9 in Colorado Springs, she specialized in balance beam. A teenage Ann went to the Mexico City Summer Games in 1968 in gymnastics. While in Mexico City she suffered a career-ending knee injury in practice.


Several knee surgeries later, she switched sports, using cycling to rehab her knee. She was good enough to spend summers on the European circuit, was doing well with her qualifying, and really wanted to become the first woman to participate in both winter and summer Games. However, she accepted a Fulbright scholarship instead and attended the Munich games as an observer. Of the massacre that occurred during the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, she said, "My heart ached for the world."


But Ann really REALLY wanted to participate in the Olympics. She took skating lessons as a child, and at age 10 discovered speed skating. (Many speed skaters are also world-class cyclists.) She spent much of her time in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Scandinavia - the longer and colder the winters the better! She was good, not fast enough to make the team in the sprint races, but still hoping to make the 1980 Winter Olympics team. Her coach had an "Aha" moment and said, "You are a flat-liner. Go for the distance." She did and made the 1980 Lake Placid Olympic Games team, skating 5,000 meters, the longest distance a female skates. She says, "I skate like I hike, not fast, but I can go all day!" Side note: the leg she stroked with was not the re-structured one.


Ann reflected on her Olympic experiences, saying, "I am amazed at how equipment and technology changed sports. I am also glad I competed before texting, tweeting and the internet. Far easier to write a letter home about your results than having the world pick it apart before you even get your skates unlaced! It was a personal challenge for me, and I'm glad to be an American."


Ann is still living her life at full speed. She and her husband Bill have finished the CMC South Beyond 6000 Challenge, as well as the Waterfall Challenge, and are working on the Fire Tower Challenge. They may be the first couple to complete three challenges! They are also avid trail maintainers on the Friday Crew. She and Bill will trek the Annapurna circuit in Nepal during the month of October after she spends 10 days in September hiking in the Tetons with a gal pal from 5th grade.


Full speed ahead, Ann! 

  AT danny and lenny
A.T. Memories
Section Hiking Trail Brings Couple To WNC
By Lenny Bernstein
Danny and I section-hiked the A.T. over 24 years. We didn't start out
planning to hike the whole A.T., but since I'm a compulsive record-keeper, I kept track of every mile we did. Our first goal was to hike all the 4000 foot mountains in New Hampshire. That also gave us 135 miles of the Trail.

Then we hiked the remaining 4000 foot mountains in New England and added a few more miles. Next we thought it would be cool to lead a series of hikes for our local New Jersey hiking club on the A.T. in New York and New Jersey. This added another 170 miles to our total. By 1991 we had completed 550 miles of the A.T. and we were hooked.

We knew we were going to hike the whole A.T., but we thought it would be our first retirement project. Then Danny came up with her motto, "Life's short, make time for adventure."  How could she have a motto like that and delay hiking the rest of the A.T.? So we made completing the A.T. a goal for our vacations and finished the Trail
in 1998.

Section hikers usually don't talk about hiking the A.T. as a life-changing
experience - we leave that for the thru-hikers - but the A.T. did change our lives. In 1997 we hiked most of North Carolina's section of the A.T., from Fontana Dam to U.S. 321. We were blown away by the scenery and how easy the Trail was compared to the rocky terrain we were used to hiking. We also discovered Asheville.

It all seemed like a hiker's paradise compared to where we were living in New Jersey. By 2000, we were ready to leave our big employers and set up our own businesses. We could live wherever we wanted, and quickly decided that Asheville was worth considering. We took an exploratory trip to confirm that it was as wonderful as we remembered, discovered CMC, and heard about all the other hiking in the area. We made two additional trips, found a house, and as they say - the rest is history.
A.T. Memories
CMC Maintainer Finds Himself In A Rattlesnake Den 
 By Bill Newton

Several years ago Terry Eld and I (Bill Newton) went to the section I maintained (Tanyard Gap to Hurricane Gap) at the time to do some trail maintenance. Weeds were waist high and very thick along the side trail we used to access the AT. As we neared the AT, we saw a path through the weeds which looked to be freshly used. Wondering what was going on there, we walked down the path and found a small pile of rocks where the path apparently ended.  


As I walked by the rock pile Terry shouted "Don't move"! I stopped immediately and asked Terry "Why"? He said "Snake"! I looked around and sure enough there was a large rattle snake about two feet to my left - but it was not one snake - there was two lying there. I decided the wise thing was to exit right - high weeks not withstanding. As I turned right to exit I discovered there was another large rattler there too! I was inside a rattle snake den!

The only way I could see where I was stepping was to exit the way I came in - along the path. I stood very still and observed the snakes for what seemed an hour - but likely was 30 seconds or so - and decided they were cold and sluggish. It was early on a cool morning and they were not moving well at the time. I slowly and very carefully eased my way back out the way I entered their den and escaped unharmed.
I no longer investigate side trails going through high weeds.
at map
A.T. Memories   

Hiking As A Gateway Drug  

By Stuart English

If you don't want to activate your body, wake up your mind, stimulate your senses;  

Make sure you don't hike.


If you don't want to meet people from all walks of life, all occupations, all nationalities, all economic backgrounds, and probably have some of these people become your friends;

Just don't hike.  


If you don't want to learn the physical geography of your area, the names of all the mountains as well as what they look like on top, where the streams and rivers go and what the water in them feels like on your feet;

You'd better not hike.


If you don't want to learn about all the trees, flowers, plants, mosses, lichens, mushrooms, insects, and animals;

Then hiking is probably not for you.  


If you don't want to learn all the back roads that go through places like Cruso, Springdale, Loafers Glory, Beuladean, Micaville, Walnut, Trust, Luck, Elk Park, Cranberry, and Minneapolis,  

Don't hike.  


If you don't want to get involved, start leading hikes, start maintaining trails, and accept all the personal satisfaction that involves;  

Don't start hiking.


If you don't to one day meet all the challenges, climb all the mountains, hike all the trails, see all the waterfalls and fire towers;

Don't go on that first hike.  


If you don't want to leave all your troubles and worries at home behind the door and let your world open up to become the splendid, spectacular place that it really is; then it's up to you.

Don't take that first step.

Members Needed To Give Insights Into Enhancing CMC Opportunities

 By Barbara Morgan  

Last month's Let's Go featured information about the club's membership committee.  Currently we have four members, me (Barbara Morgan, Chair), Becky Smucker (Volunteer Coordinator), Bruce Bente, and Lee Silver.  Thank you all for your support.


We'd like to actually begin working as a committee to enhance opportunities for CMC members through adding information to the website and facilitating members who want to volunteer for long or short-term roles to help the club in some way.


We're looking for two or three additional Membership Committee members who would be willing to contribute their insights on what is needed and how it can become a reality.  Meetings, initially, would be one or two per quarter, meeting somewhere in the Asheville area, for no more than an hour each.  After we get going, I think that one meeting per quarter would be sufficient.


Can you help?
  Please contact Barbara Morgan at or call

Annual Dinner Scheduled For Nov. 2 

By Various CMC Members 
Reserve Friday, Nov. 2, for the annual CMC dinner and meeting. It will be held again at the Pack's Tavern Century Room in Asheville. The cost is $30 per person. The social hour starts at 5:30 p.m. and the dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. Mark Wenger, executive director of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy will be our guest speaker.      
Tim Carrigan recently updated our Web Site to allow you to pay for the CMC Annual Dinner on-line with your credit card.  After logging on to the CMC Web Site, you will see a new tab on the right side of the page just above Renew Membership. 
Also it is time to show appreciation to CMC members who have rendered exceptional service to CMC. These awards are:

- CMC Distinguished Service Award,  an award for least 5 years of exemplary service to the CMC.

- CMC Award of Appreciation, an award for an exceptional one-time contribution to the CMC.


More details and a registration form to mail in membership dues and dinner payment and nominations will be included in the next Let's Go.

  • Rob Gudger and his wolves will be there.
    Rob Gudger and his wolves will be among the wildlife educators in downtown Asheville.
    Wild Things Weekend Scheduled For Sept. 1

    By Kayah Gaydish 
    WildSouth  will be holding the first annual Wild Things Weekend.   A unique family oriented event featuring live animal shows, award winning wildlife films, and a variety of exhibitors representing local businesses, environmental educators, and wildlife conservation organizations.   

    The event will be all day Saturday, Sept. 1, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Pack Place in Downtown Asheville and will be fun for the whole family.  A five dollar donation per person will give you access to presentations and films for the whole day. All proceeds will go to support Wild South's wildlife education initiatives delivering top quality environmental educators to area schools.  For details see:  

    Trail Building Day Scheduled For Saturday, Sept. 8
    By Les Love and Piet Bodenhorst
    Our next trail building day is less than 2 weeks away - Saturday, September 8.  We will meet at 8:30 at the Asheville Home Depot at exit 44 off I-40 (Enka Candler on hill behind McDonalds).  We will again be working at Dogged Gap, so the second meeting place will be at 9:15 at Soco Gap on the entrance ramp to the Parkway off Hwy 19 south of Maggie Valley going toward Cherokee.

    Please bring lunch, gloves, lots of water and Hazel Hoes, if you have them. We have lots of tools, if you don't have any.  The forecast for that day is sunny and not very hot, so it promises to be a good work day.  We're trying to complete the section in the middle here before winter, so please come out and help us reach our goal.
    Group Uses Hiking As A Chance For Youth To 'Rescript' Their Lives

    Photo And Story By Ashok Kudva

    During a scouting hike on July 24 Sawako, Chuck Rosen, Stuart and I met a group of people and several llamas at a meadow across from Mount Hardy.


    The group leader was George Appenzeller, who with his wife Sarah Meadows, both licensed social workers, established Challenge Adventures, a 501c(3) non-profit organization in 1989. For details visit .


    They provide therapeutic service to young people ages eight through sixteen with behavioral disorders, developmental disabilities and other diagnoses. We learned that using llamas as pack animals, trail companions and therapeutic assistants in a journey through remote Wilderness Areas provides isolation from the rest of life, builds bonds and a chance to 'rescript' one's life patterns. This is somewhat similar to the spiritual reward we gain from hiking and trail maintenance (without support from the llamas!). Youthhikingprograsm

    Author And Trustee To Speak
    Protecting Rocky Fork Tract, Preservation Efforts
    Article Subtitle
    Jay Leutze, author and Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy Trustee and Acquisition Specialist, will present a talk entitled, "Rocky Fork and Beyond:  Protecting Southern Appalachian Biodiversity-and Scenery-One Acre at a Time" on Tuesday, September 4, 2012 at 7 p.m. in Peterson Conference Center, Blackwell Hall, Mars Hill College.  The talk centers on the cooperative initiative to preserve the 10,000 acre Rocky Fork tract in East Tennessee, but it will also touch on other land preservation efforts, including those at the center of Leutze's new book, Stand Up That Mountain.  This talk is sponsored by the Liston B. Ramsey Center for Regional Studies at Mars Hill College.  For more information, see
    or contact Hannah Furgiuele at (828) 689-1571 or


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    In This Issue
    Sharon McCarthy Finishes SB6K
    CMC Olympians
    A.T. Leads Couple To WNC and CMC
    A.T. Leads Maintainer Into Snake Den
    A.T. Fills Prescription For Happiness
    Members Needed For Enhancing CMC Experience
    Annual Dinner
    Animals To Be In Downtown Asheville
    Trail Building Day Sept. 8
    Hiking Used To Help Youth
    Preservation Talk Scheduled



    Quick Links

    The Small Print

    The next issue will come out on Friday, September 28. Wednesday hike reports for the hike just before the eNews comes out will be published in the next eNews.

    Hiker leaders, please send all your eNews hike reports and photos to

    So send your news by Friday evening at 9 P.M. before the newsletter comes out, that is, by Friday evening September 21 to Kathy Kyle at Include your email address at the end of your story. Thank you.

    The CMC Calendar is meant to answer the perennial question "When is this happening again?" It is also meant to prevent conflicts between competing CMC events. Please check it often.

    Westgate parking - Park in the northernmost part of the lot - past EarthFare, in the last row of parking spaces.

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    If you are a non-member subscriber, you need to go back to the eNews and make the change yourself.