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Programming Note: National Geographic Channel Explores the Appalachian Trail Tonight


Sorry for the late programming note, but just got word that the National Geographic Channel will explore the Appalachian National Scenic Trail tonight.

The show's promo says:

Much of the Appalachian Trail is close to major populations - so how wild can it be? We will travel from South to North and explore the remotest corners of the A.T. and meet the scientists fighting to keep this wilderness wild. Join National Geographic on a rollercoaster ride of agonizing ascents and rewarding vistas -- all courtesy of mountains roughly 480 million years in the making.. Well explore this 5 million step journey through the five distinct regions of the AT landscape and learn what it takes to keep this ribbon of green safe, healthy, and totally wild.

Here's a snippet:

And here are some AT factoids from the folks at National Geographic:

Around four million people hike some segment of the trail each year. Whether or not you've made tracks there, you can still get an inside look at this American Treasure.

* There are around 260 trail shelters on the Appalachian Trail.
* The longest footbridge on the Appalachian Trail is the James River Foot Bridge located in Virginia. The total length is 623 feet.
* The Appalachian Trail is the longest marked trail in the country, at around 2,175 miles.
* The lowest point on the trail is 124 feet and the highest point is 6,625 feet.
* Over 10,000 people have hiked the trail in its entirety.
* The Appalachian Trail is marked by over one hundred and sixty thousand signature white blazes.
* Over 6,000 volunteers put in some 200,000 hours of time into maintaining the Appalachian Trail each year.
* Katahdin comes from a Native American word meaning “Main Mountain.”
* The Appalachian Mountains are amongst the world’s oldest mountains.
* Emma “Grandma” Gatewood was the first woman to complete a continuous hike of the entire trail in 1955.
* Earl Shaffer was the first to hike the trail in one trek.

Check your local listings for times.


I hope they're not planning on interviewing Mark Sanford.

A little disappointing, 1 hour isn't enough.

And they kinda skirted around what actually hiking the trail is like, I thought. Nothing about long slogs through mud, rain, or mosquitoes, the blisters, the lost toenails, the poison ivy, the supply drops. And unless my hearing is worse than I thought, nothing at all on Benton McKaye, the father of the AT!

The segments on acid rain, photographing critters, Lyme disease, and peregrine falcons were interesting, but perhaps could have been better placed in a separate show about environmental concerns.

While I was dang impressed with the 70-year-old thru-hiker, do you think he had that bounce in his stride the entire 2,175 miles?

Man that show last was awesome. I do wish it would have been more than a hour though. I wanted more from thru hikers. It was pretty good. Next time make it make it longer.

Well if you think 70 years old is impressive, they you would be suprised that my naighbors uncle (78) just did the entire thing last year in 5 and a half months. He's done it 3 times now during his lifetime. He is also doing one in florida now that starts in the Keyes.

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