Valley Trail…A Hiking Challenge That Almost Turned Bad!
For Thom Reeder hiking 100 miles seemed to be a good, simple goal that would help him keep fit and in touch with all that nature has to offer. Having survived for more than eight years of serving in the US Navy, one would think that a few short hikes would not be the type of activity that would nearly take his life. For the harrowing details of that hiking story and to get to know the man behind one of Pennsylvania’s best hiking websites please read on…
How and where were you introduced to the outdoors?
I was in the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts when I was younger. As a Cub Scout we would go out during the day to County Parks or Community parks and learn about nature. As a Boy Scout the weekend camping trips and hikes were always something to look forward to.
What has been your favourite outdoor recreations area?
The State Parks, no matter which one I go to. There always seems to be a wonderful “magic” no matter if it’s my first time or my third or fourth.
Please share an outdoor story related to one of the above areas.
I one of my trips to Ohiopyle State park, Pa. I had decided to spend more time at one of the small waterfalls I had found the previous year.
I went to the intersection of Jonathan Run Trail and Kentuck Trail and followed a small trail down to the stream where the falls are. I took my pictures, packed the cameras, took off my shoes and pulled up my pants legs and waded through the shallow waters between the two falls. It wasn’t enough.
I walked over to the upstream falls and walked beneath it and got soaked…I was happy now. I sat there for over an hour soaked and content.
Have you ever experienced a wilderness medical emergency or been lost in the wilderness? If so please describe this adventure and any lessons learned.
*Valley Trail…A Challenge That Almost Turned Bad” : http://www.backtohiking.com/?p=1191
Can you share any unique encounters with wild animals?
While I was Raccoon State Park I had left my camp to start hiking and just as I got onto Beach Trail I heard a rustling to my left.
I froze, looked in that direction and it was a doe. I slowly reached for my camera as I watched her move slowly to the trail. About five or so minutes passed as she got closer to the trail I had tried shooting a few pictures to see if she would spook, she didn’t. I slowly moved down the trail to see if I could get close to the spot she would enter the trail. She would look up and I would freeze then she would continue to feed and move.
By the time she got on the trail I was about 30 feet away, I began shooting pictures like there was no tomorrow. She slowly moved off to the right and into the woods. I packed my camera, took a deep breath and headed down the trail with a smile. By the way…the picture is in the gallery on my site.
If not previously mentioned, have you ever completed a thru-hike or multi-day backpacking trip and what nuggets of wisdom did you glean from it?
I haven’t had the time, because of work, for any thru-hikes or multi-days, I usually set up a camp and backpack the area as much as possible. I am making plans for the “Pennsylvania Grand Canyon” (Pine Creek Gorge, Tioga County Pa.), if not in 2010 then 2011.
What is your favourite outdoor website?
Locally: Pittsburgh Outdoor Recreation Examiner (Jason Elliot): http://www.examiner.com/x-7632-Pittsburgh-Outdoor-Recreation-Examiner
Of Course, Tracks And Trails for a larger look at hiking and recreation.
What is your favourite outdoor hiking gear store?
If you are a website administrator please add your url here.
BackToHiking.com : http://www.backtohiking.com/