“SIERRA” and the Pacific Crest Trail

sierra-launch  sierra-launch0   sierra-launch-1

Last October, I launched my newest AWOL thriller, SIERRA, which takes place along the Pacific Crest Trail. Right now many hikers are preparing for a long-distance hike, and I’m taking this opportunity to reach out to the backpacking and outdoor community.

My hike of the PCT was completed in 2008, and I will never forget the awe-inspiring beauty of this magnificent hiking trail. As many of you know, the PCT is contiguous with some of the John Muir Trail and goes from one end of Yosemite to the other. In other posts, I’ve shown some of my pictures.

While Sierra is a thriller and has the typical violence of drug cartels, it is fiction; I saw none of that out there. My novel should in no way impede you from planning this awesome hike. Having said that, it is always wise to stay alert in the wilds. We all know about the things that can happen near the Mexican border. What you may not realize is the lack of security at the Canadian border. I hope fellow hikers and general readers will check out Sierra. It’s sold at Barnes & Noble and is available at independent bookstores.

If you click on the link here, you have many options. Thank you!      http://www.turnerpublishing.com/books/detail/sierra

Available October 2016

Available now.

Advertisements

“THE TRAIL” novel

TheTrail_designsB1 for Patriot Ledger

Permit me a post on my hiking novel, The Trail, a thriller which takes place along the Appalachian Trail. As some of you know, I conceived this novel while thru-hiking the A.T. using the trail name Hamlet. I used my journals and in this novel take the reader from GA to ME.

My book is not just another walk in the woods! And I didn’t encounter anything like the evil I wrote about therein. I had a wonderful experience and returned with a positive outlook on humanity in general and on our young people in particular. However, it is always wise to stay alert in the wilds, and I urge women to not hike alone.

This is the time of year hikers prepare for a long-distance hike so, I’m reaching out to the hiking/adventure community. The Trail is available at any bookstore and on Amazon-as a traditional book or as an ebook. Check it out on my website below.  I’d love to hear your comments about my story. Thank you, and happy trails!

12004009_10207978140554153_6055922694178555459_n(1)        http://www.RayKAnderson.com

Packing Out Trash

Take a look at this: http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/walking-the-appalachian-pacific-crest-trail-hiking-picking-up-trash-litter-rubbish-packing-it-out-a7477931.html

These two hikers are doing a tremendous service. With all the turmoil in our world, it is good to see two members of the hiking community doing something decent and positive.

During my long-distance hikes, I’ve picked up some trail-side and campsite trash, but honestly admit that I ignore most of it. I’ll try to do better. Wouldn’t it be nice if all hikers packed out their own trash? That’s what hikers and campers should do. Every time. All the time.

Hats off to hikers Seth Orme and Paul Twedt.

trail shelter Vermont

The Long Trail–Vermont

blog AT

The Appalachian Trail: Is it getting too crowded?

Hiking the A.T.

Mt. Katahdin-Maine

Now is the time when many hikers are planning a thru-hike of the A.T. It’s a heady experience, but I’m reminded of this newspaper article about hikers  overcrowding the Appalachian Trail  I’ve been hearing a lot about this in recent years and, in the south, in spring, it appears to be true. Young people like to socialize and, more than any other long-distance trail in the US, the Appalachian is the trail to meet others and make new friends.

When I thru-hiked the A.T. in 2003, it was crowded then, I thought. The shelters up to Damascus, VA were nearly always full. And many hikers, especially in Georgia and North Carolina, would set up under overhanging roofs to the sides and even in front of shelters. I can remember being in one shelter where we were packed inside like sardines. After that night, I tented, unless I was fortunate enough to arrive early and get a spot next to a wall where I could hang a few things and get a bit more privacy.

So, I can imagine how crowded it must be now. Added to this, the article tells of large gathered groups of hikers summiting Mt. Katahdin en masse, the northern terminus in Baxter State Park. The hikers stray outside the trail corridor into sensitive habitat. I’m sure this is happening on other parts of the trail. I’ve been hearing accounts of more litter simply left by hikers on the A.T. and, sadly, of larger groups drinking to excess and using recreational drugs.

I’m not sure what the answer is to this increased usage of the A.T. The article speaks to the issues and poses a few possible solutions. I’ll leave it at that.

at stone plaque

Re-Thinking The Triple Crown

Begininning of Appalachian Trail--Georgia

Appalachian Trail marker–Georgia

Yosemite Maintenance on the Pacific Crest Trail

Yosemite Maintenance on the Pacific Crest Trail

Deming,NM3May09043

CDT New Mexico

If you are a long-distance hiker, you are probably aware of hiking’s triple crown. The triple crown comprises the Appalachian, the Pacific Crest trail, and the Continental Divide Trail.

I tried to become a triple crowner, but the CDT took me out. I went alone in my late sixties after having completed the other two legs–the AT and the PCT. I had no idea, even after reading about it, that the navigation would be so trying. I don’t like using a GPS when I hike, but I should have brought one with me. I got lost a lot. When not lost, I had to take compass bearings and consult my maps continually.

I started in the boot heel of New Mexico, at the border near Antelope Wells. It was mid May. It was hot and water was scarce. By the  time I finished New Mexico, I was well behind in my expectations and knew I would have trouble finishing if I didn’t step up the pace. I wasn’t able too. I did Colorado but had to skip a lot in Wyoming, and I did little in Montana. By that time, it was too cold and snowy for me, and I got out.

I have great memories of the CDT. New Mexico was neat and Colorado was impressive–especially Rocky Mountain National Park. If I had it to do over again, in my quest for a triple crown I would do three things: Bring a GPS for the CDT and the PCT, hike with a friend on the CDT at least. Two heads are better than one and tasks can be shared. Finally, I would do the CDT after the AT and save the PCT (for me, the easiest and most scenic) for last.

Carry on fellow hikers!

Hiker accomplishes Triple Crown in one Year!

http://billingsgazette.com/lifestyles/recreation/oregon-hiker-completes-triple-crown-appalachian-pacific-crest-and-continental/article_b99b1191-0d17-59a2-8452-0220ae92aa51.html

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1209285419150845&set=a.476176489128412.1073741826.100002081965528&type=3&theater

Yet again, a hiker has thru-hiked all three trails of the triple crown in one year. Jeff Garmire, of Vancouver, Oregon, has just completed the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, and the Continental Divide Trail, all in 2016. That’s a total of almost 8000 miles! So far as I know, only three or four other hikers have accomplished this amazing feat.

How it is possible to hike every foot of these three trails in one year is beyond me–I could never do it. Being young helps, of course, but a lot of luck is involved. Snow, ice, (that’s Randy Rebo Berton at Kearsarge Pass on the PCT) forest fires, sickness, injury, are just some of the factors here. The biggest factor, I think, is the motivation to press on.

Congratulations, Mr. Garmire! And, hats off to all others who have accomplished hiking’s triple crown in any time frame.

Canyoneering

canyoning

http://ychikingclass.wordpress.com/canyoneering/

I’ve been hearing more and more about canyoneering. If you click above, you will see some exciting pictures, compliments of Verde Valley Hikers.

One of the definitions of canyoneering is: The sport of exploring canyons by rafting, rappelling, and waterfall jumping. I would also add hiking, for how else do you get to these isolated canyons? To me it all sounds a bit dangerous, especially the waterfall jumping. But if you have good information and good maps and have several experienced outdoors-people with you, I’m sure this sport must be exciting.

In Europe, the “intense sport of canyoneering” is known as the “extreme game” with the added activities of climbing, scrambling, and swimming.

Here are several websites providing more information and pictures. Happy trails!

http://www.zionadventures.com/zion-park-tours/trips/

http://www.canyoneering.net/

http://www.thecenterfocus.com/canyoneering.html

 

 

“SIERRA” and the Pacific Crest Trail

sierra-launch  sierra-launch0   sierra-launch-1

On Wednesday, October 26, I launched my newest AWOL thriller, SIERRA. The pictures above are from the event, which took place at the Hingham Public Library, with Buttonwood Books. Thank you if you were one of the 65 people attending. It was a great evening as I quizzed the group, gave out PCT prizes, showed slides from my actual Pacific Crest Trail hike, took questions, and read a brief excerpt from my novel.

My hike of the PCT was completed in 2008, and I will never forget the awe-inspiring beauty of this magnificent hiking trail. As many of you know, the PCT is contiguous with some of the John Muir Trail and goes from one end of Yosemite to the other. In other posts, I’ve shown some of my pictures.

While Sierra is a thriller and has the typical violence of drug cartels, it is fiction; I saw none of it out there. My novel should in no way impede you from planning this mighty hike. Having said that, it is always wise to stay alert in the wilds. We all know about the things that can happen near the Mexican border. What you may not realize is the lack of security at the Canadian border. I hope fellow hikers and general readers will check out Sierra. It’s available from any bookstore and is also available from Amazon, in book or Kindle format.

If you click on the link here, you have many options. Thank you!      http://www.turnerpublishing.com/books/detail/sierra

Available October 2016

Available now.

My Second Hiking Thriller–Mayhem along the Pacific Crest Trail

Available October 2016

Awol thriller-Available Oct 2016

This blog is about hiking, so it makes sense to me to introduce you to my newest Awol hiking thriller, Sierra. But first, I should back up a bit and tell you how these novels all started.

How does a retired Coca-Cola salesman living a quiet life near Boston, Massachusetts become an author of thrillers?  It all started in 2003 when I hiked the Appalachian Trail after taking an early retirement at age 60.  As I walked alone one day, I began to wonder “what if…?” and conjured up a serial killer loose on the trail, stalking other hikers. He collides with a Gulf War vet with PTSD who calls himself  “AWOL.”  That scenario became The Trail, my first novel published last year by Turner Publishing.  It’s doing well and has made Boston’s South Shore top-ten fiction listings several times.

This month, Sierra, the second novel in the series, releases. Sierra pits “Awol” against a drug cartel on the Pacific Crest Trail – which I’ve also hiked. I’m now working on the third novel in the series, set on the Continental Divide Trail. And I’m still hiking.

I hope my blog followers will check out Sierra. It’s available (as is The Trail) from bookstores as well as Amazon and other outlets. I’d love to hear from you about the novel. Thank you, and happy trails!

UntitledMA31117610-0015TheTrailcover4-30-15

My Second Hiking Thriller–Mayhem along the Pacific Crest Trail

Available October 2016

Awol thriller-Available Oct 2016

This blog is about hiking, so it makes sense to me to introduce you to my newest Awol hiking thriller, Sierra. But first, I should back up a bit and tell you how these novels all started.

How does a retired Coca-Cola salesman living a quiet life near Boston, Massachusetts become an author of thrillers?  It all started in 2003 when I hiked the Appalachian Trail after taking an early retirement at age 60.  As I walked alone one day, I began to wonder “what if…?” and conjured up a serial killer loose on the trail, stalking other hikers. He collides with a Gulf War vet with PTSD who calls himself  “AWOL.”  That scenario became The Trail, my first novel published last year by Turner Publishing.  It’s doing well and has made Boston’s South Shore top-ten fiction listings several times.

This month, Sierra, the second novel in the series, releases. Sierra pits “Awol” against a drug cartel on the Pacific Crest Trail – which I’ve also hiked. I’m now working on the third novel in the series, set on the Continental Divide Trail. And I’m still hiking.

I hope my blog followers will check out Sierra. It’s available (as is The Trail) from bookstores as well as Amazon and other outlets. I’d love to hear from you about the novel. Thank you, and happy trails!

UntitledMA31117610-0015TheTrailcover4-30-15