As in past years, the Maine Chapter IAT/SIA hosted the Annual Winter Social of the Maine Appalachian Trail Club (MATC) at the First Baptist Church in Freeport last Saturday. About 75 MATC members attended the event. The National Geographic Channel special on the Appalachian Trail was shown by member Bruce Grant. The one hour program was a great description of the AT and how it is managed, with some great landscape pictures interspersed with many interviews with hikers. It was too bad that the producers never interviewed any of the ATC leaders, or National Park Service people, to describe how those organizations organize, finance and oversee the management and policy issues.
The pot-luck dinner resulted in lots of great food, including Dick Anderson’s annual surf clam chowder which had a large amount of clams this year. Walter Anderson and Dick were introduced by new MATC President, Lester Kenway. Dick and Walter combined to show the new IATNL, Newfoundland and Labrador CD, which really got the audience excited about a trip to that area. Dick and Walter then showed pictures and described the new 30 mile section of the IAT/SIA in Maine. Those present were mostly not familiar with the area East-of-Baxter and several said they planned to put that section of trail in their hiking plans for 2010.
As usual, lots of IAT/SIA printed material was available and most of it was picked up by attendees.
Walter did his usual great job of correcting Dick when he made mistakes in describing geological situations and taking great pictures.

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