On July 7, 2022, at the independent living community of 75 State Street in Portland, a group of people gathered to see author Jeffrey Ryan give a presentation on his recent hike of half of the International Appalachian Trail. The presentation was well attended by residents, staff, and friends and was a great introduction to some Maine IAT history.
Jeff began the presentation with a short talk on many of the long trails in the United States, as well as a history lesson on the Appalachian Trail. Jeff and his hiking friend Wayne finished their 28 year Appalachian Trail adventure in 2013, and went on to hike many other long trails in the region. As the presentation continued, Jeff introduced Dick Anderson, who was in attendance, and talked about the history of the International Appalachian Trail. A short video of this part of the presentation can be found on our new YouTube channel at this link: Jeff Ryan Presentation.
Dick gave a short introduction on the geological history of the International Appalachian Trail and then Jeff showed his wonderful selection of photos from his hike. He started his hike at the Canadian border, and had some great photos of the beaver dam flooded section of the trail which will be rerouted in the next week.
When it came to the Mars Hill section of the trail, Dick gave a little history on that part of the trail. And an interesting tidbit… this trail is the only trail through a designated windfarm in Maine! If you are interested in checking out this portion of the IAT, won’t you join us in October for one of our sponsored hikes? There is still availability for space! Find the details and sign up here: Sponsored Hikes
While some of the trail in this area is road walking, Jeff said that in 9,000 miles of hiking, this was his favorite road walk yet. There was little traffic, and there were gorgeous views. In addition, it was early in the potato planting season, and while things weren’t especially green, the planting on that scale is not something one sees every day! He also had some great encounters with wildlife, including a bear (always fun to see from afar).
Wayne and Jeff finished their hike in Oakfield, where they got a Cyr Bus back to their cars in Presque Isle. In the fall they are planning to finish the second half of the hike. You can read his write up on the trip (and see a great bear video) at Jeff’s website.
After the presentation, he talked a bit about his upcoming book, This Land Was Saved for You and Me, which is available for preorder now. Jeff also answered questions from the audience and kindly posed for a picture with Dick and Amy. We are looking forward to hearing about the next half of the hike, Jeff!