Hiking the State on a Wednesday Night
Seven was more than a number last night at Hike the State.
Two hundred and twenty-seven hikers joined WTA for a bit of seven minute speed hiking. Our second annual Hike the State event featured seven hiking experts who talked for seven minutes about a specific region of the state. They did this seven times, to allow for smaller groups. And each hiker walked away with seven handouts detailing the hikes they just heard about.
Mountaineers Books guidebook authors Tami Asars and Craig Romano gave previews of hikes that will be in their upcoming books. Tami, whose Hiking the Wonderland Trail will be published this fall, spoke about three hikes in Mount Rainier National Park. Craig expounded upon the little-known Blue Mountains of Southeast Washington. His book, Day Hiking Eastern Washington, which he is co-authoring with Rich Landers, is due out in January.
The event also featured the hiking duo of Jer and Nathan Barnes, better known as hikingwithmybrother.com, who let folks in on a few lesser known gems around Puget Sound. Dawn Erickson, recently retired trails specialist for the Darrington Ranger District, shared her love of the Mountain Loop. Shane Farnor of the National Parks Conservation Association did the same for Olympic National Park. And WTA staff members Eli Boschetto and Karen Daubert spoke to great hiking in the Columbia River Gorge and Mazamas.
There was certainly a buzz in the room as hikers listened to each seven minute talk. "Even though I've hiked in Washington for over 40 years, I learned some new hikes," commented Judy W. of Seattle. Member Stephanie S. said that "the experts who were selected to participate were amazing." And Cathy S. "loved the enthusiasm. It makes me want to leave right now."
At WTA, we love this event too and are looking into ways to make it even better next year - from adding capacity for more participants to better acoustics. One thing shined through very clearly: there are many people quite passionate about hiking. And that is a very good thing. See you next year!