THE DIRT

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Photo Courtesy of Compass Points Media

A man who had been on the FBI’s most wanted list for several years was detained at Trail Days in Damascus, Virginia last Saturday. James T. Hammes, 53, who was known to thru-hikers by his trail name Bismarck, has been wanted by the FBI since 2006 for allegedly embezzling more than $8 million. For the last six years Hammes has been avoiding federal authorities by spending his days hiking on America’s most famous footpath. Authorities were tipped off about Hammes’ whereabouts when a Mississippi resident who had previously hiked on the AT with Hammes recognized him on an episode of American Greed. Read more.

Originally from Germany, Niki Rellon has always led an active lifestyle, teaching ski lessons in Colorado and thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in 2006. But when she lost her leg in a tragic repelling accident in Utah, Rellon’s way of life came to screeching halt.  “I broke my pelvis, my spine, shredded my entire left foot. It was so damaged we had to amputate,” she told WCYB of Virginia. As a way to cope with the perils of life with one leg and stave off what some would consider inevitable depression, Rellon, a former professional boxer, is attempting a thru-hike of the AT. If she completes the hike, she will will be the first female amputee to ever do so. Learn more.

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