Your outdoor news bulletin for May 16, the day Japanese mountaineer Junko Tabei became the first woman in history to reach the summit of Everest, causing all male mountaineers to feel bad about themselves:
Overcoming the Odds
A couple of inspirational stories in today’s Dirt.
First, comes the profile of Josh Williams from the Roanoke Times. Williams served 13 months in Iraq after joining the Army out of high school. Upon returning to the states relatively unscathed by the experience in 2006, he was struck by a car while riding his motorcycle to guard duty at Fort Hood in Texas. He lost his right arm in the accident and was sent to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for rehab and recovery. Part of that recovery included getting involved in Project Healing Waters, a program we have covered in the magazine in the past. What’s unique about Williams’ story is how far PHW has taken him; well beyond just mental and physical recovery, Williams is now making a living from fly fishing. He has two fly patterns, Josh’s White Lightning and Josh’s Wiggle Hellgrammite, for sale at Orvis – he receives royalties – and through his new venture Dead Drift Flies, which also offers guiding and apparel.
The second story is that of Terry Tinnell, who made it to the top of Georgia’s Mount LeConte and to the Mount LeConte Lodge in a wheelchair. Using a specialized chair, and with the help of family, friends, and Cocoa the guide dog, Tinnell, a native of Atlanta, Ga. celebrated his birthday at the top of the mountain Wednesday. He is the only known person to reach the lodge, which sits at 6,400 feet, via wheelchair.
Both these outdoors enthusiasts should be an inspiration to us all and a reminder that anything is possible when you set your mind on it.
Asheville loses informal, unscientific, reader driven poll as Beer City USA to Grand Rapids, Michigan following a four year run as the top dog. Comments on the story range from “Eh” to “Whatever” to “Who Cares.” It’s obvious Asheville, N.C. has become too cool for polls and will let the beer and the beer economy do the talking from now on.
Are over-hopped beers ruining the craft beer industry? That is the hypothesis posited by Adrienne So of Slate.com, the lede of which is “The craft beer industry’s love affair with hops is alienating people who don’t like bitter brews.” Well, I’m not sure about the reasoning here but I will give So props for using the term “watered-down horse piss” in the article.
Charlottesville Bike Week in full swing.
Richmond Area Bicycling Association (RABA) has launched a grants program to support bicycle related programs, events, and projects.
If you are a doping amateur cyclist, do yourself a favor and don’t enter the Gran Fondo New York. Organizers are spending $15,000 on drug tests to deter dopers from competing int he 105-mile event.
New A.T. Trail Town
Luray, Va. and Page County are the latest county and town to be designated as an Appalachian Trail Community by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.