Quick Hits: July 2018

By Jed Ferris & Rachel Hicks

L.L. Bean Pays Employees To Relay Thru-Hike The A.T.

Maine-based outdoor retailer L.L. Bean is sending 86 lucky employees on a summer adventure—a relay thru-hike of the entire Appalachian Trail. Moving north along the trail in pairs, the employees are currently hiking the 2,200-mile footpath to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System.

Climber Survives 50-Foot Fall In Red River Gorge

During a May climbing trip in Kentucky’s Red River Gorge, 26-year-old Seamus Hehir fell 50 feet, the equivalent of a five-story building, from a crag after a gear malfunction. “As I was falling, I fell outward across this boulder,” he told WBBM-TV. “I kind of glanced it off my back and grazed the back of my head as I flipped around the boulder.” Hehir sustained a fractured neck and back, but he’s recovering after surgeons put two titanium rods in his spine. Friends and fellow climbers have raised close to $45,000 for his expenses.

Must Read – The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with the Outdoors

“In me, there is the red of miry clay, the brown of spring floods, the gold of ripening tobacco. All of these hues are me; I am, in the deepest sense, colored,” writes J. Drew Lanham in his powerful memoir The Home Place. Born and raised in South Carolina, and now a professor at Clemson University, Lanham candidly confronts race in the outdoors, especially in the South, through the lens of his own deeply personal, improbable, and inspiring journey.

Rollerblading Across America—Without money

Yanise Ho is rollerblading across America, without a penny in her pocket, to restore trust in humanity. She relies on strangers to provide food and shelter. So far, she has traveled from Miami to Virginia in 71 days, and plans to continue up the East Coast to New York. Not one night has Ho gone hungry or without a roof over her head. Ho is also raising money to send young girls to school in Africa. Says Ho, “Trust is hard to come by these days, but if you go looking for it, it’s still out there.”

The Easiest Race Ever

A road race that organizers described as a “very fun, tongue-in-cheek event that will lampoon the typical 5K” took place near San Antonio, Texas, in May. The sold-out event, dubbed “The Running Event for the Rest of Us,” was held between two local breweries, and participants were given free beer at both the start and finish of the 546-yard course. All finishers also received a “pretentious oval Euro-style 0.5k sticker that you can attach to your rear windshield to show everyone what a badass you are.” The race also raised over $30,000 for Blessings in a Backpack, a nonprofit that provides school children with access to food on the weekends.

Blankenship Will Run as Third-Party Senate Candidate

Coal baron and ex-convict Don Blankenship will run as a third-party candidate for the West Virginia Senate Seat after losing his bid for the Republican Senate nomination. If elected as the Constitution Party’s nominee, Blankenship promises to bring back mining jobs to West Virginia and boost the state’s per capita income—currently it’s 48th in the nation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, mining employed less than 3 percent of West Virginians in April.

Sign Hackers Have Harsh Words for North Carolina Cyclists

In an incident of electronic road-sign hacking, harsh words were targeted towards cyclists ahead of the Ironman 70.3 Raleigh. A week before the June 3 race, signs along the triathlon’s cycling route displayed the messages: “Expect delays. A**holes on bikes,” and “Right lane closed due to idiots on bikes.” North Carolina Department of Transportation claimed to be investigating the situation, but also said the signs belonged to the race organizers, not the state or any of its contractors.

“As we enter a new era for our organization, it is important that all youth can see themselves in Scouting in every way possible.”

—Michael Surbaugh, Chief Executive of the Boy Scouts of America, in an announcement in early May that the Boy Scouts will be renamed Scouts BSA in February 2019. The name change, which comes after 108 years, will be implemented to coincide with the organization’s new more-inclusive membership policy that allows girls to join and become Scouts. The name change has strained relations with the Girl Scouts of America, with whom they are now competing for members.

Parkersburg to Pittsburgh

238 miles of the proposed Parkersburg to Pittsburgh (P2P) Rail-Trail. Close to 80 percent of the project is completed. The P2P is part of the Industrial Heartland Coalition’s plan to create the largest shared-use trail system in North America—a 1,500-mile network that covers 51 counties in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New York.

Costumed Runner Completes Marathon in All 50 States

Charlotte Corriher, a North Carolina native, dressed like a lobster for her 26.2-mile effort in Maine and looked like a volcano for a marathon in Hawaii. In April, Corriher completed her 50th and final marathon in all 50 states by running the Marathon in the Land of Oz in Olathe, Kansas. Corriher changed into six different costumes throughout the race and crossed the finish line as Dorothy.

Places to Go, Things to See: