Friday, December 16, 2016

AT Museum Volunteer Newsletter - December 2016

December 2016
Brought to you by Nathaniel "Angry Bird" Shank, Appalachian Trail Museum Manager.

Thank you everyone for the warm welcome that I have been given as I take on this new challenge at the museum! This year has been blessing after blessing and I am excited to take on this new adventure. I can only hope that you all are as excited as I am.

For those of you who have not had the opportunity to meet me, click on: MEET NATHANIEL SHANK, A. T. MUSEUM MANAGER

My pack and Angry Bird hanging out for the ride

Special Openings and Closing for Season
     After closing the museum for the season we still managed to open our doors to a few hikers and groups. Our approximate visitor attendance for the month of November was 44 including one thru hiker! 

'present' found in the docent desk
It's not that cold!


Volunteer Recognition Dinner
On November 20th, the Volunteer Recognition Dinner was held at the Ironmaster's Mansion. At the dinner we discussed this seasons success, new ideas for exhibits at the museum, the historical route of the AT and shared stories from this years docents and volunteers. 

For more information on the dinner, click on: Volunteer Recognition Dinner

Here are some more photos from the dinner:
JACK ADAMS received the Presidents Award
ED RIGGS received the Volunteer Of The Year
TOM JOHNSON (P.A.T.C.)  talks about the Historical Route of the Appalachian Trail.

Exhibit Committees 
     In January/February we at the museum would like to have a meeting or two about the expansion of the exhibits on the second floor. If you would like to be involved with the creating of exhibits or have some great ideas or even just want to sit in on a meeting, please send an email to

My favorite artifact on display
My second favorite artifact on display

Become A Hiker Card 

                                                             All A.T. Section & Thru Hikers 
     As a part of the new children's mini walk of the Trail, we are creating cards for children to pick up as they enter the basement. The cards will contain a picture of a thru or section hiker and information about their hike. These cards will be available at the entrance to the children’s mini-hike exhibit for children to pick up and BECOME YOU as they take a mini-walk of the A.T.  

For the Become A Hiker Form send me an email at

If you have not yet completed the entire A.T., pass this on to someone who has and invite them to submit a form & photo(s). We’d love to feature children hikers as well.

(To be considered for the 2017 museum season, forms & photo(s) must be returned by January 15.  We will  begin creating 2017 hiker cards with the first 10 forms returned.)


Exploring New Trails
     Approximately 70 miles of shared-use trails exist throughout the Michaux State Forest and the immediate surrounding area. According to the Michaux regulations horses and mountain bikes may be ridden on nearly all state forest roads and trails except the Appalachian Trail, Rocky Knob Trail, Beaver Trail and Buck Ridge Trail. 

Maps can be found at: Michaux State Forest

Blueberry Trail one mile south of museum along 233

Blueberry Trail is definitely an appropriate name for this route! Too bad I was late for the season :(

Angry Bird Trail Stories
     While on the Appalachian Trail I had the privilege of meeting Baltimore Jack along with Bob Peoples at the Kincora Hostel in Hampton, Tennessee. After some humorous conversation about a can of "opossum meat" that had gone missing, and Bob Peoples' cats and a raccoon in which Bob had named, Baltimore Jack told me a story of when he was hiking along the trail and came across another hiker who was hiking with his cat. After Jack had hiked passed the fellow hiker and his cat companion he decided to leave cans of "cat trail magic" at the shelters. Well, on one of these town runs that he had been purchasing trail magic for this cat, another shopper happened to oversee Jack packing away the cans of food. Jack described to me the joy he had on his face as he resupplied his pack. Then the overseeing good Samaritan (most likely showing dread on his face) handed Jack a twenty dollar bill saying, "nobody has to live like that." Not knowing how to explain his situation without sounding crazy Jack reluctantly accepted the twenty dollars. His words to me where, "how do you explain that you are leaving trail magic for a cat to a person who is probably unfamiliar with the trail without sounding completely insane?" 

Climbing the peak of Germany:

Ascending the Austrian side of Zugspitze

The pass crossing into Germany

Zugspitze at last!


Things Coming Down The Trail
January/February - Exhibit Committee Meeting
March 25th - Opening Day

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