Outdoor Journal

Hilarity along the trail: Jeff Alt, author of A Walk For Sunshine (Dreams Shared Publications, 2000), will tell what it’s like to live in the woods for six months. He’ll do it through music, slides and personal narration on Saturday, June 23, at the Blue Ridge Parkway’s Waterrock Knob visitors’ center. The event begins at 1 p.m.

During Alt’s 2,160 mile journey along the Appalachian Trail, he managed to sleep with a skunk, get assigned the name “Wrongfoot” by his fellow hikers, save a dog from drowning, get chased by a bull and lose 30 pounds. For more information about the event, call 298-0495. Visit www.jeffalt.com for more about the author.

Go Katie, go!: Local kayaker Katie Hilleke is a monster paddler, fearless when it comes to stretches of the Green River that give most sane people pause.

She’s also a survivor. Last summer at the tender age of 26, Hilleke learned that she had colon cancer. After a year spent fighting the disease with chemotherapy, Hilleke’s cancer is in remission and she’s back on the water, raising funds to help other young people beat back cancer’s ravages. This summer she’ll be out West paddling some big water, and accepting pledges on a mile-to-mile basis. Visit expeditionettes.blogspot.com to learn more about Hilleke’s travels and her personal cause.

Pitch in, velohead: The Blue Ridge Parkway is trashed and it’s not getting better on its own. Thanks largely to increased commuter traffic, the beloved road’s busiest spots are suffering a surfeit of McDonald’s cups, Phillies Blunt wrappers and six-pack rings. If you want to give back, consider helping out with weekly cleanups along the parkway organized by the nonprofit Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway. E-mail staff@friendsbrp.org or call 1-800-228-7275.

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