Three Macon County school teachers (Joan Lansford and Jae Crawford, of Franklin High School, and Shelley Marshall of Union Academy) and a Gear Up instructor (Mary Bennett) recently took classes on a four-mile round trip hike to Siler Bald.
The students were accompanied by Appalachian Trail (AT) thru hiker and AT female speed hiker record holder Jennifer Pharr Davis. Davis described highlights of her thru hike and what motivates her to continue long distance hiking as a profession. The Nantahala Hiking Club (NHC) provided hike leaders.
The three teachers recently completed a professional development program sponsored by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy that presents ways to integrate the AT with classroom curriculum (www.appalachiantrail.org). Davis recently published a book “Becoming Odyssa: Epic Adventures on the Appalachian Trail” describing her five-month odyssey along the AT (www.blueridgeco.com). The NHC maintains 60 miles of the AT (47 miles in Macon County), conducts outreach programs in local schools and leads hikes most every weekend (www.nantahalahikingclub.org).