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Davis shares hiking stories in Tales from the Trails


Local hiker Barbara Davis looks over a copy of Tales from the Trails, her new
312-page book about her hiking adventures in Great Smoky Mountains
National Park.
Published: 8:45 AM, 09/13/2011 Last updated: 8:45 AM, 09/13/2011

Author: Duay O'Neil
Source: The Newport Plain Talk

NEWPORT-"I was sore!" recalled Barbara Davis last week of her first hike to Mt. Cammerer in 1995.

Little did she realize at the time that the day's trek was the first of many which would lead her into membership of the prestigious 900 Club, composed of hikers who have finished all the Park's trails.

Davis's sister Wilma Morgan and her daughter-in-law Darla "had already been there and asked me to go. I told them 'I can't do that!'"

But Davis accomplished that first walk and then another and then another. "I didn't mean to do all the trails at first," she said, "but after awhile I got a map and marked off the ones I'd done and then started working on the others."

She's also hiked 362 of the Appalachian Trail, from Fontana, NC to Marion, VA.

Just like the postmen, Davis has hiked in rain, snow, sleet, and hail.

"We never cancelled because of the weather," she explained. "If the weather was really bad, we'd just hike on a lower level or a different trail."

The coldest weather she experienced came during a hike from Newfound Gap to Charlie's Bunion. "I don't know the exact temperature," said Davis, "but our faces nearly froze. We turned back and did a trail on a lower level."

Part of the hikes included overnight stays in shelters or tents.

"We waded in waist-deep water near Fontana once. There were no logs for us to cross. That water was cold, cold, cold!"

She and her fellow hikers also encountered all sorts of wildlife, including snakes, bears, a panther, and a wolf.

For more details, please see the latest edition of the Newport Plain Talk.

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