Appalachian Trail hiker is halfway home

Appalachian Trail

David Defer, a mid-20s, Hiram based backpacker set out in mid-March to swallow the Appalachian Trail from end to end in one big gulp.

Hikers call the accomplishment a “thru-hike”, and are indeed a test of not only physical prowess but mental determination.

It’s no small feat for sure and in fact, requires stamina and a period of several months of no other obligations.

Already Defer is on the downside of his thru-hike, not literally downhill but at a point in the hike that the finish line does in fact, appear possible.

Last week, Defer raided an off-the-trail ice cream vendor to purchase and down a half gallon of ice cream, a longstanding tradition established by past thru-hikers.

He also bought a fresh set of boots after wringing the last breath from his favorite pair in which he started the multi-state endeavor.

Maine or bustDavid Defer

Defer reported that he had already passed the 1,294-mile marker, the exact half-way point. And while averaging between 25 and 30 miles each and every rain or shine day, he has already added a few hundred miles northbound to his journal.

Now passed the easternmost Pennsylvania section of the trail, Defer crossed into New Jersey at Delaware Water Gap and is now is now stepping along in the Kittatinny Mountain area.

Defer reported that he is in good health and good spirits. It’s the state of Maine or bust for Defer.

Odds are good that it will be Maine sometime this autumn.


Wondering what that special rifle or shotgun is actually worth?

Memories and family history can render a favorite firearm priceless when it comes to emotional value, but what about the actual market value in dollars and cents?

“No problem,” said Amanda Suffecool, the director of the REALIZE Firearms Awareness Coalition and co-host of weekly WNIR Radio’s Eye On The Target call-in show.

Suffecool said the annual, and increasingly popular, free firearms appraisal fair featuring several knowledgeable firearms experts is set for June 26, from 4:30-7 p.m. at the Ravenna VFW post-1055, 5998 New Milford Road

Suffecool stressed that this is not a gun show or a buy/sell event; it is strictly the opportunity to learn the current market value of nearly any firearm at no cost.

Boat names

What’s the name on a boat mean? It could mean anything from what the real or imagined interest of the owner is, the profession or job of the owner, or maybe just something catchy.

The top 10 boat names this year, as reported to Boat U.S. by marine sign painters and decal companies are: Grace, Freedom, Seas the Day, Therapy, Second Wind, Serenity, Perseverance, Rum Runner, Knot on Call, and Pura Vida.

Other national name counters have pretty much the same list but in various order. Serenity and Grace are usually right on top or near it.

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Mike Tontimonia has been writing weekly columns and magazine features about the outdoors for over 25 years, a career that continues to hold the same excitement for him as it did at the beginning. Mike is a retired educator, a licensed auctioneer and marketing consultant. He lives in Ravenna, Ohio and enjoys spending time at his Carroll County cabin. Mike has hunted and fished in several states and Canada from the Carolinas to Alaska and from Idaho to Delaware. His readers have often commented that the stories about his adventures are about as close to being there as possible. He is past president of the Outdoor Writers of Ohio and a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. Mike is also very involved in his community as a school board member and a Rotarian.



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