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Hurricane Irma

by Matt
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Published on: October 5, 2017

Irma
Hurricane Irma has come and gone, and in its wake, historic flooding and more than a few trees down.  Several parks are still closed for repairs or due to unsafe conditions.  While in the Fort Caroline area, we tried to visit Spanish Pond and the Teddy Roosevelt hiking area, but unfortunately, so many trees were down that the trail was nearly impossible to travel.  The rest of the park is currently closed.  We took a few photos: (more…)

REI Changing Famous Return Policy

by Matt
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Published on: September 17, 2013

The basement at the flagship store of REI Inc., the privately held sporting goods chain based in Seattle, is like an evidence locker for how the outdoorsy retailer earned an endearing nickname: Return Everything Inc.

Hundreds of returned items are stacked in bins, hanging on racks and lining shelves. Tags detail the customer complaints: “suddenly not waterproof” on a frayed, blue, men’s rain jacket from a previous decade; “don’t fit well” on a pair of thick, black, women’s clogs so well-worn that their original design has faded.

Read the article here.

Hiking the USA

by Matt
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Published on: April 22, 2013

For your viewing enjoyment, here’s an infographic about National Scenic Trails in the US:

Appalachian Trials

by Matt
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Published on: May 10, 2012

Each year, it is estimated that more than 2,000 people set out to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail, yet seven in ten ultimately fall short of their goal. Given the countless number of how-to books and websites offering information about logistics, gear, and endurance training, one would think that more people would finish this 2,200 mile trek. Why then, do so many hikers quit prematurely? After successfully thru-hiking the AT in five months with zero prior backpacking experience, author, Zach Davis, is convinced he’s discovered the answer. Aspiring thru-hikers, Davis tells readers, are preparing the wrong way- sweating on the StairMaster, meticulously plotting each re-supply box, or obsessing over the a synthetic or down sleeping bag or perfect pair of socks. While the AT undoubtedly presents extraordinary physical challenges, it is the psychological and emotional struggles that drive people off the trail. Conquering these mental obstacles is the key to success. This groundbreaking book focuses on the most important and overlooked piece of equipment of all- the gear between one’s ears. Filled with first-hand, touching yet humorous vignettes and down-to-earth advice that both instructs and inspires, Appalachian Trials gives readers the mental road map they’ll need to hike from Springer Mountain to Mt.Katahdin. (more…)

Historic Photos of Jacksonville

by Matt
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Published on: April 24, 2012

Historic Photos of Jacksonville captures the historical growth of this city in still photography from the top archives in the area. Stunning black and white pictures with most of the photographs never published before in this beautiful coffee table book. The book follows life, government, events and people important to Jacksonville history and the building of this unique late blooming city. Spanning over two centuries and two hundred photographs, this is a must have for any long-time resident or history lover of Jacksonville!

I Love Springs (dot org)

by Matt
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Published on: April 11, 2012

Drought, pollution, and over-irrigation is a constant strain on the health of Florida’s springs.  Currently, there are plans to build a cattle ranch near the headwaters of the Ocklawaha River, near Silver Springs.  This ranch would require need to draw over 13 million gallons of water a day – more than the entire city of Ocala.  In response, a website has been set up to raise awareness of the threat to the springs and the waters that eventually run into the St. Johns and through Jacksonville.  Check out www.ilovesprings.org.  They information about the current state of the springs and the threats it faces.

Looking For Something to Read?

by Matt
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Published on: April 9, 2012

Then consider reading this:

Yes, I know, it’s an affiliate link (it helps support this site if you buy from this link) – but it’s a great read that I’ve recommended before.

Florida Historical Markers in Duval County

by Matt
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Published on: February 8, 2012

If you’re looking for a complete list of historical markers in Duval, this site should prove useful.  Too often, the history that occurred here is forgotten, but this lengthy list would make for a quite a project if someone were to research/visit each one.  Also included is a brief description of what the marker commemorates.  Credit goes to Mike Vann for finding the link.

A quick word about commenting

by Matt
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Published on: September 8, 2011

This site doesn’t exactly receive a high volume of traffic, much less visitors who comment.  Actually, let me clarify:  visitors who make valid comments.  Any given day, there could be hundreds of spam comments deposited from any dark corner of the internet.  Which, just like an email inbox, means I have to review and delete all said comments.  So, that being said, commenting from now on is strictly being allowed if you have created an account on this site.  Your comment will not appear until it is approved – after that, you’re free to comment as much as you like.  So feel free – comment away!

Woman sets new speed record on Appalachian Trail

by Matt
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Published on: August 2, 2011

Long distance hiker Jennifer Pharr Davis completed an end-to-end hike of the Appalachian Trail on Sunday, setting a new speed record in the process. The 28-year old endured long days on the trail, plenty of insects, record heat, and nagging injuries along the way to the finish.

Pharr Davis began her trek at the AT’s northern trail head, located on Mount Katahdin in Maine.Hiking for 15+ hours a day, she managed to cover the entire 2200-mile length of the AT in just 46 days, 11 hours, and 20 minutes, reaching the end on Springer Mountain in Georgia this past Sunday. That’s a full day faster than previous record holder Andrew Thompson’s time (47:13:31) and more than ten days faster than Jennifer’s previous record for a female hiker, which stood at 57 days, 8 hours, and 13 minutes. (more…)

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