Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Blind since birth, a St. Louis Park man is hitting the Appalachian Trail with GPS technology
StarTribune.com ^ | 2/25/10 | LAURIE BLAKE

Posted on 02/25/2010 7:35:14 PM PST by ButThreeLeftsDo

Mike Hanson plans to hike the 2,174-mile Appalachian Trail end to end, without ever seeing the ground under his feet.

On Monday in Georgia, the St. Louis Park man -- who lost his sight at birth -- will start his seven-month trek to Maine, navigating by GPS. He has mastered its use by cell phone and trusts global positioning technology to steer his every step.

"It gives me everything I would need to know about the trail but the view," Hanson said. "I will be able to hear and smell what is going on."

If he makes it, he'll be in select company.

More than 11,000 people have completed the trail but only three or four were blind, said Laurie Potteiger of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. One was Bill Irwin, author of "Blind Courage," who did it in 1990 with a guide dog.

(Excerpt) Read more at startribune.com ...


TOPICS: Local News; Miscellaneous; Outdoors; Travel
KEYWORDS: blind; gps; hiker; minnesota; usancgldslvr
Can you imagine....???

Had to crop the title a bit.....

"Blind since birth, a St. Louis Park man is hitting the Appalachian Trail with GPS technology and a shot at making history."

1 posted on 02/25/2010 7:35:15 PM PST by ButThreeLeftsDo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: ButThreeLeftsDo

I would trust the guide dog over the GPS any day.


2 posted on 02/25/2010 7:36:34 PM PST by notpoliticallycorewrecked (According to the MSM, I'm a fringe sitting, pajama wearing, Freeper)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ButThreeLeftsDo

I would trust the guide dog over the GPS any day.


3 posted on 02/25/2010 7:36:45 PM PST by notpoliticallycorewrecked (According to the MSM, I'm a fringe sitting, pajama wearing, Freeper)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ButThreeLeftsDo


4 posted on 02/25/2010 7:40:46 PM PST by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JoeProBono

Thanks, Joe!


5 posted on 02/25/2010 7:41:59 PM PST by ButThreeLeftsDo (Political Correctness Will Get Us All Killed)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: ButThreeLeftsDo

Let’s hope he doesn’t end up down in Argentina...


6 posted on 02/25/2010 7:45:50 PM PST by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ButThreeLeftsDo

Dumb idea.


7 posted on 02/25/2010 7:46:37 PM PST by dr_who
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ButThreeLeftsDo

One of my brothers is blind. I think it would mean the world to him to accomplish something like this.

More power to this gentleman!!


8 posted on 02/25/2010 7:51:18 PM PST by TXBlair (My custom spring break shirt: I'm spending my $$ in Vegas... ...because Obama told me not to.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: notpoliticallycorewrecked

Well, I’m sure that he has done his homework on his chosen GPS system and that he’ll do just fine....

But, at the end of the day, your GPS isn’t going to lick you in the face..

;-)


9 posted on 02/25/2010 7:51:21 PM PST by ButThreeLeftsDo (Political Correctness Will Get Us All Killed)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: ButThreeLeftsDo

Great story! He’s a braver man than myself. I have to laugh though thinking about what it’s like to be outdoors and looking for a safe place (and direction) to take a wee without giving passers by too much information. GPS won’t find you a convenient bush or tree. :)


10 posted on 02/25/2010 7:53:27 PM PST by RingerSIX
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ButThreeLeftsDo

Sounds like NY Governor Padersen meeting NC Governor Sanford.


11 posted on 02/25/2010 7:55:45 PM PST by earlJam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RingerSIX

“He programmed his GPS software with points for roads, water sources, campsites, shelters, re-supply points, and landmarks every 100 yards. Pressing a button prompts a voice from the phone to tell him where he is, which direction he is heading, and how far to go to the next trip marker.”

And he does have a support person with him.....


12 posted on 02/25/2010 8:03:01 PM PST by ButThreeLeftsDo (Political Correctness Will Get Us All Killed)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: ButThreeLeftsDo
More than 11,000 people have completed the trail but only three or four were blind,

The trail in its entirety was opened in 1936 and the first hiker to go straight through did so in 1948. Most of the 11,000 have hiked the trail in pieces. This guy is probably not going to make the whole hike in one stretch. Few do.

BTW does he know about the timber rattlers, copperheads and black bears? I don't think they show up on GPS.

13 posted on 02/25/2010 8:05:32 PM PST by hinckley buzzard
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: hinckley buzzard

“And he does have a support person with him.....”


14 posted on 02/25/2010 8:08:20 PM PST by ButThreeLeftsDo (Political Correctness Will Get Us All Killed)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: notpoliticallycorewrecked

I hope he doesn’t take a wrong turn and end up in Argentina.


15 posted on 02/25/2010 8:17:11 PM PST by Flash Bazbeaux
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: hinckley buzzard

I’d expect he has more to worry about from moose than the snakes or the bears. I haven’t seen snakes on the (admittedly short) parts of the trail that I’ve been on, and as long as he keeps his food and trash secure, the bears will find better things to do. The people I’ve met who did long hikes said a dog was invaluable. It wasn’t just for companionship, either.


16 posted on 02/25/2010 9:12:05 PM PST by sig226 (Bring back Jimmy Carter!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: hinckley buzzard
I'm a two-time AT thru-hiker, GA->ME 1995 and again in 98. I fell down regularly, and I've got 20-20 vision.

Bill Erwin had a guide dog and could see light and fuzzy blobs. He got the crap beat out of him every day from falling down.

I'll be following this guys hike on the web, I am dubious.

17 posted on 02/25/2010 9:12:42 PM PST by Cap&Ball
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: ButThreeLeftsDo

I envy ANYONE who has done the thru hike. I have hiked portions of the trail in PA/NJ/NY, but understand that once you are in Maine, you truly are on your own.


18 posted on 02/25/2010 9:22:07 PM PST by Clemenza (Remember our Korean War Veterans)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Clemenza

He may succeed, he may fail...

Until it’s over, it remains a good story.


19 posted on 02/25/2010 9:30:35 PM PST by ButThreeLeftsDo (Political Correctness Will Get Us All Killed)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Clemenza

http://www.twilightearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/100-mile-wilderness-sign.jpg


20 posted on 02/25/2010 9:44:38 PM PST by Cap&Ball
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: ButThreeLeftsDo
A friend of mine hiked the AT in two-week stretches. Every year he took his vacation hiking the trail, each year starting where he left off the previous year. I can't recall now just how many years it took him to finish. It was a big splash in the local paper when he did.
21 posted on 02/25/2010 9:52:45 PM PST by JoeFromSidney
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ButThreeLeftsDo

This is not good. The guy responsible for large parts of these data sets guesstimated the elevation by +-50 feet.

Chris Johnson:
http://parkaymaps.110mb.com/

and the first guy to successfully tackle the data collation for the AT:

http://www.guymott.com/atgps.html


22 posted on 02/26/2010 12:01:08 AM PST by JerseyHighlander
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ButThreeLeftsDo

23 posted on 03/06/2010 7:13:11 AM PST by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson