WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Hundreds of veteran long-distance hikers of the Appalachian Trail -- from all over the country -- will converge on Williams College over the Columbus Day weekend, Oct. 7-9, for workshops, camping and companionship. It's the 35th-annual gathering of the Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association (ALDHA). The group's annual meeting rotates among venues and this year it returns to Williamstown.
Events will run from 5 p.m. on Friday through Sunday afternoon and the trekkers pay $20 each to participate. Retired physican Dr. Eric White will be providing fields for camping and the family barn for gathering on Oblong Road. Most of the workshops will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and until 1:30 p.m. on Sunday at Williams. On Monday, Columbus Day, a crew of ALDHA member volunteers will set off for Cheshire, where they will perform A.T. corridor/boundary maintenance.
Presentations include a Saturday night talk by Niki Rellon, the first female amputee to complete an A.T. through-hike. Sunday night's speaker will be Tom Gathman, who has hiked the entire A.T. three times. Some of the presentations will take place in the '62 Center at Williams. A sponsor of the gathering is the Williams College Outling Club, headed by director Scott Lewis. Other gathering coordinators are Jim Niedbalski and Betsy Kane. Cosmos Catalano, longtime theatre production manager and technical supervisor at the '62 Center, is also helping locally.
ALDHA is based in West Lebanon, N.H. and can be reached by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or at hits website: http://www.aldha.org.