Well, my hiking vacation didn’t turn as as expected but I did get 74 new Appalachian Trail miles.

I was able to hike in Great Smoky Mountain National Park the first week. I ran across a momma bear and her 2 cubs after Mollies Ridge Shelter while hiking from Clingmans Dome to Fontana Dam Visitor Center.

The second week, I attended the Appalachian Trail Conservancy 2013 Biennial Conference in Cullowhee, North Carolina. I was the hike sweep for 3 hikes during the conference.

Prior to the hikes, we scouted the trail heads for the hikes. During our scouting trip, we found an emaciated dog and took her to the Macon County Animal Control (828-349-2106) on July 19, 2013.

We named the dog Cullowhee and she is a Treeing Walker Coonhound. Time is running out for Cullowhee. I have contacted several rescue organizations but I have not received any responses.

To read more about Cullowhee, click here.

Next our cherished indoor cat Bolt got outside and the pet sitter said that she hadn’t seen him in several days. Bolt was trapped as a feral kitten so we knew he would not come to anyone but us.

To read about Bolt’s capture, click here. To read about his mother’s capture, click here.

The pet sitter was not able to trap Bolt. She was able to trap a possum and another cat though.

So, we left North Carolina to find our baby.

We saw Bolt on the porch after dark on our first night home but he ran away as soon as we opened the door. Fortunately, we were able to trap him on the second night. We treated him for fleas & ticks and then took him to the vet the next day. The vet gave him some fluids but said that he looked fine.

Bolt was outside for 10 days and we were worried sick about him. I think he is a little embarrassed about all the brouhaha during his “holiday.”

So, getting back to working out. I don’t want start any rigid training program at this time. I decided to just go through “Kettlebell Express” and do a new work out each week. I did the first work out tonight.

Can kettle bells help you get strong for hiking? Absolutely!

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