I was introduced to the Alum Cave Bluff Trail in September of 1982. My youngest son, Bob and his shipmate Carl Miller, were home, on leave from the Navy. They were crew members aboard a Nuclear Powered Submarine. Carl and Bob were going to burn off some pent up energy by hiking Mt. LeConte. Their service aboard the Nuclear Powered Submarine put them under water for three months or more at a time. They invited me to hike with them. I still remember that hike well and I pushed myself to keep up with these two young men. We hiked to the top and they climbed around on the fringes of Cliff Tops and High Top. I watched from a safe vantage point during their daring feats. After they returned to duty, I resumed my regular exercise regime by riding my bicycle.
In the spring or summer of 1985, I hiked Alum Bluff Trail again with Joel Brown and two of his cousins, Brian and Kenny Crone. Joel had just finished serving an enlistment in the Army and was looking for some exercise. I recommended that we hike the Alum Bluff Trail. When Joel was 15 years old, he had accompanied my son Bob (16) and his friend Bill Langston (17) and me as we rode our bicycles from San Francisco, CA to Oak Ridge TN.
I did not hike the trail again until August 1986. Meanwhile, I had put more then 40,000 miles on my bicycle and literally flexed the lower crank bracket until it expanded to the point, where the locking ring would no longer hold the crank in the frame. Faced with a large sum of money to purchase a new frame or bicycle, I started hiking Mt. LeConte, regularly to get needed
exercise. Although I did repair my bicycle, I opted to continue getting most of my exercise by hiking Mt. LeConte. I never really had a goal in mind for hiking, except the year that I retired in 1991. (view hiking statistics) I decided to set a mark for hiking Mt. LeConte, in one calendar year, which would only be broken by someone with lots of determination . I hiked the mountain for a total of 230 times that year. I also managed to spend several weeks visiting National Parks in Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Canada and the Dakotas with my son Bob.
As I continued to hike Mt. LeConte via Alum Cave Bluff Trail, my curiosity grew about who had laid this great trail out and
who did all of the hard work constructing it. I visited the library at the Sugarland Visitor Center and was shown a thesis by Thomas Hallman Fearrington Jr., A study submitted to the Faculty of Clemson University in for the fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Recreation and Park Administration, April 1977.