Contest Winner Celebrates 70th Birthday with Hike The Smokies

Just like he said, contest winner Joe Blevins donned his new Hi-Tec Salt Creek Shirt on his 70th birthday and collected his Hike the Smokies pin. You can even see the photographic evidence above.

Way back in April, Blevins won the shirt through a giveaway on our blog. He answered a few questions for us about his new pin, his hiking tips and his insights into spending seven decades on this very planet.

What does this pin symbolize?

Hike the Smokies is a project made possible in part from the National Park Foundation through the support of the Coca-Cola Foundation. The idea was to get folks out to enjoy the great outdoors and discover the beauty of the Appalachians. It started in April of 2010 and each person participating received a book to record their trail mileage for their hikes. At 100, 250, and 500 miles you bring in your book to one of the visitor centers to verify your mileage and receive your mileage pin. I don’t know how many people got involved, but it wasn’t very many.

How long have you been hiking?

My wife Sara and I began hiking here when we moved to Pigeon Forge, TN in March 2010. Prior to that the only hiking we had done was of the tourist variety. So, we’ve covered a lot of miles in a short time. We logged our 500 miles on 43 different trails.

Do you have any tips for the younger generation who want to hike?

The best tip I have for the younger generation who want to hike is to come prepared with proper clothing, boots and hydration. Many times we have offered and given help to people who are either dehydrated on have no knowledge of the trail they are on.

Name your favorite brand of hiking boots. What makes them so special?

My favorite brand of hiking boots is the Scarpa Kailash GTX. They give good ankle support, require very little breaking in out of the box, have plenty of toe room, and the Gore Tex waterproofing is great. They may be little pricey, but they are well worth it.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in 70 years on planet Earth?

The biggest lesson I’ve learned in my 70 years is: Don’t wait until you are too old to enjoy God’s great creation. It’s a joy to see and experience. And remember, the journey really is the destination so don’t rush by all the beauty just to get to some point.

2 Comments on “Contest Winner Celebrates 70th Birthday with Hike The Smokies

  1. What a surprise to see you on the internet today while in Columbia, SC visiting my sister. You sure don’t look like yourself, Joe. The mountains have changed you. Ha, ha! So good to be able to connect with you and Sara again this way and will have to get with Chad and his pc to talk later since we don’t have one.

    We have talked many times about getting back in touch with you, two, and hope that we might see you again. Chad has a new working partner whose name is Joe and we have been thinking of you lately each time we hear the name “Joe”.

    Look forward to connecting this way again. This is my sister’s pc, so if you respond to this e-mail address she will let me know.

  2. Way to go Dad! Hope those Scarpa’s make you run faster than the bees! Love you – Nate.

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