Shenandoah National Park, Hawksbill Mountain, May 24, 2018 — My friend Karen Lutz is the mid-Atlantic regional director for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. As such, she’s forgotten more about the Appalachian Trail than most people will ever know. That’s why she was asked to appear on “Travels with Darley,” a travel program that airs nationally on Public Television.
Karen is a bona fide expert. Her resume opens with a 1978 thru hike, especially prominent because so few women thru hiked 40 years ago.
Karen’s original hiking boots are enshrined in the Park’s Big Meadow visitor center museum. We paid respects at this shrine to (grave of) Karen’s youth on our way to lunch.
The day’s itinerary was a march to the top of 4,050 foot Hawksbill Mountain, the tallest peak in Shenandoah National Park. It’s also the last 4,000 footer headed north on the AT until New Hampshire.
The program’s topic was all the wonderful things a tourist can do in and around Culpeper, Virginia. Hiking on the AT is only one of them, and thus only a part of the subject at hand.
Darley and Karen making tracks.
Television production is tedious work. Endless b-roll has to be shot to serve as transitions between topics or video wall paper to cover voice-overs. You can never have enough in the editing process.
Karen and Darley did a lot of marching shots that will be used to stitch together parts of the AT segment.
Lots of starts and stops on the way up.
The folks involved in the shoot were many including Darley and her three person crew, plus writers from the Richmond, Virginia PBS station and representatives from the Culpeper chamber/tourism organization.
Getting ready for the summit interview. They hid Karen’s mic in her hat – clever, but a hat is not something Karen normally wears. She’ll probably hear from her friends.
During the actual interview, the mob hung out at a nearby outcrop where I busted a guy from Maine whose dogs were off leash. Dogs must be on leash to protect wildlife from harassment, but also to protect the dogs from from the bears, coyotes, raccoons, skunks and snakes who can inflict far worse on the dogs.
Channeling Ansel Adams before heading back to the cars.
It’s a wrap. Stay tuned for the air date.
In the National Capitol Region, the program airs on Maryland Public Television and Howard University Public Television.