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Promises to My Readers for the New Year

by JP on Dec.31, 2009, under Outdoor Travel

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First off, 2009 has been a terrible year for SouthernHiker.com, and I must apologize to all of those reading this blog with the hopes for more content.  I have not hiked as much as I wished, and have admittedly failed to keep up this site as often as I should, and for that I am sorry. I am glad to see 2009 tick away today, and am excited for a new year dedicated to this site.

For 2010, however, I promise several things that I WILL deliver to SouthernHiker.

So here goes my New Year’s Resolutions to you readers for 2010:

1. In this year, you will receive at least one useful article every week from SouthernHiker.

2. SouthernHiker will keep you updated on outdoor news in the Southeast.

3. I will personally hike and write on at least 500 miles of trails this year.

4. You will receive detailed articles on at least 3 long backpacking adventures and trails this year, and how to prepare for them.

5. You will get more, detailed information on major outdoor events in the Southeast.

6. More gear reviews for the equipment you need for camping, hiking, and biking in the Southeast.

7. You will have some of the best guest writers in the Southeast writing for SouthernHiker in 2010.

8. Thanks to the reader at My Life Outdoors for his suggestion of number 8. More hiking outside of AL, TN, GA, and Florida. Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and the Carolinas need more coverage. He already has some great reviews of outdoor areas in Texas, and other areas. Head over there to check them out.

As I see it, this list of 7 is incomplete, and I think the best resolutions I could make would be to have SouthernHiker be what the readers want. With that said, what 3 things would like you to see on Southern Hiker in 2010?

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Merry Christmas from SouthernHiker

by JP on Dec.25, 2009, under Hiking Trails

Merry Christmas to all those living in or visiting Dixie.

I hope you all have a wonderful and blessed holiday.

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Company called SouthButt is being sued by Northface.

by JP on Dec.15, 2009, under Hiking Trails

What a litigious society we live in.

A company named South Butt  is being sued by the major outdoor clothing giant North Face for trademark infringement.

I have no dog in this fight, but believe North Face is going to come off like jerks on this, and needs to let the issue slide.


The South Butt company appears to be little more than a minor clothing line, run by a college freshman parodying, North Face.

Frankly, I find this idea humorous, creative, and not likely to be an actual trademark infringement. My guess is that North Face had planned to use the cost of litigation to force South Butt out, but I sincerely hope there is still enough room in this country for two cardinal directional body part stores, and it  appears that South Butt is not planning on taking this sitting on their rears either (pun intended).

South Butt’s lawyers have already responded with one of the most humorous legal statements I have heard recently stating:

“The South Butt has previously made it clear to the North Face that the consuming public is insightful enough to know the difference between a face and a butt,”

This is an obvious reference to the central issue of most trademark infringement cases, the requirement that the infringement being alleged is likely to cause confusion. I have to to agree with their lawyer, I have never been confused by North and South (except in the woods without a compass) or between a butt and a face.

With all of that said, I do see one legitimate point in North Face’s case, and that is the use of South Butt’s logo, an inverted image of North Face’s. South Butt should change this logo immediately (not an admission of infringement), however, if this logo is ALWAYS accompanied by the name South Butt, the confusion should still not exist.

Call me a rebel, but I wish South Butt the best of luck with the litigation.

You can find more on this litigation on their website, The South Butt.

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Photography Now Available

by JP on Dec.15, 2009, under Outdoor Travel

Lake Jenny in the Grand Tetons

Lake Jenny in the Grand Tetons

Beginning yesterday, SouthernHiker.com now has some of the images you enjoy reading about for sale.

These published and unpublished photos are printed on a high quality 3/4″ Gallery Wrapped Canvas.

Sample Print

In the near future framed prints will also become available.

Display some of America’s most beautiful landscapes, like the Grand Tetons, in your home or office, or buy them as a Christmas gift for someone else.

Drop a comment below for FREE SHIPPING.

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Epic Summer Road Trip- Day 2 (Cont.) You can find me in St. Louis

by JP on Dec.03, 2009, under Day 2, Roadtrip

St. Louis, Missouri – Our First Planned Stop

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For those who have never entered Missouri in this way, the dividing line between Illinois and Missouri is the Mississippi River.  For us, crossing over this broad river and seeing the Gateway Arch over the horizon was as inspiring a welcome to the West as its builders likely intended. Knowing that for years, America’s frontier somewhat arbitrarily began west of the Mississippi River, crossing it meant we were now in “the West.”


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My wife and I are not city people, as most readers from this site can probably tell, and so in cities we try to hit the highlights we want to see and get out.  I must admit, of the cities I have been too, St. Louis is definitely one of the more open cities I have explored, and want to return to. On our list of things to see, we knew we had to go in the Arch, check out Busch Stadium, and see Budweiser’s Clydesdale.

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As we entered downtown St. Louis, we had about an hour before the Arch opened, and so we decided to make a first stop at Busch Stadium. Unfortunately, the stadium tours were not open either. Walking along the outside of the red brick stadium, one immediately knows this team is an instrumental part of baseball history. While I’m a die hard Braves fan, St. Louis’ baseball history dates back to the late 19th century, and has won more World Series Championships than any other National League Team (10). Circling around the stadium, the outside of the park proudly displays much of its baseball history, the most notable of which is the series of famous St. Louis Cardinals’ Statutes just in front of the Stadium’s main entrance. These memorialized players include Lou Brock, Roger Hornsby, Ozzie Smith (a childhood favorite of mine), and the great Stan Musial (also given a much larger statute elsewhere on the grounds).  Busch Stadium looks like a heck of a place to see a game, and St. Louis is definitely a baseball town.


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From these statutes and the main entrance one can see directly downtown to the Old Courthouse and the Gateway Arch just behind it. . After wandering through the stadium’s souvenir shop for a moment, we decided it was time to get to the Gateway Arch, before the crowds started lining up.

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One thing I have realized about the Arch upon getting back home was that almost every picture taken in St. Louis has the Arch, officially named the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, somewhere in its frame. Whether this was an intentional part of the city planning, or simply a tribute to the massive size of this National Monument is difficult to say, but the Arch does have a way of looming over the city.

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Nevertheless, one must see this monument up close and inside. Parking near the Old Landing, we were treated to a pleasant tree-lined walk through the park approaching the Arch. This entry is actually somewhat spectacular as the trees keep the Arch hidden until you are nearly right on it. Walking out of the shade of the trees the arch shoots suddenly towards the sky, this is when I realized how large it really is.

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Inside the Arch

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One of the surprising things about visiting the Arch for us was that it wasn’t a mere elevator from the ground up, like the Washington Monument. The entire complex contains a large underground welcoming center, complete with interactive museums, multiple theatres, an old-timey candy shop, and a souvenir shop. With the exception of the theatres, all of these places are free. The only thing we had to pay for was the elevator ride to the top.

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The tram cars themselves are very small, semi-spherical bubbles that pack five seated adults into a space that is approximately 5 feet in diameter. While the ride to the top lasts only about five minutes, this could easily be five minutes of hell for anyone with claustrophobia. The ride is a very slow moving, rickety, and sounds like ascending a large roller coaster hill.

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At the top, the narrow archway is packed with visitors. Despite the crowds, we were treated to some fabulous views of both downtown St. Louis to the West, and the Mississippi River on the East.

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One of my favorite views was to the Southwest. From this window, I could see inside Busch Stadium, the old courthouse, and many of the St. Louis skyscrapers cropping up around them.

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To the North, the giant meandering Mississippi looked tame, but its size was apparent when I noticed how small several large boats appeared on the river.

After returning below the base of the Arch, we explored the museums detailing America’s westward expansion with numerous artifacts from Lewis and Clark’s Corp of Discovery.

Beer for My Horses

After we left the Arch, we made one last stop in St. Louis. For those who don’t know, St. Louis is the location of the original Budweiser beer factory, and is now the home to Anheuser Busch and its Clydesdale horses.

At the factory, one can take a free tour of the beer manufacturing process and see some history of one of America’s first major brewers. Also, despite what I was once told by an economist that there was no such thing as a free lunch, Budweiser offers free samples of its various beers, some pretzel, and sodas for the youngsters, which ain’t bad. While we had already seen Busch’s similar museum in Jacksonville, Florida (also offering free beer), St. Louis is one of the few locations to see the Clydesdales and all the gear they have in their famous Super Bowl commercials.

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After the  St. Louis highlights and grabbing some lunch, our plans were originally to spend the night in St. Louis and checkout the nightlife, but because we saw these highlights early we decided to make one of our first roadtrip detours to see Missouri’s Capitol Building in Jefferson City, one of the nation’s most beautiful capitols.

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