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July, 2021

Roanoke Appalachian news

Man Falls/Rescued Near Tinker Cliffs

One of our guided hikes is the Andy Layne Trail starting at Catawba Rd in Botetourt County. It's a tough climb to reach Tinker Cliffs but worth the effort. However, the isolated nature of Tinker Cliffs and its inherent danger for falls should be taken into account on this hike. A fall by a man in April underscores that sentiment.

The man had to be flown by helicopter to a hospital where he was treated. Rescue workers had to hike the trail to reach the victim. It became clear to workers how difficult the climb is and took 2 hours to reach the fallen man. Our advice is to prepare for hikes in the Appalachian Mountains; try not to hike alone and get info about the hiking trail; Use a guide service like ours to add knowledgeable safety.

Appalachian Trail Killer Not Guilty by Insanity

James Jordan, 32, did not dispute his killing of Ronald Sanchez by stabbing him on the Appalachian Trail in May of 2019. In a plea agreement, he was found not guilty of the charges in April by reason of insanity. According to the agreement, he will be confined to a psychiatric institution until he no longer poses a threat to the community. A companion hiker of Sanchez says she still remains haunted by the whole grizzly attack.

According to authorities, a group of four Appalachian Trail hikers came in contact with Jordan while hiking. The group had recognized Jordan through social media and his threats to hikers. Later, while camping, Jordan approached the group and carried out his gruesome assault. Two hikers immediately dispersed, but Sanchez and a partner stayed and faced Jordan with dire consequences.

Though this is a gruesome killing which adds to peoples perception of the Appalachian Trail as dangerous to such events, this is the first killing on the Trail since 2011.  When you consider the Trail is over 2100 miles long with roughly 3000 completing the whole length every year and countless 1000s that use the trail locally, the chance of being involved in a violent act by another is remote. Compared to homicide statistics of many cities, it's much safer to be on the trail. However, please keep in mind that there are dangers, be prepared and aware, or consider a guide service like ours!

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Roanoke Activities Expand to Near Pre-Covid Times

Most pandemic restrictions and mandates have been allowed to expire at the end of June. The future of such mandates returning are cloudy to put it mildly. A special session of the legislature is to meet in August to take-up the mask issue and maybe more. In the meantime, some fun activities have returned to the area such as Cruise Night on Williamson Rd which was held on the last Friday in June and the Salem Fair which ran through July 11th. The region has many more festivals and events scheduled such as Floyd Fest and concerts, please check listings. The outdoors is open to almost all activities and hope all those enthusiasts come out to enjoy them.