Captain Blue on the Blue Blazes: The First Solo Thru-Hike of Ohio's 1,444 Mile Buckeye Trail

Captain Blue on the Blue Blazes: The First Solo Thru-Hike of Ohio's 1,444 Mile Buckeye Trail

by Andy Niekamp
Captain Blue on the Blue Blazes: The First Solo Thru-Hike of Ohio's 1,444 Mile Buckeye Trail

Captain Blue on the Blue Blazes: The First Solo Thru-Hike of Ohio's 1,444 Mile Buckeye Trail

by Andy Niekamp


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Imagine walking 1,444 miles with a backpack carrying the bare necessities of life, 26 maps, and a whole lot of grit.

When three-time Appalachian Trail Hiker, Andy "Captain Blue" Niekamp decided to hike Ohio's Buckeye Trail, he took on the challenge of his life. On this 88-day adventure, Captain Blue found things he didn't know he had: a Buckeye Trail family who assisted and encouraged him; a home state rich with scenic beauty and history; the physical, mental, and emotional stamina to travel Ohio alone and on foot. Readers will enjoy the trail tales of Captain Blue, past and present, and his knack for bringing humor and good-natured reflection to a hiker's experiences in the elements: the cold, snow, wind, rain, heat, and humidity of springtime in Ohio; the physical test of walking for miles every day on a variety of treadways; the unpredictability of nature; and the sincere generosity of strangers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780990354772
Publisher: Outdoor Adventure Connection
Publication date: 12/05/2017
Pages: 214
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.45(d)

About the Author

Andy "Captain Blue" Niekamp has been a wilderness adventurer for more than 25 years. This IT professional, turned long-distance hiker has logged over 14,000 miles in more than 30 different states coast-to-coast including 9,500 miles on the Appalachian Trail.

Hiking is Andy's passion and his acclaimed "fountain of youth." He has hiked the entire Appalachian Trail end-to-end four times. While more than 10,000 have completed the Appalachian Trail at least one time, fewer than 12 people worldwide have reported completing the Appalachian Trail four times.

His other long-distance trails include: the Colorado Trail, Vermont's Long Trail, Minnesota's Superior Hiking Trail, Kentucky's Sheltowee Trace, Arkansas' Ozark Highlands Trail, the Ohio To Erie Trail, and Bartram Trail.

Andy is the founder and Chief Adventure Officer of Outdoor Adventure Connection, a backcountry guide service based in Dayton, Ohio. Andy has guided hundreds of people on backpacking trips that focus on backcountry skills, education, confidence, and Leave No Trace techniques. His company's motto is Live, Learn and Love Adventure.

Andy is the founder and organizer of Dayton Hikers, a hiking Meetup group. Under Andy's direction, the Dayton Hikers group has grown to be the largest and most active outdoor recreation club in Dayton, Ohio. He, with the help of forty event planners, leads hikes, organizes events, and plans gatherings and presentations for its 4,000+ members.

When he's not hiking, Andy volunteers for Five Rivers MetroParks, the Buckeye Trail Association and Kentucky State Parks. He holds an undergraduate degree in Management Information Systems and a Master of Business Administration. He is a life member of the Buckeye Trail Association.

Andy is a popular presenter and motivational speaker. He is a sought-after resource for his experience, knowledge and expertise as a backcountry, long-distance hiker and skills as an educator/trainer.

His goal is to inspire others to get exercise, make friends, explore nature, live a healthier lifestyle and make their community a better place to live!

Table of Contents




CHAPTER 1: The Call to Adventure

CHAPTER 2: The Adventure Begins

CHAPTER 3: First Encounters

CHAPTER 4: Two Worlds Out There

CHAPTER 5: The Good, The Bad, The Reality

CHAPTER 6: Love Needs a Heart

CHAPTER 7: Rain, Rain, Rain

CHAPTER 8: When the Going Gets Tough

CHAPTER 9: An Inspired Commitment to the Trail

CHAPTER 10: Putting My Commitment to the Test

CHAPTER 11: The Journey Home

EPILOGUE: Beyond the Hike

HIKING THE BUCKEYE TRAIL: The Buckeye Trail Association

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