Downs completes Appalachian Trail

August 22, 2011|Cheryl Weaver | Around Clear Spring
  • Alan Downs is shown at the end of the Appalachian Trail on Mount Katahdin in Maine on Aug. 14.
Submitted photo

Alan Downs completed the 2,180 miles of the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine on Aug. 14.

He started his adventure April 1 in Georgia. Four times he did a 50-mile day, starting his hikes at 3:30 in the morning and finishing after dark.

He completed every challenge; crossing Virginia in under 30 days (it took him 25), the four-state challenge (walking from Virginia, through West Virginia through Maryland and into Pennsylvania in one day), and the half-gallon challenge (ice cream).

He also took a side trip and climbed to the top of Mount Washington while in New Hamphsire.

He said the biggest challenges were hiking during the hurricanes in the Carolinas, dehydration, being charged by an angry mother black bear in the Shenandoahs, and two bouts with Lyme disease.

He said the more challenges he faced, the more determined he became.

Alan (trail name Lemur), kept a daily journal at, which has more than 53,000 views.

Alan is continuing to update the journal now that he has been reunited with his computer in Clear Spring.

School news

School starts Wednesday for Washington County Public School students.

Clear Spring Middle School volleyball tryouts for the traveling teams begin Wednesday as follows:

  • 6 p.m. — sixth-grade tryouts
  • 7 p.m. — seventh-grade tryouts
  • 8 p.m. — eighth-grade tryouts

All tryouts will take place in the school gym. Players who have not signed up to participate, can do so Wednesday at scheduled time.

All girls interested in volleyball intramurals (nontraveling teams) in grades five through eight in the Clear Spring school district can also sign up Wednesday at 6 p.m.  Intramural play will begin the week of Sept. 6.

Clear Spring Library

Clear Spring Library will offer a free computer basics class Tuesday, Sept. 6, at 2 p.m.  in the adult services community room.

The class will introduce computers to first-time computer users.  Computer hardware and software will be discussed as well as how to turn on and operate the computer. Participants will begin working with Windows 7 operating system, including looking at the desktop, launching programs, document libraries and the control panel. Also participants will learn to create and organize folders and save and open documents. Registration is required. Registration begins today.

For more information, call 301-739-3250, ext.123.

Did you know?

Did you know that to make a call in the early days of telephones you didn't pick up the phone and dial? You picked up the telephone and asked the operator to connect you to the person you wanted to talk to. Clear Spring's first telephone operator was Mrs. Blanche.

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