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SATURDAY EVENING KEYNOTE!

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Andy Niekamp:
 

Hiking the Arizona National Scenic Trail
SATURDAY EVENING PROGRAM, jAN. 27, 2024 8 P.M.

Take an 800-mile journey from the Mexico border to the Utah state line on the Arizona Trail (AZT) across the entire length of Arizona through deserts, mountains, forests, canyons, wilderness, and history. The AZT winds through the Sonoran Desert, the Superstition Mountains, and the Mazatzal Wilderness on its way to the Mogollon Rim and majestic San Francisco Peaks, through the Grand Canyon, and onto the North Rim conifer forests of the Kaibab Plateau. Learn how Andy endured sun, heat, rain, wind, snow, sketchy water sources, and trail closures on our nation's newest national scenic trail to complete this epic thru-hike in the spring of 2023.

Andy "Captain Blue" Niekamp, from Dayton, Ohio, has been a wilderness adventurer for more than 30 years. This IT professional, turned long-distance hiker has logged over 35,000 miles of hiking from the East Coast to the West Coast and from Minnesota to Florida including five end-to-end hikes on the Appalachian Trail. Back home Captain Blue is the founder and organizer of Dayton Hikers, the largest outdoor recreation club in Dayton, Ohio with 8,500+ members. He is the Chief Adventure Officer of Outdoor Adventure Connection, a backcountry guide service based. Andy has guided hundreds of people on backpacking trips that focus on backcountry skills, education, and confidence. In his spare time, he does trail maintenance at Carter Caves and organizes the park's annual volunteer Learn & Do Trail Maintenance events. His motto is "Live, Learn, and Love Adventure."

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