Minnesota-native Mike Hanson, blind since birth, set out on his quest to hike the Appalachian Trail today. Hanson will use only a GPS on the trek, although he will be accompanied by documentarian Gary Steffens. According to news reports, Steffens is there only to film the hike. He will not help Hanson if he becomes lost (unless there is an emergency).
Hanson is not the first blind man to attempt the AT. Bill Irwin used a guide dog on his 1990 journey. In the news article, Hanson lists some of the skills he'll use on his journey:
The skills needed for the hike -- computer know-how, knowledge oftechnology, blogging savvy and independent thinking -- are all assetsin the workplace, Hanson said.
That's in addition to stamina. Best of luck, Mike.
-- Jonah Ogles