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Independent Review


September 22, 2011
People / 2B
Faith / 4B

Bulletin Board / 5B
Fun & Games / 6B



A motto on the trail is ‘Hike your own hike.’ That means, do what you want to do. You don’t
have to feel like you have to keep up with other people. You just do what’s right for you.
Litchfield High School graduate who recently finished hiking the Appalachian Trail, all 2,181 miles of it


writing 101
I still remember
the first time I discovered a thesaurus.
I thought the
book was golden
because it could
help me expand my
vocabulary. However, I mistakenly
thought every word
listed as a synonym
was interchangeable with the intended word.
I quickly learned
that wasn’t so,
when I received my
first creative writing
assignment back
from my teacher
with lots of words
circled in red pen
and question marks
boldly written next
to them.
So, I laughed
when I came across
a website that had
submissions from
English teachers of
analogies and
metaphors found in
high school essays.
They prove descriptive writing is wonderful, to a point.
Here are a few
◆ Her face was a
perfect oval, like a
circle that had its
two sides gently
compressed by a
Thigh Master.
◆ He spoke with
the wisdom that
can only come from
experience, like a
guy who went
blind because he
looked at a solar
eclipse without one
of those boxes with
a pinhole in it and
now goes around
the country speaking at high schools
about the dangers
of looking at a solar
eclipse without one
of those boxes with
a pinhole in it.
◆ She grew on
him like she was a
colony of E. coli,
and he was room
temperature Canadian beef.
◆ She had a
deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that
sound a dog makes
just before it
throws up.
◆ Her vocabulary
was as bad as, like,
◆ He was as tall
as a six-foot, threeinch tree.
◆ The revelation
that his marriage of
30 years had disintegrated because of
his wife’s infidelity
came as a rude
shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free
ATM machine.
◆ From the attic
came an unearthly
howl. The whole
scene had an eerie,
surreal quality, like
when you’re on vacation in another
city and Jeopardy
comes on at 7 p.m.
instead of 7:30.
◆ Long separated by cruel fate, the
star-crossed lovers
raced across the
grassy field toward
each other like two
freight trains, one
having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m.
traveling at 55
mph, the other
from Topeka at
4:19 p.m. at a
speed of 35 mph.
◆ The little boat
gently drifted
across the pond exactly the way a
bowling ball wouldn’t.
— J.C.T.


William Holland celebrates recently atop Mount Katahdin, the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, after completing a five-month, 2,181-mile hike
through 14 states.

Man vs. mountains:
Marking a milestone
William Holland, a 2006 Litchfield
High School graduate, spends five
months hiking the entire 2,181
miles of the Appalachian Trail
By Brent Schacherer


t’s been a few weeks since William Holland completed the adventure of a lifetime. But just what it means to hike 2,181
miles over five months is something that is
still eluding him.
“I’m actually still processing that,” Holland said in
a recent telephone conversation. “It’s really now, in
the coming weeks and months, that I can actually go
back and really think about that.”
The 2006 Litchfield High School graduate will
have plenty to think about as he recalls a 14-state
journey that began March 16 in Georgia and ended
Aug. 24 on the highest peak in Maine. Holland’s hike
of the Appalachian Trail puts him in exclusive company among outdoor adventure seekers — a nice
perk of completing the challenge — but more impor-

tant are the personal feelings of satisfaction and selfdiscovery that his mostly solitary hike brought.
The physical tests that arose each day — Holland
lost 14 pounds during the hike — were only small
hurdles compared to what at times became a mindnumbing psychological challenge of five months of
“It took so much determination to keep going, every
single day,” Holland said. “Really, that was the most
difficult part, just the mental part of deciding not to
The weight of his thoughts and his 32-pound backpack lightened considerably, however, as he neared
the 5,268-foot summit of Mount Katahdin and the
sign marking the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail.
“The final mountain, Katahdin, is this amazing,
huge, monolithic mountain in Maine, in the middle
of nowhere,” Holland said. “When I got up level with
that sign, about 50 yards away, it was just surreal.”

Weighing the pros and cons
Holland is no adventure-seeking novice. The 23year-old University of Minnesota graduate once
See HOLLAND on Page 3B

William Holland wipes his brow as he looks out on a
foggy morning in Great Smoky Mountain National
Park in Tennessee. There were times during his fivemonth hike, Holland said, that the natural beauty of
the trail was overshadowed by the monotonous
trudge to the finish line.

Sibley State Park plans programs for adults, kids
Sibley State Park offers the following
naturalist programs:

Friday, Sept. 23
7 to 7:45 p.m. — Hairy Critters —
Using animal mounts, skulls and pelts,
staff will introduce people to some common and interesting mammals of Sibley State Park.

Saturday, Sept. 24
10 to 11 a.m. — Animal Track Making for Kids — Kids can learn how their
foot is different from a fox, squirrel or
deer; they also will make
their own animal
track from plaster of paris and
rubber molds.
2 to 3 p.m. —
Digital Nature
Photography for
Kids — Learn how

to use a digital camera to enjoy and experience the outdoors. Participants will
take a walk with a park naturalist as
they learn how to use a digital camera
to take pictures to enjoy and share. Digital cameras provided. Limit 12 people.
(Must be 14 years of age or older or accompanied by an adult).

Sunday, Sept. 25
10 to 11 a.m. — Geocaching 101: High
Tech Treasure Hunt — Join this hightech treasure hunt and learn the basics
of this worldwide recreational sport.
GPS units provided. Limit of 20 people.
(Must be 8 or older; children must be accompanied by an adult. Reservation required at interpretive center.
Most naturalist programs are free;
however a state park vehicle permit is
needed to enter the park. For more information call 320- 354-2055 or go online at

Youth can register
for area orchestra

Equinox Festival to offer
local family fun Saturday

Crow River Area Youth Orchestra is accepting registrations for student membership,
and all instruments are welcome — strings, woodwinds,
brass and percussion.
Adults interested in playing
with an orchestra also are
Rehearsals take place
from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Sundays at Hutchinson Middle School,
1365 South Grade
Road SW.
For more information or to
register, go to
org or call

A day of family fun is planned for Saturday. The Equinox Festival will include a variety of family oriented activities and
games, as well as a
craft/flea market, tractor pull and musical entertainment.
The event will run
from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
at the Steffes Auctioneers grounds south of
At least 50 crafters and
flea market vendors have registered to participate. Crafters can still rent a booth at
the event by calling Dollie Felling at 320693-7072.
Along with providing a day of family entertainment, the event is planned as a
fundraiser for Love Without Boundaries
and National Alliance on Mental Illness of
Meeker County.

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