GARDNERS, PA (June 11, 2010) - Appalachian Trail Museum organizers are following up the successful grand opening of the museum on June 5 with programs that will appeal to hikers and those who would like to learn about hiking.

"The museum is more than its exhibits," said Larry Luxenberg, president of the Appalachian Trail Museum Society. "It embodies the spirit of the hiking community -- one that enjoys sharing experiences and information about fitness, conservation, trail maintenance, gear, nature and a host of other topics."

One that will appeal to couples is a presentation on Saturday, July 4, at 8:30 pm by Randy Motz and Georgia Harris, motivational speakers and authors of "Solemates - Lessons on Life, Love & Marriage from the Appalachian Trail" and "The Walk - Reflections on Life & Faith from the Appalachian Trail."  The topic of their program will be "The Joys of Backpacking as a Couple."  "We will discuss what it is like to spend 24/7 with your mate backpacking long-distance trails," said Motz, also known by his hiking nickname of "Windtalker."  He and Harris, whose trail name is "Mom," have hiked the 2,179 miles of the Appalachian Trail that connects 14 states from Georgia to Maine.  They pull from their years of hiking experience to offer valuable tips, as well as, thought-provoking and often times humorous insight into the unique challenges and rewards of hiking as a couple.

The presentation will be given near the museum at the Furnace Stack Pavilion in Pine Grove Furnace State Park (www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/parks/pinegrovefurnace). Those attending are encouraged to bring a camp chair or a blanket. Luxenberg said the museum, which is located in the park's historic district, will be open additional hours on July 4, from 6 pm until 8 pm, for the convenience of program attendees. Exhibits in the museum honor those who founded, constructed and first thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail.

The Appalachian Trail Museum, open daily from noon to 4 pm through Labor Day, is in a 200-year-old restored grist mill that is across from the Pine Grove General Store and is two miles from the midway point of the Appalachian Trail. More information is available at the museum's website, www.atmuseum.org, and info@atmuseum.org.

Quote from past "Joy of Backpacking as a Couple" attendee: "Sooner or later we all find someone we want to spend our lives with, and it's natural to want to share what we're passionate about and introduce our loved ones to the outdoors.  There is an art and science to that, and Randy Motz, "Windtalker" and Georgia Harris, "Mom" have done the research, learning the miseries of gorgeous weather and the falling-down laughter of endless rain and mud.

No two people see and describe the same experience in the same way.  So there is tremendous power and insight in Randy and Georgia's delivery; each observation, anecdote and helpful tip complementing that of the partner, creating a whole that is more than the sum of its parts.  Their presentation style is perfectly fitted to their message, aptly demonstrating the give-and-take and personal independence united in the experience of each day on the trail, on the journey to their common goal.

Truly a thought-provoking presentation, and not only for couples walking the trail.  The insights Georgia and Randy bring to this talk work just as well along the day-to-day trail of life."

Mark Nelson, Outreach Specialist, REI Bailey's Crossroads

About the Appalachian Trail Museum Society

The Appalachian Trail Museum Society, a 501-C-3 not-for-profit organization formed in 2002, organizes programs, exhibits, volunteers and fundraising nationwide for the Appalachian Trail Museum.  The museum opened on June 5, 2010, as a tribute to the thousands of men, women and families who have hiked and maintained the 2,179 mile long hiking trail that passes through 14 states from Maine to Georgia. Located in the Pine Grove Furnace State Park in Gardners, Pennsylvania, the museum is conveniently near Carlisle, Gettysburg and Chambersburg, Pennslynvania.  Additional information is available at www.atmuseum.org.

MEDIA CONTACT Joe Patterson Appalachian Trail Museum Society

717-823-7556 joseph.patterson@e-lynxx.con info@atmuseum.org www.atmuseum.org