By Melanie Tucker/ The Daily Times
MARYVILLE, Tenn. (June 13, 2015) -- Your feet will grow by one full shoe size if you walk 15 to 20 miles a day for an extended period — just one tidbit of information that’s helpful to folks embarking on the Appalachian Trail.
But what kind of shoes? Heavy or lightweight? And how many pairs will it take to complete 2,200 miles of walking?
The person to ask around here is Bert Emmerson, better known as “Wildcat” by his hiking comrades. He’s been hiking just about his whole life. He moved here to East Tennessee from California back in 1978.
“We used to call it walking,” he said. “I discovered walking is called hiking if you wear the right footwear.”
Like a lot of people who enjoy getting off the beaten path, Emmerson found himself intrigued and challenged by the Appalachian Trail after moving here. He initially started hiking it in sections, first starting on the segments in the Great Smoky Mountains. Then he did the math.