November 2011 Volunteer of the Month
Larry Broadwell

Larry Broadwell and his dog, Abishag, in a photo taken by
an anonymous hiker they encountered out on the trail.

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Larry Broadwell called PATC to ask then-Publications Chair Jean Golightly whether two trails described in one of the guidebooks were connected by a third trail he had run across when hiking the area. Her response was, “We’re looking for someone to do a new edition of that guide.”

Thus began Larry’s volunteer efforts as revision editor. Since that discussion and the first guidebook revision in 1995, Larry has interviewed park managers and worked with other volunteers to update and expand several of PATC’s pocket guides, including all three of the “Hikes in Washington Region” books; Part C is wrapping up currently.

Before retiring, Larry had done a lot of writing, editing and some photography for newsletters, reports and manuals when working in nonprofit management, but had not worked in publishing. Last year, Larry revised “Circuit Hikes in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania,” contributing a beautiful photo for the new cover in addition to text, photos and hike revisions/additions. Revising a guidebook typically takes six to 12 months to select and measure the trails, make document changes, take photos and work with PATC’s cartographer.

Larry began backpacking in the early 1980s on Mt. Rainier in Washington state, where he and a companion were caught in a blizzard, found their way out and enjoyed the challenge. From that came the pledge to do at least one challenging trek a year and countless hikes close to home and far away.

He says that finding a good new trail or new information on a well-known route to include in one of PATC’s guidebooks “is just outstanding; it’s great to share discoveries with other hikers.”

Thanks to Larry Broadwell, PATC’s pocket guides make it possible for novice and veteran hikers to enjoy many trails in our region.