By Valerie Wilkins
Linda Evans loves to be involved with the Green Mountain Club – whether it’s leading hikes, volunteering at the GMC headquarters in Waterbury, being a Summit Steward on Mt. Mansfield during the summer months or serving as Secretary and Shelter Coordinator for the Burlington Section. She’s done all this in a relatively short time – since June of 1998 when she renewed her membership in the club.
Linda has hiked on and off for most of her life, but it’s only within the last 10 years that she’s begun to devote a significant amount of her free time to hiking. Her passion for hiking really took hold when she and her friends Lee Ann and Michael Banks came up with the idea of hiking the Long Trail. Linda, Lee Ann, and Michael tackled the LT section by section. In the north, where the trail is closer to home, they often did day hikes. They had to travel further to get to the trailheads in the southern part of the state, so they usually stayed out for two to three days at a time. The trio finished the Long Trail with a hike to Journey’s End in September 2002.
After completing the Long Trail, Linda wanted to be more involved with the Green Mountain Club. For the past four years, she has served as Secretary of the Burlington Section, participating in quarterly meetings of the Executive Committee, keeping the minutes and handling other correspondence. She also has been Shelter Coordinator for two years, a position she shared with John Connell until this past spring. As Shelter Coordinator, Linda collects input from the Shelter Adopters and helps organize the kind of minor repairs that aren’t handled by GMC headquarters. She also visits the shelters regularly.
Within the last few years, Linda has added trip leader to her long list of GMC volunteer activities. Though she enjoys doing hikes of all intensity levels, Linda particularly likes to lead hikes for people who prefer a leisurely to moderate pace. She welcomes (and encourages!) folks who are new to hiking to come on her trips. When planning an outing, Linda selects hikes that she likes to do and that she thinks others will enjoy. She wants participants to have a positive experience so they’ll head out on the trail again. When folks sign up for an outing, Linda talks with them to get a sense of their interests and abilities and then adapts the day’s itinerary based on their input. For Linda, attention to the needs and wishes of the group, flexibility, and a good sense of humor are all important to being a good trip leader and making every outing a success.
Many of the hikes that Linda leads are in the Mt. Mansfield area, with Nebraska Notch as a favorite spot. More distant outings have included a trip to the Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge for some prime bird watching, and a relaxing lunch at the GMC cabins in Barton, combined with a hike up and around nearby Wheeler Mountain.
Linda also coordinates an annual – and very popular – winter weekend at the Wiesel Cabin in the Adirondacks, where peak bagging, snowshoeing, skiing, eating, and shopping in nearby Lake Placid are all parts of the mix. Again, Linda’s flexibility is the key to a successful outing!
In all of her many activities, Linda sees herself as an ambassador for the Green Mountain Club. Because the GMC and the Long Trail have brought such richness to her life, she’s eager to share the benefits with others. Whether it’s leading a hike, answering questions on top of Mt. Mansfield, or staffing a table at the EMS Club Day, Linda enjoys having a good time, getting to know others, and spreading the word about the GMC.
Join Linda for an upcoming hike!
Linda will be leading a full moon hike to Butler Lodge on December 13.