PIQUA — Andy “Captain Blue” Niekamp is the featured speaker for the Nov. 9 YWCA Monthly Luncheon Series. The program, which is free and open to the public, begins at 11 a.m. followed by a noon luncheon ($6/person).
Since 1994, Niekamp has hiked over 7,400 miles on the Appalachian Trail (AT), a continuous footpath that runs through 14 states from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Katahdin in Maine. He has been awarded three “2,000 miler” certificates by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, which given to hikers who have completed the entire AT. Niekamp first became interested in backpacking in Boy Scouts, took his first solo hike on the AT in 1989, and since then has hiked the trail in sections end-to-end over three times.
Niekamp is the founder and leader of the Dayton Hikers group, Dayton’s largest and most active hiking group. In 2010, he logged over 1,000 miles of backpacking on 16 different trips in 15 states. In all, he hiked over 1,600 miles last year—most of them solo.
Reservations for the luncheon must be made by Monday, Nov. 7, by calling the YWCA at (937) 773-6626. The YWCA, located at 418 N. Wayne St., Piqua, is handicapped-accessible. A UVMC nurse will beavailable from 10:15-11 a.m. for free blood pressure and glucose screenings.