“Several of our patrons have commented on your website and Facebook page.  I was wondering if you do talks and would be interested in coming to our library?” Arlene asked via email last week, from the Stanford Free Library in northern Dutchess County.

I hesitated.  I don’t really DO talks.  I mean, I do talk, on occasion, to varying degrees of success.  But DO TALKS?

“I’m flattered to be asked!  Absolutely, sign me up,” I replied, before I could stop myself.

So on Thursday, October 11, at 6:30pm, I’ll be at the Stanford Free Library (Google Map link) to talk about Hike the Hudson Valley, awesome fall hiking destinations, gear, camping, that time I fell on my face whilst wearing a child, Instagram, rattlesnakes, motivating your family to hike with you even though they don’t want to hike with you, and anything else anybody would like to talk about.

“I’ll hang some flyers at our library and other libraries in the area, but we usually plan a little further ahead,” Arlene said, concerned that we wouldn’t have enough time to run a proper marketing campaign for this talk that I’m apparently doing.

There’s a flyer. No going back now!

“I’ll blog about it!  And put it on Facebook!” I said.  “That might help.  Or it might not.  I have no idea.”

In any event, I have absolutely loved corresponding with local hikers through Hike the Hudson Valley over the years, and am excited for this opportunity to meet some of you in real life for the first time.  Please come by and say hello if you can!  And if you have any topics you’d like me to cover, please let me know in the comments below!  (I take requests when I do talks.  Because I do talks now.   It’s a thing.)

Special thanks to Arlene and the Stanford Free Library for the invitation!  I truly am flattered to be asked, and will do my absolute best to deliver an entertaining and informative talk for the folk(s) who show up.

Hope to see you there!

**Post-Event UPDATE!!**

Well, that was fun!  Thanks so much to the Stanford Free Library for hosting such a nice event.  My son, Evan, came along to check this thing out, and we both felt pretty cool when we pulled up to see “HIKE THE HUDSON VALLEY TALK” in lights.  Well, you know, in letters.

I gave it a 50% chance that Evan would be the entire audience for this talk, but about twenty-five other friendly hiking humans showed up!  They even stayed to listen to me yammer for about an hour while Evan worked the clicker to advance the Powerpoint slides.  My only tactical error was in bringing a clicker with a laser pointer, which Evan figured out how to use about five minutes in.  Pretty sure I had a red dot on my shirt for the entire talk.

The evening’s best moment came about halfway through, when I mentioned how much I enjoyed using trekking poles.

“Me, too!” one lady commented.  “My back and legs used to hurt after hiking, but after I started using trekking poles, the pain went away.  They make you feel like you’re thirty again!”

An older woman turned toward her and asked, deadpan, “Do they work if you take them to bed?”

That woman should give the next talk at the library.  I’d show up to see it.

In any event, thanks again to the Stanford Free Library for the invitation and wonderful hosting (they had cheese! and grapes!) of the event!  And to all the cool people who showed up!  Let’s do it again sometime.

Comments (8)

Was this trail guide useful to you? Please leave a comment!
  1. Krista

    Hi there! I would like to connect with you in regards to speaking at my library about local hikes (I’m a librarian!). I can’t seem to find a contact email on your website. Where can I send an inquiry?

    1. Mike

      Thanks for reaching out, Krista! I’ve strategically placed my email address in a couple of spots so that only the heartiest of seekers can find it (it’s at the bottom of “The Hikes” page, above the “Coming Soon(ish)” list, if you click the link to drop me a line). I’ll send you an email right now to save you the digging. I”m flattered you asked – looking forward to chatting!

  2. Cathy Gettys

    I love your site! I use it, print it out and share it when I’m done. I tell anyone looking for a hike to go to your site. Thanks for making them easy to follow and fun to read. You’ll do great at the library! And if you ever hit northern Greene county, we’d love to have you at our local library.

    1. Mike

      Thank you so much, Cathy! Really appreciate the kind words and encouragement. It’s beautiful country up that way – would love to visit sometime 🙂

  3. Elise Burns

    Can your talk event be recorded? I can’t make it on time because I work and live too far to make it but would love to see it.

    1. Mike

      Thank you so much, Elise! Really appreciate the thought. Since this is my first time out, I’m going to focus on the folk(s) in the room, but if this turns into a thing, recording may be a good idea for a future one. (I’m getting the idea maybe I should have snatched up one of their weekend slots instead. There’s a lot to learn about the library speaking circuit!)

  4. Danish Syed

    Hi Mike,
    This is great!! On behalf of my entire family (wife and two kids) I wish you great success in your talk. If it wasn’t on a weekday and we weren’t in White Plain’s, we would’ve loved to come up and meet you to personally thank you for your blog. Last Sunday atop Mt. Beacon fire tower I was thinking if Mike wouldn’t have written it, I might still have found out about the hike sooner or later but without all that directions and guidance I’d have never dared to bring my two kids (4 year old and 2 year old) on this (and most of these) hike(s). So again, keep up the good work. Hoping to catch one of your “talks” soon 🙂

    Best Wishes.

    1. Mike

      Thanks so much, Danish! I really appreciate the kind words, and am glad the site has been helpful to you and your family. Hope we can catch up one of these days — we’ll see if I still do talks after next Thursday 🙂

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