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After moving to Virginia in 2007, Vince Mier and his wife Lori took a dayhike to Dragon's Tooth and became hooked on the A.T. He became involved with the Roanoke A.T. Club to learn more about the Trail, to help preserve and maintain it, and to start training for a thru-hike.
When a trail maintenance section became available, Vince jumped at the opportunity. As he painted a blaze at an overlook one day, he realized that, while it was something most would barely notice, it had special meaning to him. “The last blaze I painted that day was on the backpack I thru-hiked with," says Vince. Naturally, his Trail name is "Blaze."
Vince's photographs show his love for the A.T. He has donated many of them to ATC—some are displayed at ATC headquarters—and they have appeared on ATC's website and in Appalachian Trail Journeys. He's also volunteered for ATC's membership drives and at Trail festivals. Javier Folgar, ATC marketing and communications director, says, "Vince has done a tremendous job to spread the word about the A.T. and the ATC."
As Vince puts it, "The Trail has had an incredibly positive impact on my life, so any time I can share that with others in the hope that they too can experience it, I am happy to do so." As a relatively new A.T. maintainer, he also says, "I am honored just to have the opportunity to help to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail. I am motivated, humbled, and inspired by my fellow RATC members; especially Homer and Therese Witcher, David Jones, and Dick Clark."