Founding | Early Recollections | Years at a Glance | Random Memories

Phil Blampied describes the beginning of the Seacoast Day Hikers....... Heading for Eisenhower

"I founded the group in the Spring of 1994 after being unable to find a fairly relaxed hiking group in the Portsmouth, NH area. I was doing some traveling for business in those days and had found weekend hiking groups in many of the cities in which I stayed, thus was inspired to found one in Portsmouth."

Finding other hikers.......

"I sent a press release to the local newspapers and I know for sure only that the Portsmouth Herald published it. It announced a meeting, in my apartments and open to the public, to plan a hiking group. At that time, I was living in a studio apartment small enough that you could take a bath and reach over and see what was in the refrigerator at the same time. (Wait a minute, that's a lie - there wasn't room for a tub. It was a shower stall and you could answer the phone and even the door if you stretched.)

"Anyway, I had expected perhaps four or five people to respond, but on the Saturday morning in late March when I hosted the planning meeting, the hallway outside the apartment was suddenly alive with people trooping up the stairs to my apartment. People filled all the chairs and the couch and the floor and the shower stall and someone tried sitting on the stove and another ten people jammed the hallway and were peering in through the doorway. There were about thirty people in my oversized closet of an apartment. My neighbors were probably not thrilled but I was."

The newsletter is born.......

"To keep the group together, I figured a newsletter was the ideal tool. I produced it for the first several issues on a manual typewriter, photocopying a master and mailing it to everyone on the sign up sheet. I don't think there was any fee at first, although I quickly realized one would be necessary. The first mailing included the schedule for the first year, which I produced after our organizational meeting. I was calling the group 'The Nameless Seacoast Hiking Group' at first."