News Release

June 9, 2004

Contact: Patrick Keefe, 860-679-2447

Connecticut’s Trail Hiker Stops in Kent, June 14

Media Availability at Kent Post Office 10 a.m.

FARMINGTON, CONN. – “Bramble” comes out of the woods around 8 a.m., Monday, June 14, in Kent.

“Bramble” is the trail name of Carlos Adames, Litchfield fire fighter and Connecticut’s Appalachian Trail hiker. He started March 8 trekking up the Appalachian Trail from Springer Mountain, Georgia to Mount Katahdin, Maine, to raise money for the UConn Cancer Fund and in memory of his aunt Marie Culligan, who, this spring, was battling and subsequently died of breast cancer.

June 14 is his 32nd birthday.

“I’m very excited about visiting Connecticut,” he said Wednesday. “I love being on the trail. You meet the nicest people. At times it’s been tough – the trail can take a toll on you – but I think about my aunt and I think about being able to help someone and it motivates me to keep going. It’s fun.”

“Bramble” commands a distinctive presence on the trail. He wears a kilt – for ease of travel and comfort – and he’s evangelical in speaking to whomever he meets on the trail or in towns and villages along the way, of his aunt, her fight against breast cancer and the UConn cancer program and fund.

Many of his acquaintances – now friends – have sent checks to the Health Center. A short-term goal of his, beyond finishing the 2,167 mile march in August, is to raise as much money as he can to help the most people suffering from cancer.

“It’s a good human interest story,” said Dale Jones, Litchfield radio station WZBG FM 93.7 morning man and program director. Jones has aired phone calls and updates from Carlos. “He’s a unique individual.,” Jones said. “Physically, he’s very imposing – he’s a big guy, large and muscular – but he’s respectful and quiet and as easy-going as a teddy bear.”

Jones said he caught on to the story from a written account, and he mentioned Litchfield Fire Department members were looking for periodic updates.

“Carlos is doing this without any bravado and he’s doing it for a cause that’s heartwarming and has received a lot of local support,” Jones said.

“He wanted to do something in memory of his aunt and he thought ‘Here’s something I can do.’ It’s what he calls a ‘lifetime accomplishment.’ It’s something that’s doing some good and something he can feel good about,” Jones said. “That’s why I stayed with the story since I got started.”

Carlos expects to come off the trail where it crosses Route 341 around 8 a.m. He’s hiking into Kent and will visit a couple of stores and meet some supporters. He’ll be available to talk or interview at the post office at 10 a.m.

He plans to overnight in a field just outside of town and will resume his march Tuesday. He’ll be accompanied by members of the Litchfield Fire Department and the Bantam Fire Department, plus friends and other well-wishers. Of course, he’ll be collecting pledges and eliciting promises of a donation to the cancer program in memory of Marie Culligan .

“This has been a growing experience,” Carlos said. “I’ve gained more independence. The decisions I’ve made have brought me to a comfortable, safe place. I’m never in harm’s way and I’ve met a lot of nice people. I talk to everybody along the trail and tell them what I’m doing. They’re interested,” he said.

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