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Hiking the Appalachian Trail prepared him for his next journey as a Navy SEAL

Evan Metz’s awakening came on the Appalachian Trail.     To be exact, 125 awakenings. One each morning as he hiked the trail in the 41⁄2 months after his 2014 graduation from Calvert High School. Each morning and every mile brought the 19-year-old closer to embodying the values he sought to reach his goal of becoming a Navy SEAL.     With his Navy ship-out postponed, Metz had chaffed. To pass the months, family friend Steven Vilsack challenged Metz to an Appalachian Trail hike.

Yumi Hogan shares her favorite Korean recipes for the Governor’s Buy Local Week Challenge

When Maryland’s governor and first lady throw a party, it’s not often Mrs. Guv will be doing the cooking.     First Lady Yumi Hogan proves the exception to that rule. This week, for the eighth Annual Buy Local Cookout, she prepares and serves her own adaptation of pork bulgogyi, which she calls “a classic household dish for a Korean family.”

See how nature treats him on the Weather Channel July 19

Anne Arundel County cop Ron ­Gamble, of Arnold, always considered himself a fat guy. Now the ­Weather Channel has made him a Fat Guy in the Woods. In the reality show episode airing July 19 Gamble and two other fat guys venture into Kentucky cave country guided by survival expert Creek Stewart. Stewart — who is neither a fat guy nor a cop — intends to teach them “the skills that make a man a man.” Here Gamble previews his week-long experience — from ordering room service to hunting crickets for dinner.

I want to grow up to be like ­Diamond Dave

When I was a little kid, I wanted to play the guitar like my dad did. He’s a great musician, a human jukebox who can play hundreds of songs, whatever you want. Diamond Dave is what his music partner Mike calls him, a name that reminds me of the 1960s and of Woodstock, the culture he was immersed in when he was about my age, a teenager. He’s been honing his skill for more than twice as long as I’ve been alive, and it shows.

Only poets have words for so tough a job

It’s that time of year again when, whether we deserve it or not, Hallmark tells us parents what a great job we’re doing raising our kids. Yet as we all know, perfection is unattainable. Toughing the job, Americans are increasingly parenting alone. Roughly a quarter of American children are raised by single parents, with nearly 20 percent single fathers, according to 2011 Census statistics.     No matter the circumstances, our children’s road to independence follows a fine line between common sense and the nanny state.

Thanks to Dad, I’ve checked and refilled oil, changed spark plugs and batteries, tightened wires, satisfied in the knowledge I could do it

My father, Marlow Hankey, came back from the Army in 1952 after a few years in Korea. While in the service, he learned to like the work of fixing cars and engines in the Motor Pool. His later-life tag of Mr. Fixit stemmed from that time.     I remember him working on his cars, changing the spark plugs, the oil and filters. Most of the cars were Fords. When I was 16, I remember him buying a 1956 Ford Fairlane — but at that age I was not very interested in cars.

Special Olympics athletes set their sights on the summer games in Los Angeles

Brandan Ehrmantraut of Prince Fredrick loves being part of Special Olympics. “It shows we aren’t different even with our disabilities,” the 20-year-old says. “We can compete like everyone else.”     Ehrmantraut and seven unified cheerleading teammates are journeying to Los Angeles later this summer to support and energize special athletes from around the world in the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games. They will be cheering on five of their Maryland peers at the games.

Since a teenage batboy for the Washington Senators, Bill Cox has rooted for the home team

Ask Rose Haven resident Bill Cox about baseball, and he’ll tell you as many stories as you want to hear.     You’d expect as much from this 74-year-old, as he drives a blazing red golf cart refurbished as a Washington Nationals tribute with red and white seats, chrome wheels and a Nats logo. Cox and his shiny cart make appearances in all the Rose Haven holiday parades. He lets Santa borrow it for the Christmas parade.

Tactician Terry Hutchinson rises to top spot for a second time

Terry Hutchinson has been named the U.S. Sailing Association’s 2014 Rolex Yachtsman of the year.     A veteran of four America’s Cup campaigns, Hutchinson in 2014 was atop more major regatta leader boards than any other American sailor. Competing as chief tactician, he won the Farr 40 and TP52 World Championships and the Oman Cup’s RC44 one-design class, among other big-boat regattas around the world. He also was at the helm in the Annapolis Fall Brawl, as the winner in the J/70 class.

Can’t get your boat to a pump-out station? One will come to you

If you spend much time on your boat, it’s probably got a head. What you put into the head can’t go into the Bay. It’s against the law to pump effluent into the Bay or its tributaries or within three miles of the U.S. coastline.