Long Distance Hiking
My first encounter with a long distance thru-hiker was most likely at age 10 while hiking with my brother Randy, 4 years my senior, and my dad on Franconia Ridge in New Hampshire's White Mountain National Forest along the Appalachian Trail. There were many other such encounters over the next several years as we hiked and backpacked the Whites for a week or two during summer vacations. A hike of the Appalachian Trail loomed large in my imagination throughout my youth. A few years out of college saw my first attempt at a thru-hike but my finances fell through booting me off the trail after a mere 2 weeks or maybe less.
Some 24 years later, and countless miles of day hikes and one night to 2 week backpacking trips all over the country, saw the start of my second attempt at the Appalachian Trail. This time it would be a success! A dream come true. This would satisfy my appetite for a thru-hike..
On the trail there were stories of folks who would get to the end only to turn around and keep hiking. They must be crazy I thought. That is, till I reached the Maine border and realized that in fewer than 300 miles it would all end, the views, the woods, the people. Oh no! This life style was a part of me now. How could it end. There is lots of time to think on the trail and here is where my thoughts went:
Maybe I should turn around at Mount Katahdin, the northern terminus, and hike back to New Hampshire, my home.
No. I have to get back home in time for set design for the fall musical.
I know. I'll hike the AT again next year!
No. That's silly to hike the same trail 2 years in a row.
Hmmm. Some folks have talked about the Pacific Crest Trail. I don't know anything about that but yeah.
I'll hike the PCT next year!
Well one thing led to another and it wasn't next year but 2007 for the PCT. I was hooked. It is said a person can hike one of the Triple Crown trails or all three but not just two.! So, after hiking the AT and then the PCT twice, there was nothing left but to hike the Continental Divide Trail.
At this point, 5/15/2016, these feet have traversed over 13,000 miles of long distance trails. By the end of this summer and 850 miles through Colorado, my second hike of the CDT should be complete. That will leave a second hike of the AT to complete a double Triple Crown! We'll see.
And so it continues:
On the last day of April, 2017, I set out northbound on the Appalachian Trail from Amicalola Falls. In late July, I crossed into my home state of New Hampshire. The next day I hitched off the trail to see my doctor. I needed double hernia surgery! Oh well. 13 months later I was back on the trail and completed my 2nd triple crown in 2018. Well, almost. There were 2 sections of the PCT and 2 of the CDT that were missed due to fire. A mop-up tour took care of them in 2019. Now it's official!!
See the drop-down menu above for links to the trail journals.