Introduction and 2021 Plans
Let’s start with the basics. My name is Chris Lovell (Hippie) and my pup is Haywood! We started hiking the Appalachian Trail back in 2018 and have spent about 8 months a year hiking on the AT ever since. Completing the trail twice and have logged in numerous other miles.
We were planning to head out west to hike the PCT this year, but with all of the restrictions still in place, I decided to hold off one more year on my triple crown plans.
After switching the hiking season plans, I had to figure out a way to still put in miles on a trail. I thought, well, if I return to the AT to hike it a 3rd time in a row, we have to switch it up and do something different! SO I THOUGHT, WHY NOT YOYO THE AT? After two Nobo completions, I decided on a Sobo and flip flop for this season.
LEAVE NO TRACE
But the main goal this year is promoting LEAVE NO TRACE! With the recent increase of people hiking due to covid, there is also an increased impact on the environment!! Leave no trace is every one of our responsibility! I plan to help educate hikers on the importance of Leave No Trace and how to lessen their impact on the forest we walk through! Without being a good trail ambassador, your just creating more problems. Because new hikers look to you for advice and guidance. So let’s make sure we always lead them in a direction that is sustainable for the environment!!
TRAIL CLEAN UP
I will be walking 4,386 miles, the whole length of the AT twice this year, picking up any trash I find on trail. I will carry a trash bag the whole way, calling local trail clubs to assist in picking up the trash bag from the next trailhead I hike through. It’s my way of trying to give back to a trail and a community that has given and taught me so much!
MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS
Is also an issue that hits home for me. The trail gave me the personal space for growth. The community gave me the positive environment to change some life patterns that I had always wanted to change. The trail allowed me to live a life that was based on simplicity. And through this simplicity, I was able to heal! I was able to find what truly mattered to me and definitely not the same guy that started the trail! I love being able to share my experience and growth with other hikers. Helping them see that every valley has a mountain top!
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