My Elevation Proclamation

 Planning and executing a successful thru hike is a tedious and all-encompassing endeavor. After I made the decision to hike in November of 2015 the next five months of planning were filled with anything and everything Appalachian Trail. Reading past blogs, comparing instant mashed potato brands, searching out any gear review possible, going on shakedown hikes, getting the financial life ready to take a 5 month hit – the list wouldn’t end. Once the big day hit it was nothing but hiking, eating, drinking, making friends, and sleeping. The miles and states stacked up and before I knew it I was drinking coffee on top of Katahdin, bringing in my last sunrise as a thru hiker. As quickly as it came, it went and I was on a greyhound heading back to New Jersey with a whole new set of problems to solve. Where would I live next? What did I want to do for a living? How long do I have to live in my parents’ basement until I can rebuild my savings?

One last cup of coffee after a night hike up Katahdin


Well, it took a year and a half but I have most of those questions answered (at least that’s what I tell myself) and I’m feeling like a normal human again. I moved out to Colorado, have a 40 hour work week, and have free time that I need to start filling up. Its an odd feeling, but I’d say the ‘Appalachian Trail’ section of my life is all but completed.  That’s not to say the experiences I had and lessons I learned while on the trail don’t influence me daily, but I do think I have turned a page and am on the next chapter of my life.

My morning views now are a little different than when I was on trail. beats sitting in an office all day though!

But just because I am back to a more conventional life doesn’t mean I can’t set unreasonable goals for myself. I’m not about to quit my job and start up another 5 month journey in the woods, but I have enough free time after work to set outlandish goals that are going to take almost as much determination as my thru hike did. So here is my 2018 goal: To run/hike 365,000 feet of elevation gain in at least 1,500 miles over the course of the year.  That’s averaging 4 miles and 1,000’ of climb every day for the year. It’s no thru hike, but it’ll still kick my butt.

There’s no shortage of elevation climb in Colorado (Picture courtesy of Pokey)

I’ll give a monthly update on my progress, and if you want to follow along I’ll be recording my progress on the Strava app.  You can search for “Patrick Murray AT” and see what kind of suffering I’ve been undertaking recently.  

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

What Do You Think?