Long-Distance Potato Chips
I’ve missed the trail every moment of every day since September 2nd 2016. I missed it before I even left Maine two days later. I miss it right now. I miss the people. The smells. The animals. Everything about it, everything! It has become part of me, and I’ve become part of it. I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s hard not to tell a story any time something reminds me of one of millions of amazing memories.
Long distance hiking is like potato chips. It’s crunchy and salty. And betcha’ can’t take just one.
One hundred miles
One thousand miles
One thru hike
I know I can’t take just one. I need more. My heart is out there. I’m not one for cliches’ but John Muir said it best… “I care to live only to entice people to look at Nature’s loveliness.” He also had some other quote about the mountains calling or something.
In a few weeks, I will be hiking the Horseshoe Trail in my home state of Pennsylvania. I plan to complete the 140 miles of the trail in 5 or 6 days. This time however I’ll be joined by my “beardy dog” Quin. A 2-year-old Deutsch Drahthaar that did not accompany me on my AT thru hike. This journey will take us from the Appalachian Trail outside Harrisburg, east to Valley Forge National Historic Park. It’s very fitting to begin my next journey on the trail that started this amazing life. This will be a first big hike for Quin. It’s a testing ground for her, as well as myself. To see how she does on extended overnight backpacking. As well as how I handle her on the trail and in the tent. She has big things in her future. Big things.
Next month I’ll be turning 35. When asked last night how I felt about turning 35, I replied I’m fine with that. Fancy cars in front of big houses, big promotions, and big pay checks. That’s just not me. I’m rugged after all. Turning 35 next month will give me 5 years to complete one of my new goals. The Horseshoe Trail will be Quin’s testing ground for her Pacific Crest Trail thru hike. Which will also be my PCT thru hike. Giving me four years to then complete the Continental Divide Trail. Making me a hiking Triple Crowner. 7,900 miles, 1,000,000′ vertical gain and 22 states. It will be one amazing life.
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