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 step

One mile

One day

One week

One state

One hundred miles

One month

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.


Courtesy of OCRegister.com

Courtesy of OCRegister.com


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Comments 3

  • Otter : Feb 23rd

    Dylan, great post! I followed your post while you were on the AT (and since). I’ll be following in your footsteps in about 10 days (on the AT). I look forward eagerly to updates from the Horshoe, the PCT, and the CDT. Have a good hike! Otter

  • Tortuga : Feb 25th

    Nice post. Great attitude about life. A man with a vision.

  • Shara : Feb 27th

    I loved reading this post. You are so right about missing the trail, the people and all of it! It’s exactly like potato chips! What a awesome comparison. No matter if it’s section hikes, day hikes or thru hikes…. it takes over my soul and I dream of it constantly until I’m able to get back. Good luck on your upcoming hikes


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