Trail Change! Finger Lakes Trail and Long Trail Hike

And the new countdown!

I was originally intending to hike the AT, but I realized this past six to eight weeks that it’s not going to happen for me this year. I love trail life and I’ve been interested in the AT for a while, but it never sat totally right in my gut to be out there this summer. I talked it over with a couple people close to me — some hikers, some not — and as soon as I started to tell them my alternative plan, it felt so much more natural for what I should/need to be hiking this summer.

So yeah, it tastes a little like crow, but whatever, it all balances out because I’m super excited about my new plan: back-to-back thrus of the Finger Lakes Trail in New York and the Long Trail in Vermont.

Total: around 850 miles.

I live in Western New York, so my plan is to jump on the trail in Allegheny over Memorial Day weekend whenever I can get a ride to do an eastbound hike, then get picked up by my sister who lives in Burlington, hang out there for a day or two before doing  a southbound of the Long Trail.

Reasons for hiking the FLT and the LT:

I’ve been sitting on maps of the FLT for two years with the intention to get out there “someday.” It’s practically in my backyard, so there’s a familiarity with it even though I haven’t been on it. It’s still a pioneering trail — according to their site, 426 people have completed an end-to-end — which makes it super enticing to me. I’ve had my eye on the Long Trail for two years as well because of its history and ruggedness, and they each require a fair amount of strategizing. Since it just so happens that strategizing and tromping through the woods (read “therapy”) are some of my favorite hobbies, what better plan than to do them BOTH?! For the FLT, I’ve already contacted the end-to-end coordinator so they know I’m out there, and to make it easier to get in contact with Trail Angels along the way. I’ll use their excel sheet as a printout to track mileage as well as my Spot.

My Preparation Progress Report is as follows:

  • I ordered a Spot rental through Lower Gear.
  • I sent in my Osprey pack for a few repairs through their All Mighty Guarantee. The mesh has worn out over the miles and the right shoulder strap is kind of busted.
  • I ordered a bunch of food.

I am now a proud member of the Picky Club (Lauren Fleshman is inspirational as hell). I even got a cool T-Shirt.

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I have over 3 lbs of dried refried beans from Honeyville in my possession. That’s a lot of beans, guys, a lot of beans. Protein, protein, protein!

And I decided to try some meals from Outdoor Herbivore.

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Shoes.

I will probably have something to say about feet and/or shoes in every blog post I write here. It’s the nature of the beast.

I had to switch to Lone Peaks 3.0. About a month ago, I was in Monument Valley for a race as part of the Grand Circle Trail Series and the night after I ran, I was sleeping in a car and put my shoes outside (because who would want to want to sleep with that?). I woke up and one of my shoes was gone. Who knows, maybe it fell through a chink in the space-time continuum. Or a coyote ran by and decided to bury it in the desert sand. Anyway, I woke up to one out of two shoes, and the Lone Peak 2.5s have been discontinued — they are rather hard to find in my size now. Lone Peak 3.0s it is then.

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It always gives me a little anxiety to get a new model because they fit slightly different, stress different muscles, ligaments, joints, tendons, and as minor as a change may be, it’s amplified big time during 12-hour days. I got them early enough and they’re close enough to the old model that I don’t anticipate big problems for a transition, it’s just one more thing to do, you know? I can tell they’re for sure more narrow than 2.0, but they’re similar to 2.5s. They have more structure on the outside, though, which is fine because the 2.5s didn’t have the longevity I was expecting.

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Comments 2

  • Avatar
    boobytrap : Apr 26th

    I have done a couple of day-hikes on the FLT. Have never seen another hiker, which can be a good thing if you like solitude in a thru hike (I’m split on this personally). One thing that discourages me from it though is the amount of road walking. The finger lakes region and the southern tier are very beautiful and I doubt you will ever have to carry water, ever. Have fun!

    -booby
    (conesus, ny)
    AT ’16

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Kim : Apr 26th

    Thank you! Yeah, I expect the FLT to be pretty empty for most of my hike and while I’m fairly certain I’ll be OK with it, it will be one of the most challenging aspects of my hike, and I’m definitely going to prepare with a couple audiobooks and a slew of podcasts!

    Reply

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