Trail Days 2024 Hiker’s Stories – “Double Stack”

I met “Double Stack” Friday evening at Trail Days. He began his 2018 NOBO thru hike March 21 and finished October 5. He first attempted a thru-hike in 2016 but was forced off the trail by a stress fracture. 2024 was his fourth Trail Days.

The favorite parts of his 2018 hike were Maine’s 100 Wile Wilderness and New Hampshire’s White Mountains. His least favorite part was through Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park.

Like many male hikers I talked to before him, Double Stack” mentioned how working on and completing the requirements for his Eagle Scout badge led him to hiking, backpacking, and his love for the outdoors. In spite of his desire to immerse himself in nature, he reported that long distance hiking “is all about the community and meeting people. While the outdoors and nature are great, it is really about the people.” My hunch it is the people, most of all, that keeps bring him back to Trail Days.

Double Stack’s love affair with long distance might have started with his 2018 AT thru hike, but it did not end there. Since completing his NOBO thru-hike on his second attempt, he has hiked all or major sections of The Long Trail 1n 2019), the PCT in 2022, and Mount Rainier’s Wonderland Trail in 2023. He had wanted to hike the PCT in 2020 but COVID changed his plans and instead, he ended up hiking in Colorado.

He summed up all his long-distance hiking so far by saying that it was all “An amazing experience, but that community is what it is all about.” My hunch is that it is the community that keeps people like Double Stack coming back to Trail Days long after an AT thru-hike or even years of section hiking have ended. May it is the same sense of community that also draws readers back to The Trek.

This was the seventh Hiker’s Stories from Trail Days 2024. I have one more to pos, so please come back to The Trek in a few days to look for it.

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