Yes, We Are That Couple
As much as I would like to say that we are varied in our hobbies, we are not. We pretty much go backpacking and hiking. John also does trail running, but I just view that as hiking really fast. All vacations of our choosing are in National Parks or on trails. John is an outdoor photographer (with a side job at REI – #discount) and I took a job where I’d have summers off. I currently teach middle school math, so you already know I’m crazy.
How We Met
Yes, we are that couple who met on trail while thru-hiking. There may have even been some pink blazing involved. Just saying. I wrote all about that trip here. It started with abandonment (me) and a big mile day (John). Even though we started only one day apart in Georgia, we never hiked together until the start of Virginia. My tramily turned and hiked back into Damascus without telling me. (Rude yes, but it was also before the days of iPhones, Facebook, and FarOut). I traveled as slowly as I could without running out of food to let them catch up. John was finally finding his groove and did his first over-20-mile day. He found me killing time and trying to get warm in the sun at a shelter. After delivering the bad news about my tramily he asked me to hike to the next shelter with him. The next day I bribed him with lunch if he’d hitchhike into town with me. That was the start of our friendship-turned-life partnership. And also, coincidentally, the end of John’s 20-mile days.
However, unlike so many trail romances, ours is still intact almost 20 years later. We got married on the Appalachian Trail at Pen Mar Park on Hike Naked Day. We live in a tiny house, drive a Subaru, and watch hiking videos for fun. Yes, we are that couple. We are hiking the Colorado Trail as a 15th anniversary present to each other.
How We Started
John grew up backpacking with the Boy Scouts while my family had more camping-style adventures. John grew up in Gettysburg and has always known about the Appalachian Trail. I never knew it existed until I read an article at age 24. But, both of us shared that common thread with all thru-hikers – the insistent idea of a thru-hike that buries itself in your brain and won’t let go until you step out onto the trail. We hiked the AT in 2005, Georgia to the Smokies in 2004, and the Maryland & lower PA section often.
How It’s Going
We were able to step foot on the CDT during a family trip to Yellowstone in 2010 and on the PCT just this past spring outside of Seattle. That was literally my only goal of the trip; John’s was to finish a 25-mile race. Completing the Triple Crown has been a dream since 2005. Somewhere in the last third of the thru-hike, hikers either know that this was a one-and-done trip for them, or they start dreaming of the next trail.
This year we are attempting the Colorado Trail again. The trailhead picture below is from our attempt in 2018. We will depart from Denver at the beginning of July and head to Durango. It’s sort of a shake-down hike for the AT in 2025. To see if I can actually still hike over 100 miles. I’m definitely terrified. Hang around to hear why.
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