Welcome to my adventure blog and thank you for your patience as I continue to prepare for my pilgrimage across the Continental Divide.
I am eager to begin traveling and start sharing my story with all of you. It is my hope that it will inspire others to not only go out and explore the natural wonders the world has to offer, but to also simply do what it is that makes you happy. If you are not doing what makes you happy, you should be working towards doing what makes you happy.
Mt. Katahdin, northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail
I am currently on the quest to obtain the Triple Crown in thru-hiking. There are three major long distance hiking trails in the U.S. including the Appalachian Trail, the Continental Divide Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. In 2014, I successfully completed a "thru" of the Appalachian Trail, as I walked 2,185.3 miles from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mt. Katahdin in Baxter State Park, Maine. This was a life altering experience, for it introduced me to the incomparable thru-hiking community and blazed a path for my future endeavors. My goal to triple crown was put on hiatus when Moose, Sticks and I discovered a long distance path that leads you from the most northern point of New Zealand to the most southern point.
First day on Te Araroa, New Zealand
The idea manifested at a McDonald's in Millinocket (woah, alliteration) near the end of our Appalachian Trail thru-hike and our dreams became a reality 16 months thereafter. In between hikes we all worked as much as possible, saving every last penny we could to ensure the trip of a lifetime. Our excursion through "Middle Earth" was nothing short of magnificent. We met a countless amount of amazing people on trail, hitchhiking and within the towns / cities. We explored active volcanoes, navigated our way through sections of rain forest riddled with thick brush making it difficult to follow the trail, forded some of the largest rivers in the country, played in pitch dark caves whose ceilings were reminiscent of a starry night thanks to the bioluminescence of the glow worms, yet none of this even begins to do New Zealand any justice. If the Appalachian Trail had not already set the course for my perpetual desire to explore, Te Araroa made certain there was no looking back.
Tongariro Crossing, Tongariro National Park in New Zealand
The recrudescence of a lifestyle in "normal" society always encourages me enough to plan my next trip very far in advance. I am never more comfortable or confident than I am while on trail, so the quicker I can get back out there, the better.
Over the past 7 years I have been extremely fortunate to have my job on Hope Island. The owners and I have built a strong relationship over that time and they are very supportive of my hikes, allowing me to take off the necessary time and come back to work as soon as I am finished. Once returning from New Zealand, I determined it would take me a year to save up for another thru hike.
...Which leads us to now. I am currently amidst a yearlong work stint, as I prepare to tackle the Continental Divide Trail. I can proudly say that I recently became a Field Tester for LL Bean and they will be providing me with some essential gear for my hike. Sadly I am not able to hit the trails as often as I would like, but fortunately for me my work keeps me in pretty solid shape. The first few weeks of my hike will be far from easy, but this is the routine I am familiar with. My buddy, Right On, has supplied me with a very detailed spreadsheet of all the resupply spots and also hooked me up with an app called Avenza that allows you to download Jim Ley's PDF maps which include trail notes on alternate routes and many other useful pieces of information. I will also be using the iHike app to navigate, an app I used on Te Araroa and highly recommend. All I can do now is save, wait and continue to obtain the gear needed for the trek.
I really can not wait to take you guys along for the ride! Until then, thank you for checking out my page and again thank you for your patience as we wait for the journey to unfold... If you have any questions, please do not be shy!
Rolling mountains in Te Kahui Kaupeka Conservation Park