Long Trail Anniversary & Centennial

This weekend marks the fifth anniversary of our 2005 Long Trail End-to-End Hike. 2010 marks the 100th anniversary of the Green Mountain Club and the conception of the Long Trail. I hope that our grandkids toast our LT hike on our 100th in 2105. Our trip still stands out as one of the best ever, though it was 13 of the most intense days of my life. For Debbie and me, it is still the most epic adventure we have had together (not counting childbirth). Since 2005, we have helped hundreds of other people who are interested in LT thru-hikes. As LT End-to-End Mentors, we share our experiences, checklists, and advice.

We dole out information on packing, eating, water sources, footwear choices, weight considerations, and all kinds of other issues that a thru-hiker might face. Encouraging others to spend time outdoors, particularly in Vermont, is awesome. We take the job seriously!

Our hike started in 100 degree (Fahrenheit) heat on a June day. When we were dropped off near the Massachusetts/Vermont border, the conditions were similar to those of the great Northeast heat wave that we experienced this past week. When we hitched a ride from the Vermont/Quebec border to a Newport motel, we were completely knackered. In addition to heat, we were subject to intense thunderstorms, bucketfuls of rain, and muddy trails. However, none of the weather or trail related challenges were as nasty as the bugs. We were besieged by insects all day and all night.

The best account of our hike was published in the 2006 Summer/Fall issue of Appalachia. Appalachia is the journal of the Appalachian Mountain Club. The AMC’s counterpart in Vermont and maintainer of the Long Trail is the Green Mountain Club. It is through the GMC that we help other Long Trail hopefuls.

We just passed through Vermont this weekend. We were at Lonesome Lake Hut in the White Mountains with our children. During a jaunt from the hut to Kinsman Pond, Debbie and I talked about our LT adventure. We always do, but especially when we were on hiking trails in the north country. We didn’t get to the Green M0untains on our most recent trip, but we did explore Mount Ascutney in Southern Vermont on our way home.

As for the Long Trail, there is no question that the bond between us was forged during that trip. We had been together for six years, but we knew that after that trip, we would be together forever!

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