Did you get your Sept/Oct Scouting magazine yet?
Take a look at page 24! We don't always
stop at Dairy Queen on our hikes, but we do use gmap-pedometer.com a lot and it works pretty slick. That page is a good indication of what I plan to do for the next few years now that I'm not wearing the Scoutmaster patch.
I'm going to tackle the National Scenic Trails system - click the image for a larger map view. There are eleven of them:
- Arizona NST - 800 miles
- Ice Age NST - 1200 miles
- Appalachian NST - 2200 miles
- Pacific Crest NST - 2600 miles
- Continental Divide NST - 3100 miles
- Pacific Northwest NST - 1200 miles
- North Country NST - 4600 miles
- Florida NST - 1400 miles
- Natchez Trace NST - 700 miles
- Potomac Heritage NST - 700 miles
- New England NST - 220 miles
From the initial research I've done, there's no camping nor connecting routes for the last three and thru-hiking them isn't really a probability. I plan to hike the first 8 in the order listed, starting in Spring, 2012. If I'm wrong about the others, I'll add them.
The AZT is shorter and requires hiking early in the season since water is scarce and heat is intense as summer approaches. It will give me a great opportunity to test out my equipment, abilities, endurance, and processes. If it goes well, then I'll do the IAT in late summer, 2012. This lets me be home for my last son's high school graduation and shipping off to college.
After that, it'll be a trail a year. As an initial plan, I'll do the Appalachian Trail in 2013, hopefully working it so I can drop in at the Jamboree at the Summit - it's only 50 miles off the AT in West Virginia. But, at this point, I'm not set on the order of the trails.
I do have some goals for doing this, not just to burn through a few pairs of shoes. I'm hoping to:
- Connect with scouts - I'll invite scout troops along my treks to come out and hike with me for a couple hours or days. I'll have a tracking device so folks can see where I am.
- Promote lighter-weight trekking. When we try to "Be Prepared" I think we overpack and make life more difficult than needed on the trail. I'll be an example of how to be light and safe.
- Promote Scouting - I'd like to represent the BSA on the hikes and talk it up to folks I meet.
- Record the Fun - through blogs, reports, stories, and journals I'll track and share the experience, hopefully providing a resource to help others.
I've gotten the Atlas and Guide for the Ice Age Trail and have developed an itinerary. The Arizona Trail books are in the mail so I'm really excited to start planning that one out. I'm walking about 8 or 10 miles each morning to keep the joints moving. My next part of the project is acquiring and testing gear.
Posted: 11:14 08-25-2011 657 Previous Post Next Post
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