Monday, March 29, 2010

Whatever happened to....?

Occasionally, I get messages from hikers I've met in years past, who sometimes seem even crazier than I am. For instance, earlier this year, I got a message from Rubberband Man. He shows up multiple times in my Appalachian Trail adventures, and we hit it off great on the trail. He's originally from Texas, though, and I guess the AT wasn't big enough for him, because he decided to hike what he calls the Texas Perimeter Hike. You won't find this hike listed in any guidebooks, because he made it up himself. He decided he wanted to see his native state in a way nobody else has before--by hiking around its perimeter.

By his estimate, the hike will end up being even longer than the Appalachian Trail--by a pretty large margin, no less. And much of it appears to be road walking. After my time in Florida and Alabama, I have a new appreciation of the horrors of road walking. To imagine him doing over 3,000 miles of this type of hiking.... *shaking head* He's got to be certifiably insane. But then, everyone says that about me, so I guess I'm just calling the kettle black. =) If he does manage to finish--and I think there's a very good chance he will--I'll certainly be impressed with the feat. So far as he knows, he's the only person to ever attempt hiking around the perimeter of Texas. (Which begs the question, why has nobody ever thought to try this before? I rest my case....)

In my defense, my long distance hikes have never tread new ground. Oh, sure, are there probably less than a hundred people in the entire world who have hiked the entire distance from Key West to Springer Mountain, but technically speaking, it's a heavily trodden trail compared to the Texas Perimeter Hike.

This afternoon, I got message from Warren. I met Warren while hiking the Pinhoti Trail in Alabama. He was a geocacher, searching for geocaches on his way to Springer Mountain. I hadn't heard from or seen him since that night in the shelter, so I was rather surprised at the e-mail today. He told me that he ended up hiking all the way to Katahdin--quite a bit further than his original goal of Springer Mountain! He also included a link to his website, and it turns out he's been quite busy and far more crazy than I ever would have imagined.

After hiking to Katahdin, he got a bike and rode it back to Alabama! After getting back home, I guess he got bored rather quickly, because then he bought a kayak to go down the 631-mile Alabama River Scenic Trail, then turned around and kayaked the 631 miles back upstream. According to this news report of the event, he'll be the first person to have ever kayaked down and back up the entire length of the river scenic trail. Perhaps not quite as crazy as Rubberband Man--who invented his own trail from scratch--at least this guy is following a trail someone else laid down. (Even if nobody had ever actually kayaked the distance in both directions before.)

Is that enough for him? Of course now.... Now he's planning a round-the-country bicycle trip. I've actually had a rather vague goal to someday bicycle from Seattle, to San Diego, to Key West, to Maine (somewhere in Maine--not sure where), then back to Seattle again. Not quite the same route this guy has planned, but scary similar none-the-less. =)

And it makes me wonder.... what other crazy people will I meet when I do my thru-hike the of PCT? If there's one thing I'm certain of, at least some of the people will actually be crazier than me. ;o)


Anonymous said...

So, Ryan... will you be carrying a laptop with you as you hike the Pacific Coast Trail, and blogging, etc.? Or will we have to wait however many months it takes, before we hear from you? (I imagine it's the former of the two choices.)

Wishing you strength, endurance, safety and success -- and fun!


Anonymous said...

I think it is kind of cool to create your own trail. We have some friends that make a trail around their home of Cortland, NE. Now many of the town people walk it.

Ona Journey

Teresa said...

For some reason I have visions of Forrest Gump running across America, gathering a crowd of disciples as he traveled.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

There's still the Continental Divide Trail to conquer....


Hike On!
~Twinville Trekkers

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Oh, and I'm sure there are quite a few letterboxers here in New Mexico who would be happy to be your Trail Angels and throw you a little Trail Magic along the way....

Hike On!
~Twinville Trekkers