Saturday, December 28th, 2019 – Thursday, July 30th, 2020
2019 was an epic year of hiking. We completed the 800-mile long Arizona Trail, the 1,200-mile Florida Trail, Alabama and Georgia’s 335-mile Pinhoti Trail, Vermont’s 270-mile Long Trail, and all the miles in between connecting Mount Katahdin, Maine to Key West, Florida.
We had big plans for 2020 too, but COVID-19 put an end to that, as it did many things.
We were going to meet up with old friends at the end of March for our annual “No Sleep Til Franklin” reunion hike. Each year, we try to get the old crew back together to hike the first 100 miles of the Appalachian Trail starting from Georgia. Later in the summer, we were going to conquer the Continental Divide Trail. Neither would happen.
I won’t babble about “the new normal” or “these uncertain times.” You’ve heard it and lived it. Frisbee and I are both considered “essential workers” so we never stopped working with the public. So far, both of us have remained in good health.
A lot of bad has happened this year, but there’s been a smidgen of good. I got to put my TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification into use! I’ve nearly completed my first contract with VIPKID as an independent contractor teaching children in China. I’ve absolutely love it so far! Sure, it sucks getting up around 3:30 most mornings, but I was already doing that with my other job as a baker. Early rising comes with the territory! It’s been great having a new challenge every day to find new ways in improve my teaching skills. The kids are great too! I’m inspired and in awe with how easily they pick up the language.
Our long CDT journey was traded for a much shorter hike through the Colorado Trail. I feel equally stoked and sad. I’m pumped for this adventure and escape from my hometown, but I bummed out about leaving my students behind whom I’ve grown so attached to. It’s been bittersweet. The game plan is to thru hike Denver to Durango, then find a way to get to Pittsburgh where we’ll start our hike along the Allegheny Passage. Then we’ll be practically walking all the way home!
Jump Ahead to The Colorado Trail: Part 1
Jump Back to Tales Between Trails: Florida Keys to Maryland