Hi, there! We are a couple who met at work (office jobs), got hitched (over 30 years ago), and still like (love) 😉 each other. Keith (trail name “Spreadsheet”) and Gina (trail name “Mulch”), started hiking little by little over the years. Each time, it seems, we always went twice as far as the last time.
We love visiting the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. We got engaged, honeymooned, and vacationed there every year afterwards for many years. We would take day-hikes and go on picnics with the boys as they were growing up. Even though we stayed in a hotel (we always stayed at the same place), we did have campfires in the evening around the fire-pit. That’s sort of like camping, isn’t it?? 😉 When our oldest son started college, that is when we began to be more adventurous. Here are some hikes that we have taken:
- 2008 – Our first backpacking trip was “Tour Mont Blanc” (105 miles) – we hiked from hut to hut and B&B’s
The trail goes around the mountain thru France, Italy, and Switzerland.
- 2009 – The next year, we hiked “Coast to Coast” (193 miles) in Northern England
- 2011, 2012, & 2013 – The “Wonderland Trail” (93 miles) around Mt. Rainier (clockwise) in 2011. We hiked it with our two grown sons. There was so much snow that year, we decided to do it again in 2012 (counter-clockwise). Spreadsheet and I loved it so much, that we hiked it a third time in 2013, with just ourselves.
- 2014 – “John Muir Trail” (JMT – 230 miles) – we hiked with our sons once again.
- 2015 – “Colorado Trail” (CT – 486 miles) – we hiked with our oldest son and a gal we met on the JMT
- 2016 – What did we do in 2016? What is longer than 486 miles? The “Pacific Crest Trail” (PCT – 2650 miles). That was the next challenge. I’m telling ya – it is ADDICTING! Once you get a small taste of it, you always want to keep going back for more!
- 2018 – “Continental Divide Trail” (CDT – 2800-3100 miles) – Hoping to complete it this year – hitting the trail on April 22
It is the hardest thing we have ever done in our lives, but also the simplest thing. Hike. Eat. Sleep. Hike. Eat. Sleep… Over and over and over again. Connecting with Mother Nature, seeing and LIVING in all of God’s creation, it truly feels very spiritual.
A backpacking trip like this could either MAKE or BREAK a relationship. Lucky for us, it made our relationship even stronger. Both sons are newly married this past year and we told them that we think ALL serious relationships (before couples get married) should be challenged to go backpacking TOGETHER – as a TEAM – for at least one week out on the trail. No showers, no mattresses, no real food. Just living outside and getting dirty, hungry, thirsty, and exhausted – all at the same time. But then to finally hike and arrive at a place where you can eat, drink, shower, and rest, is an INCREDIBLE experience. The challenge is great, but the rewards are so much greater.