With your help, Jason & Kelly will hike 100 miles in one weekend—and raise $5,000 for Shenandoah National Park!

Greetings….

Hi. Welcome to our Crooked Trail 100 blog.  We will be using this forum to talk about all things related to our big hike the weekend of September 17-18-19, 2011.

So, here is a little background information as to why we are putting our rapidly aging bodies through this physical and mental test….As a general fan of the outdoors, I had spent time in the SNP at various points throughout my life. Be it an overnight backcountry trip with friends back in college, fly-fishing on one of the streams, or just a short hike with friends and family on one of the many trails. I always loved the fact that we had a prominent National Park so close to my home in Northern Virginia .  Up until about 18 months ago, the Shenandoah Nat’l Park was merely an acquaintance, a friend that I would visit a couple times a year at most.  However, in December 0f 2009 ( as I was quickly approaching my 40th birthday), I made the commitment to climb Mt Rainier (something I had wanted to try for a long time!) and needed a  training ground for my big climb.  I started using the park on a very regular basis, more or less hitting the various trails every Monday as I prepared my legs and lungs for the Rainier climb. Well, that acquaintance turned quickly into a close friend as I explored hundreds of miles of park trails, hollows, and mountaintops.

However, there was one training hike in particular that gave me the idea for the Crooked Trail 100. Last June, I decided to hike the entire length of the Northern section of the AT (27 miles) in one day. Starting in Chester Gap, I hiked to Thornton Gap in about 12 hours . After completing that hike, I felt pretty good and said that I would someday try and do the 101 miles (from Rockfish Gap to Chester Gap) in a short period of time.  I also knew I wanted to somehow give back to the park, as it is such a great resource and so close to the DC Metro area.  I contacted the great folks at the SNP Trust and it just so happened that they were starting the 100 Mile Club this year.  We thought this would make a great kick start to the program and give me chance to try the 100 mile hike and raise money for the park at the same time.

So….I mentioned the idea to my good friend Kelly and she was on board from the get-go. She is an avid walker and we had hiked together in the past a couple times.  She has also expressed interest in doing something challenging as this year she too becomes a member of the (gulp!) quadragenarian club.  We plan on doing training hikes together when we can, and of course on our own.  Hopefully, by the time September 17th rolls around, we will be  good to go.

Please check back on our blog as we post about our training hikes, logistics, gear, and more or less anything related to our challenging hike in September.  Feel free to leave comments and we will respond as best we can. And finally, please, please help us reach our fundraising goal by donating to the Crooked Trail 100!

Oh, one other thing–where did we we come up with the name Crooked Trail 100? Well, it comes from this quote I read by the author (and controversial environmentalist) Edward Abbey:

“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds…”

Whether you agree or disagree with Mr. Abbey’s philosophy, you have to admit it is a great quote…..


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