Big Miles & Raw Smiles: Endurance on America's "Triple Crown" Hiking Trails

"The Triple Crown of hiking is known to few outside the long-distance hiking community but is an incredible dream for those who love to walk far. It is comprised of walking the three longest National Scenic Trails in America: the 2,600+ mile Pacific Crest Trail, 3,000+mile Continental Divide Trail and the 2,100+ mile Appalachian Trail. In total the trails cross 22 states, gain 1 million vertical feet, range in elevation from 124 to14,505 feet above sea level, and vary in summer temperatures from the teens to the hundreds.

This summer both Early Bird (Nika) and Koolaid (Greg) set out at the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail with the same goal of competing the hike in under 100 days and finishing their triple crown journeys. Hiking both the PCT and CDT in different years, they began the AT three days apart. Both stubbornly independent, they were not expecting to hike with another person. But after linking up by chance in the Grayson Highlands area and sharing a hilarious day observing frisky wild ponies and hiking aggressive mileage comfortably, they ended up sharing 1400 epic miles together.

Through photos and videos, they will share stories of exceptional beauty, raw emotion, wild silliness, pure magic, unbelievable generosity, and enjoying the ultimate expression of freedom.  They’ll compare and contrast the logistical differences of the triple crown trails, what it takes to live simply with no walls, and explore how pushing your body physically can unleashed one’s confidence to be truly themselves - as silly, weird, unique, and stinky as that may be.”

Tea, donated by Two Leaves and a Bud Tea Company, beer, donated by Aspen Brewing Company, and cookies will be offered during lecture.