Several years later and many pounds off the pack, backpacking is much more enjoyable for him and the scouts. Recent Spring Break trips have enabled the scouts to check off a couple of states along the Appalachian Trail in addition to being able to handle 15-20 mile days. Trips like these change the scouts with even the parents commenting on how their son changed just over the course of a few days on the trail.
In 2010 for the 100th anniversary of Scouting, Lee hiked over 1100 miles of the AT. Since then he takes one week per year to fill in the missing AT sections.
There is just something special about getting out backpacking for months, a week, or even just a weekend that makes the world both bigger and smaller at the same time. Long hikes are special for all the great people you met, places you happen upon, and the challenges that pop up. Going from postholing in snow and 9 degrees to 92 degrees in the span of 2 weeks was one of the biggest challenges, both mentally and gear-wise.
The trail name is long story, but I decided to use my gaming name instead of “earning” one on the trail (which can be less than flattering) .
Home: Midlothian, VA
Outdoor Organization Involvement: Assistant Scoutmaster at Boy Scouts of America | Search Team Member and Sign Cutter at Piedmont Search and Rescue
Favorite Training Grounds: Anywhere on the AT in Virginia, plus all the other trails available in the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah National Park.
Current Plans: For scouts we have 1-2 weekend trips a year, plus the longer Spring Break hike. All of these include some training on lightweight backpacking and cooking. Then I have about a week to complete my last section on the southern half of the AT. Search and Rescue missions are sporadic and unplanned, but get me out into different parts of Virginia. Searches also get me off the trails and into bushwhacking and more challenging terrain. My upcoming Search and Rescue training will be for Search Team Leader certification. Longer term goals include completing the AT and hiking the Camino de Santiago with my wife for our 30th wedding anniversary.