Scott Hicks, Bill Downey Jr. and Bonner Ballinger got the idea to backpack the Foothills Trail in early 2015. Same goal: thru-hike the 77-mile trail straddling the North Carolina / South Carolina line in 7 days. Different motives — and approaches.
Bill viewed the hike as a physical challenge, as a way to structure his hiking and give him a goal to train for. Scott saw the hike as a prelude to a longer hike, most likely the 211-mile John Muir Trail in California. It was a chance to tackle the logistical challenges of a long hike. And Bonner? Bonner is more of a “because it’s there” guy — no underlying motive needed.