When you show up at the trailhead for one of our GetHiking! hikes or GetBackpacking! trips or classes, how do you know you can trust your leader? Here’s one instance that makes a case for our team.
Last fall we led a three-day backpack trip into Linville Gorge Wilderness. Perhaps the most challenging trip we offer, it includes two significant river crossings and some rigorous, riotous rock scrambling in the unmarked gorge. We’d vetted all of the backpackers and knew they were up to the task.
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.
Explore the outdoors, discover yourself.