Rattlesnakes and Bald Eagles by Chris Townsend

When I was first getting into serious hiking one of my gurus was Chris Townsend.

And he’s still one of my gurus today.

Understated. Informative. Interesting.

ChrisTownsendOutdoors.com

He hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 1982 averaging only 15 miles a day with the heavy equipment of that era.

In 2015 Chris published his account of that trip. I highly recommend it.

related – Keith Foskett – Chris Townsend Interview

Travelled Far: A Collection Of Hiking Adventures

I enjoyed Keith Foskett’s PCT and Appalachian Trail books so couldn’t resist when offered this book for free. (Kindle edition)

In this book he shares a collection of trips, thoughts and observations from his award-winning blog. From the extremes of the New Mexico wilderness to his beloved South Downs in England, he observes the world with clarity, hope, daydreams and humour.
With tales of local history, the changing of the seasons, facing death and pursuing his chosen path, this is a glimpse into one man’s unfaltering passion to follow his dreams.

His local favourite 100 mile hike. The micro-adventure he discovered connecting paths around his village. His failed attempt on the Continental Divide Trail.

Foskett explains why we hike as well as any author.

GoodReads reviews

Shackleton’s route, South Georgia

Kraig Becker:

Twelve hundred miles off the southernmost tip of South America, there is a legendary place among travelers and historians. They speak of South Georgia Island in hushed, almost reverent terms.

This small and mountainous island, with peaks above 9,000 feet, is located hundreds of miles from the closest beaten path. But the rugged and remote wilderness is famous for another reason. South Georgia Island served as the final stage in one of the greatest survival stories of all time: Ernest Shackleton’s voyage to the southern seas aboard the Endurance. …

I hiked part of the very route that Shackleton, Crean, and Worsley trekked when they crossed the island a century ago. Hiking through the overgrown mountain trails and snowy paths, I finally arrived at the remains of the Stromness whaling station where the 19th century explorers’ desperate march came to an end. …

The interior of South Georgia is rugged and demanding to say the least, with towering peaks, steep valleys, and crystal-blue alpine lakes frequently presenting impassable barriers.

High winds, rain, and snow, coupled with rough terrain, made my walk a challenging one, even equipped with modern hiking gear and a clear path to follow. The men from the Endurance did it in clothing that was practically threadbare, wearing boots with screws tapped into the sole to provide extra traction. …

While wandering in silence through that wild landscape, I could almost feel the ghost of Shackleton trudging along beside me …

Popular Mechanics – Chasing Ernest: A Journey to South Georgia to Find the Ghost of Shackleton

(via Adventure Blog)

Sarah Jackson completes the Trans-Canada Trail

Alberta woman arrives in St. John’s to complete cross-country trail trek

After two years, 21,500 kilometers and hundreds of pictures, Sarah Jackson has finally made it from Victoria, B.C. to St. John’s, Newfoundland by walking the Trans-Canada Trail. She’s one of a small handful who have decided to tackle the whole length and the only woman to complete the whole thing from one end to the other. …

The trail (also known as The Great Trail) is the longest recreational trail in the world and currently connects 91% of the country. …

Jackson also documented her entire journey across Canada on Instagram and it looks BEAUTIFUL. …

The first woman to walk all 21,500 km of the Trans-Canada trail came back with some stunning photos

Grand Beach in Manitoba – the halfway point

Balancing on Blue – Thru-Hiking the Appalachian Trail

By Englishman Keith Foskett 

I’ve read a number of AT books, my favourite being A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson.

But this may be my second favourite. Foskett does a superb job of explaining the big question: WHY are you doing a thru-hike. 

I enjoyed too the brief entries written by some of his thru-hiking friends.

‘Be prepared for great story telling, unique and interesting characters, humour and insight.’
Andrew Skurka – National Geographic Adventurer of the Year.

I’ve now downloaded his earlier PCT book – The Last Englishman.

 

What’s the point of ADVENTURE?

Alastair Humphreys believes we should live a little more adventurously:

When I first got a taste for adventure it was simply for the fun of it. Climbing hills and looking around at the view from the top, riding a mountain bike downhill as fast as you can, leaning hard in a heeling dinghy: these things are fun and exciting …

By the time I was in my 20’s, however, my relationship with adventure had changed. “It doesn’t have to be fun to be fun” was my mantra. “Miles not smiles!” …

Adventure became about the challenge. Pushing my body and my mind …

After the masochistic personal challenges came the curiosity phase. I wonder if it’s possible to hitch a lift on a yacht across the Atlantic? What is running an ultramarathon in the Sahara like? Can I go have a look at life in a random part of India, far from the nearest tourist hotspot? …

The answer, time after time, was ‘yes’. …

The Changing Purpose of Adventure