The Man Who Hiked It All

BACKPACKER: How did this quest begin?

When I started the Pacific Crest Trail in 1992, I had a little hubris. I thought I’d walk and photograph the trail for a coffee table book, since there wasn’t one at the time. It took three years to do the hike, but the book [] was well-received. So I thought, . In 1998, I ran into Earl Shaffer [the AT’s first thru-hiker]. We ended up collaborating on a book called . After that, the Florida Trail intrigued me, partly because it was all I got all those done by 2008, for the 40th anniversary of the National Trails System Act. In 2010, my wife, who’s my biggest supporter, asked me, “What are you going to do now?” “Well,” I answered, “there are those National Historic Trails.” The next year I started them. So it snowballed and got out of control. I don’t know if I bit off more than I can chew, but I’ve been chewing as hard as I can.

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