Social Distancing with Virtual Trail Talks #CelebrateTrails #VirtualTrailDays

Blog Date
Stuart O. Smith, Jr.

Social Distancing with Virtual Trail Talks
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I have now written several social distancing blog posts during this time of the coronavirus crisis, about how I spend my time -- with park walks and online activities. I have also been attending some Facebook Live events about hiking trails, which I am featuring in this blog post.

During these sad times, I want to first acknowledge how fortunate I am that everyone in my family is healthy, and that I have the luxury of being able to participate in, and write about, interesting social distancing activities.

Secondly, I want to thank the organizations that are investing their time and resources to create these live video events featuring hiking trails. It is helping take the sting out of the fact that I was scheduled to be on a long-distance backpacking adventure at this time. I appreciate being able to join others online to celebrate trail life. Thank you!

The sections of this blog consist of:

  • Two #CelebrateTrails events on April 18, 2020, with the Cleveland Metroparks and the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

  • Several Continental Divide Trail #VirtualTrailDays events that occurred throughout the month of April and in early May



Saturday Morning, April 18, 2020 - Opening Day for Trails with Cleveland Metroparks CEO Brian Zimmerman - #CelebrateTrails

Opening Day for Trails with Cleveland Metroparks CEO Brian Zimmerman
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It was great that the Cleveland Metroparks featured the Sylvan Loop Trail in North Chagrin Reservation! Julie (my wife and co-blogger) and I love that area, and hike there often! Our son, Kevin, described the view of the overlook the first time he saw it as: "It looks like a Monet painting"

Tweets before the Cleveland Metroparks Opening Day for Trails:

Exploring the trail:


Via a tweet a few years ago, I learned that Nancy Dinger Aikins, @dingerdinger on Twitter, is related to the former owners of what is now the Cleveland Metroparks Dinger's Marsh.


I wrote about Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's Opening Day for Trails Cleveland - #RTCOpeningDay in 2018 and 2019. Due to the coronavirus, the event in 2020 is online only, and called Celebrate Trails @ Home - #CelebrateTrails.


Years ago, I ran a high-adventure camp, and used the Appalachian Trail Conservancy trail-building handbook for guidance on building new trails. I also once used a week of vacation time to work on an Appalachian Trail Conservancy trail crew. It is interesting to me to learn about the connection between the Appalachian Trail and Cleveland Metroparks trail builder Ralph Protano.

Please click on the links in these tweets to learn more about the Appalachian Trail Conservancy resources and trail crews:



While writing this blog post, I was reminded of the Cleveland Metroparks 2020 Trail Challenge, which is a great way to explore park locations that you don't normally visit.

Travel 10 or 20 of the 25 trails by any legal means from March 1, 2020 - December 31, 2020 to receive this year’s trail challenge sticker and prizes.

I wrote a blog post about the first year of the Trail Challenge program:



Saturday, April 18, 2020 - Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Celebrate Trails @ Home - #CelebrateTrails

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Celebrate Trails @ Home
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I had planned on missing the 2020 Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Opening Day for Trails Cleveland, appropriately enough, because I would have been backpacking on a trail. COVID-19 had other plans for me.

While I am sad that I can't be on the trail as planned, I am grateful that the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy moved their opening day event online as Celebrate Trails @ Home. It was very exciting for me to recognize a few of areas featured in this video from some of my past hikes.

Public health and safety is RTC's top priority. This year, to prioritize the safety and wellbeing of the trails community as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, all April 18th Opening Day for Trails events are canceled.

On Saturday, April 18, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) invites you to Celebrate Trails @ Home—an all-virtual national celebration of trails!

Held on the same day we would have gathered to celebrate Opening Day for Trails in person, this 2020 home-based celebration will bring together voices from the trails movement to share stories of hope, examples community resilience in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and appreciation for trails everywhere.

To learn about what Opening Day for Trails Cleveland is normally like, please read my blog posts:


Here are tweets from before the event. I made a special note to highlight the great Cleveland organizations that participated in #CelebrateTrails:


Great to see @countyplanning from Cleveland!


Great to see @brooklyncentre from Cleveland!


Great to see @Bike_CLE from Cleveland!


Tweets during the event:


It was great to see Cleveland Metroparks CEO Brian Zimmerman featured in this program. It shows how Cleveland is taking a leadership role in trail building. I also enjoyed that I recognized where he was speaking from in the video -- the Port of Cleveland's Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve. I was just there recently, and wrote about visiting the Preserve in my last blog post:

I met Eric Oberg in 2014, when he invited me to join him for dinner to tell me about the work of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. He showed me an incredible map (which I shared on Twitter here) of a potential trail from Cleveland to Pittsburgh, PA. I am a longtime member of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.


The East Coast Greenway connects 15 states and 450 cities and towns for 3,000 miles from Maine to Florida. We are fostering a safe walking and biking route through the country’s most populated corridor.

When I hear of long trails (over 2,000 miles) in the east, I think of the Appalachian Trail or maybe the Eastern Continental Trail for backpacking, but I had not heard of the biking/walking East Coast Greenway. Thanks, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, for introducing me to this new trail. I will now follow @ECGreenway on Twitter to learn more. (FYI, Wikipedia online free encyclopedia has a great list of Long-distance trails in the United States.)


It was really fun to see places I have backpacked in recent years featured in the program.


Great to see @canalwaycle from Cleveland!



Thanks, @RailsToTrails, for the shout-out!


I saw the Virginia Creeper Trail in the Celebrate Trails @ Home video, so I looked at the website to confirm this sad news:




The section of the Appalachian Trail that intersects with the Virginia Creeper Trail and the Iron Mountain Trail is one of the two sections on the Appalachian Trail that I have hiked multiple times.

Since the 39th annual Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association (ALDHA) Gathering will take place in Abingdon, Virginia, this year, maybe I will will visit the Virginia Creeper Trail if it is open this October.


Be sure to see the Celebrated Trails @ Home wrap-up article and several videos in: What We Learned at Our Celebrate Trails @Home 2020 Virtual Bash



Sixth Annual Continental Divide Trail Days - #VirtualTrailDays

Continental Divide Trail Coalition - Virtual Trail Days
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Virtual Continental Divide Trail Days

Join the Continental Divide Trail Coalition throughout the month of April for the 6th annual Continental Divide Trail Days, a celebration of the CDT community and every single one of us who support, steward, and enjoy the CDT. While Continental Divide Trail Days is normally hosted during a long weekend in Silver City, New Mexico, this year due to COVID-19, the celebration is going virtual and coming live to YOU – no matter where you are!

Join the celebration all month long for inspiring speakers, gear giveaways, and a live concert by CDT thru-hikers 3,000 Miles! Join every Wednesday in April to meet the first two African-Americans to complete the Triple Crown of hiking, hear what it’s like to ride the CDT on horseback, get your kids out on long trails, and more!

Speaker Series:
Trailblazers: Will "Akuna" Robinson and Elsye "Chardonnay" Walker - Wednesday, April 1 at 7 PM MT
The CDT Between the Ears: Jodie Morton - Wednesday, April 8 at 7 PM MT
The CDT is Our Classroom: Cindy Ross - Wednesday, April 15 at 7 PM MT
Conversations Across a Continent - Wednesday, April 22 at 7 PM MT
Virtual Concert by 3,000 Miles - Friday, April 24 at 7 PM MT
[ADDED PRESENTATION - To Take the Risk: The First Women to Hike the Continental Divide - Wednesday, April 29 rescheduled to Tuesday, May 5 at 7 PM MT]

Learn more:

I was planning to backpack from the Mexico border to Silver City, New Mexico, to attend the Continental Divide Trail Days on the weekend of April 24 - 26, 2020. Thank you to the Continental Divide Trail Coalition for the month-long 6th annual Continental Divide Trail Days (Virtual Trail Days) events and for your help as I change my plans to 2021.



Wednesday Evening, April 15, 2020 - The Continental Divide Trail is Our Classroom with Author and Backpacker Cindy Ross - #VirtualTrailDays

The Continental Divide Trail is Our Classroom with Author and Backpacker Cindy Ross
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April 15 – The CDT Is Our Classroom

In 1993, Cindy Ross and her husband, both experienced long-distance hikers, set out on a new kind of adventure: they decided to hike the entire Continental Divide Trail with their two toddlers, who were one and three at the time. That was just the start of their journey in educating their children using the natural world as a classroom, and since then, Cindy has become an accomplished author and has helped numerous parents with the nuts and bolts of how to get their kids outside. Watch the recording here!

I was so pleased when I read that Cindy Ross would be one of the speakers at the Virtual Continental Divide Trail Days 2021. My wife and co-blogger, Julie, and I have known Cindy Ross and her husband, Todd Gladfelter, for a very long time -- since the early days of the Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association (ALDHA).

Cindy was one of the founding members and a past president of ALDHA. Julie and I go to the ALDHA Gathering every year -- it is a great place to learn about long-distance trails all over the world.

Please learn more about ALDHA by reading our blog post about the 2019 Gathering:

Many years ago, at an ALDHA Gathering, Julie and I heard Cindy's talk right after their family's adventure hiking the Continental Divide Trail with her children still in diapers. On October 13, 2018, I heard Cindy when she was the featured speaker at the 2018 ALDHA Gathering. Here is my @sos_jr tweet with photo and information about her 2018 talk:


As mentioned in the tweet above, in 2008, I invited Cindy Ross to join Julie, our sons, and me on a Boy Scout trip to Gettysburg National Military Park, so that she could write an article about the weekend for Scouting Magazine. (Scouting is the official Boy Scouts of America magazine for adult leaders.) I was the Assistant Scoutmaster of my son's Boy Scout troop at that time. Here is the article online and as a PDF file: Paths of Glory


Learn about Cindy's three triple-crown backpacking adventure books, her book The World Is Our Classroom, and her speaking engagements at:


Thank you, Continental Divide Trail Coalition, for hosting the April 15, 2020, The Continental Divide Trail is Our Classroom with Cindy Ross:

I learned during Cindy's talk that she and Todd were planning to backpack in New Mexico this year -- the same year that I was -- and would have been at the Continental Divide Trail Days event in Silver City. With them being from Pennsylvania, and me being from Ohio, it would have been funny if we had both been on the Continental Divide Trail at the same time and had run into each other in Silver City, New Mexico. I wish them both luck as they possibly do their planned hike on the Continental Divide Trail this fall.


Here are tweets about the Virtual Continental Divide Trail Days:


Cindy Ross's family was recently featured in HumaNature's March 11, 2020, podcast about their adventure: Episode 74: Does A Kid Poop In The Woods?



Wednesday, April 22, 2020 - Conversations Across a Continent with Continental Divide Trail Coalition Members - #VirtualTrailDays and Earth Day 2020!

Conversations Across a Continent with Continental Divide Trail Coalition Members
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April 22 – Conversations Across a Continent

While many people first hear of the CDT as part of the “Triple Crown of Thru-Hiking,” the reality is that the trail belongs to everyone, not just those who want to walk for weeks at a time. Simon Sotelo, Amanda McGinnis, and Grecia Nuñez, hikers from southern New Mexico, tell us about their own personal experiences with the CDT, and how they’ve seen the CDT connect people, often from wildly different backgrounds and life experiences, across a continent. Watch it here!

It was great to spend the evening of Earth Day 2020 with friends of the Continental Divide Trail Coalition! (See my past Earth Day blog posts by clicking here.) April 22, 2020, marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.


For the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, I was intrigued by the image shared by the Pacific Crest Trail Association - the PCT's length is 10% of the earth's circumference! Since the exact distance around the earth's equator is 24,901 miles, and the approximate total length of the three trails (Appalachian Trail 2,190+ miles, Pacific Crest Trail 2,650+ miles, and Continental Divide Trail 3,100+ miles) that make up the Triple Crown of Hiking is 7,940 miles, then Triple Crown hikers have covered over 31.9% of the earth's circumference!


If you are interested in learning about a person who has hiked more than twice the earth's circumference, read Pacific Crest Trail Association's 2015 article, Billy Goat, the PCT Guru. The Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association (ALDHA) The Long Distance Hiker newsletter Fall/Winter 2018 issue (PDF file) announced the creation of the "ALDHA Billy Goat Award," recognizing the fact that Billy Goat surpassed 50,000 miles as of the end of 2018, mostly on multiple hikes of the Pacific Crest Trail. 2018 was also the celebration of the 50th year of the National Trails System Act of 1968.



crying 2020!

A notice for anyone planning to hike or ride on the CDT – updated April 23, 2020

. . . we continue to urge you to stay home and enjoy your local trails and outdoor spaces (if local public health orders allow these activities).

. . . We understand more than most the life-changing power and grandeur of the CDT, and it is with heavy hearts that we ask you to stay home and postpone the incredible trips you had planned.

I wanted to share this CDT Closures and Alerts announcement, since it explains why I am currently hiking in local parks (see my "Social Distancing" blog posts), and attending these Facebook virtual trail talks instead of backpacking in New Mexico as I had planned for April - June, 2020. I now need to focus on looking forward to 2021.


In mid-March, at the time I canceled my trip to New Mexico, the official notices said to delay to mid-April. Now, at the end of April, non-essential travel is illegal through May 15th. It is good that I canceled for 2020, and now can look forward to planning on 2021.



Friday, April 24, 2020 - Virtual Trail Days: Living Room Concert with 3000 Miles - Continental Divide Trail Coalition (Part One) (Part Two) - #VirtualTrailDays

Virtual Trail Days: Living Room Concert with 3000 Miles
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I have also included this Virtual Trail Days PREVIEW: Bluebird video from before the concert, since it does a great job of sharing the backstory to the concert. It is absolutely incredible to think that Anna Robinson and Emmalee Hill used their 3,000 mile adventure as a "hiking music tour from Canada to Mexico on the Continental Divide Trail."

There were some technical challenges during the concert, so the concert ended up being presented in these two videos:

Living Room Concert

Get ready to dance and enjoy the music of 3,000 Miles! Duo Anna Robinson and Emmalee Hill hiked the Continental Divide Trail in 2019, bringing their guitars and musical talents along with them to perform in trailside communities along the way. Now, they’re bringing the music to you with a FREE virtual Trail Days concert streamed live to your living room! Check out 3,000 Miles at their Facebook page to preview some of their music.

When: Friday, April 24, 7 PM MT (9 PM ET/6PM PT)

Where: Wherever you are!

How: Click here to watch via Facebook Live (you can watch for free even if you don’t have a Facebook account!).


After the concert, I went to the 3,000 Miles Facebook page, and sent them a private message to thank them for sharing their music at the Virtual Trail Days concert. I let them know I would be including their concert in this blog post. Anna Robinson and Emmalee Hill and I messaged to each other that if next year goes better, we all hope to be in Silver City one year from today, attending the Trail Days 2021 event!



Monday, April 27, 2020 - Virtual Trail Days: Trailblazers with Will “Akuna” Robinson and Elsye “Chardonnay” Walker - #VirtualTrailDays

Virtual Trail Days: Trailblazers featuring Will “Akuna” Robinson and Elsye “Chardonnay” Walker
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April 1 - Trailblazers: Will “Akuna” Robinson and Elsye “Chardonnay” Walker

Join Akuna and Chardonnay, the first two African-American hikers to complete the Triple Crown – the Continental Divide Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and Appalachian Trail – as they talk about what brought them to the trail, tell stories of their adventures, and talk about life after walking from Mexico to Canada along the Continental Divide. Watch the recording here!

This program originally was broadcast live on April 1, 2020, but I watched it later in the month, on April 27th. I really enjoyed hearing Will “Akuna” Robinson's and Elsye “Chardonnay” Walker's trail stories, since I can relate to their trail experiences and am extremely interested in learning from them about the Continental Divide Trail.

Here is part of the Wikipedia free encyclopedia entry for the history of Triple Crown of Hiking (I recommend reading the full article for more information):

On September 15, 2019, combat veteran Will Robinson, age 38, became the first African American male to complete the Triple Crown. Will thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 2017, the Appalachian Trail in 2018, and completed the Continental Divide Trail in 2019. [14] Will's trail name is Akuna, from the Swahili phrase Hakuna Matata meaning "no worries," and made popular by a song in The Lion King.

Elsye Walker, known as chardonnay on the trail, is the first black woman to hike all three trails to complete the Triple Crown.[15] She thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 2015, the Appalachian Trail in 2016/2018[16][17], and in 2017 she thru-hiked the Continental Divide Trail [18].

By the end of 2018, only five people had completed the Triple Crown within one calendar year. “Flyin’” Brian Robinson was the first, and Heather “Anish” Anderson was the only woman[19]. The three long distance hikes can't be done continuously in one season because of snow, but are generally attempted in sections.

I included the section about Calendar-year Triple Crown from Wikipedia, since I have met the two people mentioned when they volunteered to help other hikers like me. I met “Flyin’” Brian Robinson, who completed his Triple Crown in 2001, when he led a trail workshop at an Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association (ALDHA) Gathering. Heather "Anish" Anderson, who completed her Triple Crown in 2018, picked me up at the San Diego airport last year to take me to the home of trail angels Barney and Sandy Mann ("Scout and Frodo") the night before starting my backpacking trip on the Pacific Crest Trail. Will “Akuna” Robinson and Elsye “Chardonnay” Walker are continuing this tradition of long-distance hikers giving back to the trail community by sharing their experience.


You can learn more about Elsye “Chardonnay” Walker on her blog (On March 28, 2020, she posted: Virtual Trail Days)

The Crown by Merrell: Virtual Trail Days PREVIEW, a video from before the main event, tells some of the backstory of Will “Akuna” Robinson, and information about the Triple Crown of Hiking. I suggest watching this video by Merrell before watching the main Virtual Trail Days: Trailblazers program.




Saturday, May 2, 2020 - Remembering Pacific Crest Trail Adventure 2019

On this day, I am remembering both better times, one year ago on the Pacific Crest Trail, and sad times as I canceled my April 7, 2020, start date for the Continental Divide Trail. I am now looking forward to planning my next long-distance adventure in 2021!



Monday, May 4, 2020 - Virtual Trail Days: CDT Between the Ears with Jodie "Green, Gold and Blues" Morton - #VirtualTrailDays

Virtual Trail Days: CDT Between the Ears with Jodie "Green, Gold and Blues" Morton
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April 8 – The Continental Divide Trail Between the Ears

In 2019, with her plans to ride across her home country of Australia stymied by drought, Jodie Morton flew around the world to explore the Continental Divide Trail on the back of her horse, Thelma. Join us to hear her stories and see incredible photos and videos of life on the trail as seen “between the ears.” Watch the recording here!

I missed watching Virtual Trail Days: CDT Between the Ears when it was originally broadcast live on April 8, 2020, but since I enjoyed the other #VirtualTrailDays talks so much, I made time to watch it on Monday, May 4, 2020. It was very interesting to learn about wilderness trail travel by horse from Jodie "Green, Gold and Blues" Morton, since I have no experience in this mode of long-distance travel.

While watching her talk, I learned about Jodie "Green, Gold and Blues" Morton's work around promoting mental health through her rides. I found the following information on her website:



So many people have been touched by depression in one way or another, whether it be directly, or indirectly through friends, family or colleagues. I want to change the stigma surrounding depression; by making talking and seeking help an easier process and showing the world it's ok to not be ok.


These rides are for everyone who has ever had a bad day, every been there for someone else's bad day, for those that have fought and won and for those that are still fighting. Every day that I ride, I'm riding to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and to encourage those that need help to seek it. There is nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to mental health.

Enjoy learning more in this video:


Day 2 (Part 1) - Mustang Madness . Day two started early. Really early. For me anyway. I didn’t sleep much because being in wet clothes and a wet sleeping bag in the snow isn’t really the key to a good nights sleep! Instead, I lay awake most of the night listening to the wind howling. I can’t tell you how happy I was that I had the saddles in the gear canopy of the tent holding it down - with soft ground and that wind, those tent pegs wouldn’t have stood a chance! . When the sun finally got up, I peeked out from my tent to see the kids happily munching on grass and to my absolute delight, saw that the wind had burned off a bit of the snow. While this was still a far cry from the warm beaches that my Australian soul were craving, it was a start! . Once camp was packed up, we headed on out - as my boots were still wet from the day before, I opted to walk the first few miles to keep my feet warm. My Carhart overalls were also still wet (just down the right hand side though!) so I threw them back on to try and dry them off. . After a few miles, I decided I was warm enough and that it was time to hop on. This was a great idea until I jumped up, put some weight in my right hand stirrup and promptly sent it flying off my saddle. . This was one of those moments where you kinda just sit there with a dumb look on your face for a second trying to figure out what just happened. . So. Lesson here folks, is to always check your gear! What had happened, was that one of the nuts at the top of my monel stirrup had come loose...I don’t know if it’d fallen off earlier or if it popped off at that moment, but it was GONE. So I had the option of riding the day without a stirrup, or riding the day without a stirrup. I chose to ride without a stirrup. . I decided that at this stage of the game it’d probably be better to head on out and regroup then get back on trail at a later date, so I started looking at the maps. This day was supposed to be a pretty cruisey 12 mile (20km) day, but looking at my options for getting off trail, that quickly escalated to a 27 mile (43km) day. You win some, you lose some. . (Continued in comments)

A post shared by Jodie Morton (@greengoldandblues) on



Tuesday, May 5, 2020 - Virtual Trail Days - To Take the Risk: The First Women to Hike the Continental Divide with Jean Ella Smith - #VirtualTrailDays

Virtual Trail Days: The First Women to Hike the Continental Divide with Jean Ella Smith
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May 5 – To Take the Risk: The First Women to Hike the Continental Divide

On November 10, 1978, Congress designated the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. But earlier that year, before the CDT even officially existed, Jean Ella Smith and Lynn Wisehart became the first women to hike border to border along the Continental Divide. Jean Ella will join Virtual Trail Days to speak about their journey, share photos and video from the historic expedition, and explain how they decided to pursue such a bold adventure in the first place.


Originally scheduled to be the last of the April events, it was rescheduled to Tuesday, May 5, 2020.


This video tells an incredible story! There was no official, complete Continental Divide Trail in 1978, plus it was a heavy snow year. If you enjoy this story, I would suggest you click the share this video button on Facebook so others can learn about this Continental Divide journey.



The video within the Facebook Live event is also available on YouTube, so you can share it with others -- Documentary of the First Women to Hike the Continental Divide Trail.  There is also a second video, Keynote and Documentary of the First Women to Hike the Continental Divide Trail, of Jean Ella Smith's talk at ALDHA-West (American Long Distance Hiking Association - West) Gathering.

Here are the two videos and their descriptions. I wanted to be sure you saw the descriptions, since they add context to the videos:

In 1978 when 19% of the Continental Divide Trail was "suitable for hiking" Lynn Wisehart and Jeannie Smith set out to become the first women to hike its length. This is the story of their almost seven month adventure. The multimedia program you are viewing was originally produced in the Oregon State University educational media lab in 1978. We utilized three projectors, three screens and dissolve. Audio was recorded on 4-track reel-to-reel tape. The slides and audio were finally digitized in 2010 and reformatted into the current program employing the Fotomagico software in 2014.


September 2015 at the ALDHA-West Gathering I presented the remake of my 1978 audio visual production "To Take the Risk" documenting the first women's hike of the Continental Divide Trail from Mexico to Canada. This is the Keynote I presented with background information on the hike. The audio visual show, "To Take the Risk", is embedded in the Keynote.


Since I included information above about how much I have learned through my membership in ALDHA (Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association), I want to end this blog post section with information about ALDHA-West (@ALDHAWest).  Jean Ella Smith spoke at their 2015 Gathering. ALDHA-West is a great resource for those who live in the western part of our country, and at their Gathering, they recognize Triple Crown hikers.

Vimeo video: Highlights of the 2015 ALDHA-West Gathering

About ALDHA-West

Our Mission: To inspire, educate and promote fellowship among long distance hikers and those who support long distance hiking.

The American Long Distance Hiking Association West (ALDHA-West) is an organization of individuals interested in the pursuit of all aspects of long distance hiking. Our membership covers a wide range of ages, from teenagers to octogenarians, and many experience levels, from wannabes to members who’ve logged tens of thousands of trail miles spanning the globe.

ALDHA-West provides a forum for the exchange of ideas on every aspect, from gear, food, travel, dangers, expectations, trail weather, all the way to how to ease back into normal life after months on the trail.

Many of our members have hiked all three of America’s premier long distance trail, the Appalachian Trail (2160 miles), the Pacific Crest Trail (2650 mile), and the Continental Divide Trail (3100 miles). To honor these individuals and their enormous accomplishment, we initiated the Triple Crown Award. Each Fall at our annual Gathering, a new crop of inductees are presented their awards.

We also publish the Gazette, an online newsletter which highlights many aspects of long distance hiking.

Lastly, we offer a source for inspiration. Each year at The Gathering hikers put on video talks and slide shows of previous hikes. These forums plant the seeds of new hikes we’ll strive to do in the future.

As you can see in the following tweet, like every other long-distance trail organization, ALDHA-West is sharing the message to stay off trails during the coronavirus crisis. Also, I love the artwork that they shared on Twitter by adapting their logo to honor spring 2020 events/holidays.



Related Blog Posts

Currently, we are all experiencing sad times. Most of the places I normally write about in my blog posts at are currently closed. Instead, I am now writing "Social Distancing" blog posts to capture my current activities. Once the coronavirus crisis is over, it will be interesting to read these to see the contrast between these times and "normal life."

Also, please see all my trail-related blog posts by clicking here.


Stay well!