I guess we should now talk about my two first “failed” backpacking attempts as an adult. The first one was with Tyler, Kayla, and Dimitrios. First off, make sure those you are backpacking with are compatible hikers in more than just physical ability. Let me just say that the four of us have really strong personalities that made for an interesting hike. Not only that, but we were a little overzealous on choosing our hike thinking we would get over the Wildcats and Carters in a single day and get all the way to the Osgood tent site. A dumb move on my part back then but I didn’t know any better. I had not even started my attempt to hike the 48 4Ks. So as you can tell, we didn’t succeed and ended up camping for a couple days in the Great Gulf wilderness which was fun! We ended up spending fewer days in the woods as planned due to an injury of my friend, but nonetheless this set off my love for backpacking.
The second attempt was with Alyssa M, Kevin P and Dimitrios. I couldn’t even tell you where we hiked, my best guess would be Bog Brook Trail. All I know is we did 8 miles in to a campsite and we essentially ran it. I was in the worst shape out of the three of them and we all were running to keep up with Kevin. Man, can that man hike fast. Sadly because he was going so fast his knee started bothering him. So after one night at camp, we ended up hiking back out to the car and ended our hike early. Regardless of injuries and other personal issues, this was one of my favorite hikes. Good friends, good hiking, and overall good times. Thanks to the three of you for helping me grow that love.
I have a few people in my life that have gone on only one or two hikes with me. Stacey, Shayna, Q, Jill, Bobby, Jenna, Christina, Nykia, Camila, Matt C, Colin, Steve, Steve, Nate, Chris P, Maddie, Jess, Kia, Zach, Mike L, Matt C (aka Posty the Pirate), Liz, Kyrelle, Jane, Sue, and Erica. I am for sure missing some people. Some of you went on your first ever hike with me, some of you have been on a few hikes and some of you are better hikers that I am. Thanks for being a partner of mine and for agreeing to hike with me. You all gave me the opportunity to hike with someone new. Watching your smiles as you see the view and realize your accomplishment just makes my heart happy.
A few shout outs to my one-two hike-wonders:
- Stacey, that hike to the tea house in Banff was so incredibly fun. You did amazing! Shayna, our walk to the sunset in Banff was one of my favorite memories from that trip.
- Q, remember when you thought 3 miles was going to be a long hike but then you felt like you were short changing me because it was easy? Oh what about when I took you up one of the tallest 4Ks up one of the hardest trails? Jill and Bobby were there way ahead of the two of us. You might have struggled, but you did amazing. Jill you are just incredible how you flew up that mountain with your dog on your shoulder and good for you Bobby keeping up with her because I for sure could not.
- Jenna you beasted up those two mountains! We hiked almost 9 miles for your first hike! Wow!
- Christina, hikes with you are always fun and most certainly involved the dark and alcohol. Need I say more?
- Nyckxida you are a light. We have only done one baby hike but I will remember the day I met you and Alyssa forever. We had so much fun exploring the belknaps.
- Camila! We went on your first winter hike together! As a flatlander, you did incredible! Running and falling down the trail with you was so fun!
- Matt and Ellen, remember 4th of july? That sunset was beautiful!
- Steve, we only met that one time hiking in Maine and might have only managed one peak but man did we brave the cold the three of us together! Also post hike Disney plus was pretty great.
- The other Steve: We met on those two hikes for Alyssa’s birthday and I really grew to appreciate you as a friend. I am glad I got to see you when I made it out to Colorado for that short time!
- Nate, the amount of Dix jokes I have in my brain now will last me a lifetime. The way you make whisky bottles sexy is incredible. I am glad we now have had two opportunities to hike together! I can’t wait to follow your year long road trip!
- Chris P, remember our winter hike up Kearsarge? You had no traction and were slipping and sliding everywhere. It was so fun! Because of that hike, I now own a second pair of traction for people I bring on hikes.
- Liz, Kyrelle, Jane, Sue, Erica: sorry for the more than you bargained for hike to the waterfall in Nashville for Aja’s Bach party. At least it was pretty!
- Maddie: you were such a trooper hiking up to Glen boulder with Tyler and I. We might have had to help, but you made it above tree line and I was so proud!
- Kia, Jess, Mike, Zach, and Dimitrios: I was just talking about how fun our trip was with Jess and Kia and how we decided to forage the river instead of hiking back the 2 miles. All of us were soaked over our ankles (well except Zach who we all entrusted with our phones). I still smile when I think about that day.
- Matt, Posty the Pirate Cherkerzian: I am honored to have given you your trail name. I am sad that we only just started hiking together because already I can tell that we make great hiking partners! Hopefully you and I can hike more in the future together!
Lastly, Let’s go back to one of my worst hiking days ever. Mount Moosilauke. I don’t have any pictures because of how bad that day was. My poor hiking partners: Kevin, Kevin, Mike, and others who may have been there and have been blocked out of my memory. I laugh at how bad I was at that hike. I unfortunately only got 2-ish hours of sleep due to some unforeseen issues with my friend’s tent flooding. We had a late drive into the night to my parents house in NH then had to get up early and drive back. I’d love to blame lack of sleep on how horrible I was to hike with that day but I am willing to admit it. I was so out of shape. Like incredibly out of shape I laugh about that day now. Thanks guys for putting up with me. Come join me on the AT for a day, you’ll notice a HUGE difference!
Aja and Will: The now newlyweds I took on as twins bonds traverse overnight for their first 4000footers. Beasts right? They both did incredible! Thanks for allowing me to take you on this crazy hike. I hope the views were worth it! 5/48 done. When are we doing another?
The day I finished my NH48 4000 footers: Mount Isolation. What a day this was. I started with 8 people total and peaked with four. Dom, Fe, Tamara, Kevin, Jason, Cameron, and Tyler. Everyone made it up over 4000ft, which is incredible considering two of them are not hikers, but man did they put in a strong effort. Two went down at 4000feet accompanied by the wonderful Kevin (Sorry dude you have to hike that again lol). One went down at 5000ft, which is a HUGE accomplishment. Fe, Jason, and Tyler pushed through and celebrated with me at the top…we might have had a little too much to drink and ran down from the top a little tipsy. I am still in awe about how wonderful that day was. All seven of you who joined me for that special day meant the world to me.