Well, it has begun. Our countdown has begun. Our alarm still wakes us at 4:30 A.M. every single morning, but now those mornings have become finite. The mornings now do not feel endless and a treadmill of work, work, work. Now when we wake, each decision, each moment, each feeling are consumed and encompassed by Trail. Not to say they have not been in the past, but there is a special type of feeling when you get within the month countdown until trail. The moments taste crisper because they are limited, the food tastes better because soon it will be granola bars and cold coffee, and the knees already speak of a tightness and soreness that they forecast in the future. The month window to starting a long distance trail, especially multiple long distance trails comes with emotion in every minute of every day. Our body is ready, our soul is ready, and our mind is ready, but they still have much to say to you as well as ourselves before we even take one step into hiking season 2021. First step, first terminus, first mile of 8,000 begins February 1st, 2021.
The pack and hat are waiting, let us all pick them up together!
First and foremost, we want to announce, our partnership with Tell Your Trail. This company, run by an amazing couple by the name of Jay and Maud, and ElevenSkys will be hiking into 2021 together. What does this mean? Are we sponsored? Sponsorship to hike? Preposterous! We are not sponsored, but we are partnered to share our journey together with Tell Your Trail and you. Tell Your Trail is a company that makes maps and memories. They create in depth long distance hiking maps that show you the journey you or a loved one has traversed, with customizable key icons. It is an amazing concept run by 2 amazing people.
So, what does this partnership look like? Well, if you follow us on our YouTube Channel or follow us on our Facebook Page, you will have already seen the first manifestation of this. If you follow Tell Your Trail on their Instagram Account or Website you will have also seen the same. We recently published the 1st interview on Monday, that is part of a (5) episode series moving into hiking season 2021. The first episode lets us relive our first thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail. It let's us relive our 2nd and 3rd thru-hike on the Pacific Crest Trail and Oregon Coast Trail. Yet, it also encompasses so much more. The trail system you are on is only part of the journey. A piece in the journey, the physical aspect. A chicken and egg scenario, because without the trail, the emotions and growth may not occur the same. So, these episodes are about simply put multiple thru-hikes, but so much more. Trail family, trail community, personal growth, pace, love, joy, and pure happiness.
Two of the Five Trails of 2021, the others will remain a mystery, but could not be happier to share in this journey with you and Tell Your Trail!
Click Here, or the Picture to See 1st Episode!
The first was about our hiking years of 2016 and 2017. The second episode will be coming out this upcoming Monday, January 11th, 2021 and will be covering hiking season 2018, our thru hike of the Continental Divide Trail. Our completion of the Triple Crown, but also again more than just a completion but also a gaping absence. We had done the Big 3 trails, now what? Were we done? Had we accomplished our "goal"? Honestly the Triple Crown never felt like a goal, instead a progression. It felt right to do the Big 3 in the order we did, because naturally that is where the Trail brought us. It gave us the community, the growth, the miles where and when we needed them. So, this episode is a heavy one, about family, friends, partners and relationships through the years as we grew as a hiker. It is about managing time and life, and how the gap became too big between Constantine and Ryan. It is about the nagging question of who we were becoming and what next?
From here the schedule will remain every Monday. The next episode will air on Monday, January 18th, 2021. This episode will cover hiking season 2019, the Pinhoti Trail, the PNT, the IAT, and the AZT. Just as importantly it will uncover a new goal we had found to reach for, yet also a life that was forming inside and outside of these trails, because simply they had become our love, our passion, and our life. This is an emotional rollercoaster of a ride, bring the tissues!
As you can see in this pattern the next episode that airs on Monday, January 25th, 2021 will cover hiking season 2020. The hiking season that almost was no hiking season. The life season that was almost broken. The love that was felt between thousands of miles, and teetered upon survival. It is about Trail, but about so much more than just the physical miles themselves. That is the ongoing theme, the miles are miles. Beautiful, physically tough, footstep after footstep, but the miles are a small piece, a necessary piece, but only a physical manifestation of the change in the landscape while the bigger change was happening in our hearts and minds. Yes, our life revolves around Trail and we have fought to get here, struggled to reach this point, and could not be more privileged or happy to have arrived here. Yet it means so much more than just the classic definition of Point A to Point B or miles. The Trail means the lifestyle off of physical miles, it means the lifestyle on the trail itself, it means the goals inside of goals in any given day, it means love felt for the world and each other, it means unbridled joy.
This picture just makes our heart smile every time. The essence of feelings for Trail manifested themselves into a physical heart.
Finally, the 5th episode will air on our first official day on our first thru-hike of 2021 hiking season. It will air on Monday, February 1st, 2021 when we ourselves will be finding ourselves touching the Florida Trail's southern terminus with 1,200 miles in front of us to complete this thru hike, but 8,000 miles in front of us to complete hiking season 2021. It will be a powerful moment for us and hopefully be powerful moment for you all as well, if you watch all the episodes reliving the moments to get here. In this episode we will cover the feelings and last minute preps of being within a few day window to starting Trail. How they have grown throughout the years, how they have changed, how they have stayed the same. How the pre-trail nerves have never left, but only shifted into something new. No longer the question of the unknown or the question of if we can. Yet, now the nerves speak a different language. A language of hope. Of we hope the plans go accordingly. Hope our body will hold. We know our mind will. Yet, the test shifts and changes each year no matter how many miles, how many trails, or how many years you have been living this life. Everything changes and we must be the change with it.
Then from here we will be hiking! Yet, our partnership will not end with this (5) part video series. Stay tuned for the defined schedule as our pace and trail towns will dictate, but Tell Your Trail and ElevenSkys will continue to do check-in interviews and check-in chats, to show what is on the heart and mind of that mile, that section, that trail, this year of 2021. We look forward to sharing this experience with all of you. We ourselves are interested in seeing the progression again from polo shirt and bright pink pants businessman to, tattered, dirty, smelly, thru-hiker, that feels ultimate freedom. They of course are one in the same, and we have fought and sweat to make them one in the same. Yet, to see them merge so completely in a year like no other, a year that we accomplish a goal of 6 years, and a year that we push ourselves to the max, will be quite a spectacle. We could not be happier to see it and share it with all of you!
The Great Divide Trail Terminus.
It is not the terminus however, it is the moments before, the moments during, and the moments after that create a life of love around Trail.
Thank you Tell Your Trail for letting us all share in this journey together. Thank you Jay and Maud for letting a hiker ramble and letting us all share in laughs together. Thank you for not pointing out too much our severe candy addiction. Thank you for asking the questions that we ourselves have wanted to define for years, we just had yet to put words to the thoughts and feelings. Thank you for being the happy people and company you are. Yes, and of course thank you everyone for letting us share this experience, share this wonder and life we have found in a simple yet so complex world that is only 2 feet wide but thousands of miles long, endlessly long. The terminus of any trail may mark the end of that journey, but it only opens up many more, and builds into the singular journey we all travel on, the one of life. We will get to stepping here shortly, look forward to having you all along!
With callus spontaneously forming everywhere on our body besides our hearts in preparation,