The Continental Divide Trail Coalition's efforts to engage their trail communities and foster interest in their efforts to build, protect, and maintain the Continental Divide Trail has led to the first annual CDT Traildays and Kick Off on April 10-12 in Silver City, New Mexico.
Oh yes, it is a festival for the hiker too: past, current, and future. As one of the first major towns a northbound CDT hiker will encounter, Silver City is a welcome break from the waterless desert stretches...with world class restaurants, downtown art galleries, and all the amenities a tired thru-hiker could want, the Kick Off will highlight some of these resources and celebrate Silver City’s unique culture.
As the CDTC’s first Gateway Community, a program designed to recognize communities that promote and protect the trail, Silver City is leading the way with this year’s Kick Off. The weekend starts off with a happy hour on Friday, April 10 at Little Toad Creek Brewery and Distillery, and continues Saturday with a gear and trail expo, CDT seminars, trainings, and informative sessions - concluding on Sunday with a trail work day. That’s right, you can help build the CDT!
This time of year potential thru-hikers are pouring over gear lists, debating pack weights, and polling all the previous thru-hikers they know for tips and tricks to make their long distance trip a success. ALDHA-West (American Long Distance Hiking Association - West) knows this, and for the second year is hosting a Ruck on February 28 in Cascade Locks, Oregon, to not only help future hikers prepare, but to poll the knowledge of their membership (these folks have many many thousands of miles under their belts).
“As ALDHA-West moves into our 20th year of promoting fellowship and communication among long distance hikers and those that support them, we are happy to engage our members who combined have hundreds of thousands of trail miles among them, with those new to the sport,” commented ALDHA-West President Whitney “Allgood” LaRuffa. “Whether you want to hike 40 miles or 3,000 miles in 2015, if you plan to be on trail this summer than one of these events are the place to be. We'll be having a great day of education, fun, and camaraderie.”
This week we catch up with hiker Will Klein for our 10 Questions post. Will not only loves to get outside himself, but it's often a family affair with three generations of Kleins hitting the trail to soak in the outdoor goodness.
1) How did you get started backpacking?
I got started backpacking, when I noticed that my Dad and uncle were having fun without me. They got me into it.
2) What is your favorite piece of gear?
My favorite piece of gear is my Six Moon Designs Fusion 65 pack. Packs very nice.
3) What is your favorite hike?
So far I haven't been on any big trips. I just do local Southern California hikes. Since it's my first season, and waiting for spring.
You have completed your ultralight set-up, now it’s time to hit the trail, but unless you have had your sights set on a particular long distance trail, where to go?
Midstate Trail, 95 miles, Massachusetts
Did you know we have two Midstate trails in the U.S.? Yes, confusing, especially since they are so close to each other: one is in Massachusetts (the Midstate Trail) the other in Pennsylvania (the Mid State Trail).
The Midstate Trail travels 95 miles from the northern terminus at the New Hampshire border just north of the summit of Mount Watatic (the last undeveloped mountain east of the Connecticut River), and stretches to Rhode Island through the gentle hills of central Massachusetts. A mere 45 miles west of Boston, the trail successfully skirts many cities to provide a secluded and wild experience.
If you were late to check Facebook the week of December 22, you probably missed snagging a deeply discounted Six Moon Designs’ Lunar Duo-Outfitter. The inventory of cosmetically flawed tents was gone in days, and due to the clever idea of donating the proceeds to the three long trail organizations, the sale raised $10,230.
“I had the inventory of flawed Lunar Duos for a long time and wasn’t sure what to do with them,” said Six Moon Designs Owner and Founder Ron Moak. “I had the thought for the sale on Saturday, and Monday I put it up on the web. We were expecting it to sell in a couple months, but they went out in a couple of days!”
Making Lemons out of Lemonade indeed. As soon as the sale finished the checks were in the mail: $4,510 for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), $3,370 for the Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) and $2,350 for the Continental Divide Trail Coalition (CDTC).
“The support from Six Moon Designs demonstrates their commitment to our nation’s long distance trails and their commitment to support our efforts to ensure that the associated organizations remain strong and vibrant,” commented Executive Director for the Continental Divide Trail Coalition Teresa Martinez. “This program came as such a wonderful and welcome surprise and we are grateful for being included in the effort. We thank everyone who supported this effort through their purchase of a shelter and these kind of win-wins are the kind of things we love to support!”
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