Twig Adventures

2022 Year In Review

I wanted to do recap of all my hiking in 2022, which is something I should’ve been doing since I started this blog in 2017. Maybe I’ll do some back-posts over the next winter season to cover years 2017-2021. I like collecting stats in one tidy place. Call it ego or whatever, really I just want to keep track of everything for personal reflections.

2022 was a pretty busy year! I thru-hiked one specialty route, the Mogollon Rim Trail (MRT, courtesy of Brett Tucker and Melissa Spencer) and also one official National Scenic Trail, the Pacific Northwest Trail (PNT). These 2 thru-hikes were quite different from each other and afforded a very wide array of habitats, conditions, and experiences. They also incorporated sections of 4 other long-distance trails: the Arizona Trail (AZT), Grand Enchantment Trail (GET), Continental Divide Trail (CDT), and Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). I hit 3 of these trails on the MRT (AZT: 20 miles, GET: 70 miles, CDT: 57 miles) and 2 on the PNT (CDT: 15 miles, PCT: 13 miles). It was really cool to connect to and repeat parts of so many trails I’d previously thru-hiked. The PNT and MRT are both east-west running trails, so they open up lots of opportunities to combine the major north-south trails. In fact, there’s something called the Great Western Loop, that’s a 7000 mile combination of the PCT, PNT, CDT, GET, AZT and maybe even a bit of the Hayduke Route. I met one hiker, Chezwick, who was completing this entire loop as I hiked the PNT. I’ve now hiked almost all of the loop as well, just not all in one season. However, I did touch on most parts of the loop this year!

Early in the winter/spring, I hiked about 80 miles on the Florida Trail in Big Cypress, as a combination of volunteer work hikes (trail maintenance) and short forays with my friends Picky, MEGAman, Suvi, Cashmere, Cookie and Ticktock. I also volunteered to help with the 2022 Florida Trail Kick-off party and gave rides to 8 hikers from Miami to Big Cypress National Preserve, the southern terminus of the FT.

In September, I hiked a 76 mile section of the CDT / Colorado Trail from I-70 to Leadville (which included the highpoint 14er Grays Peak) and a 56 mile section of the Appalachian Trail (AT) from Caledonia State Park PA to Harpers Ferry WV (basically all of Maryland). The CDT/CT section was strictly for fun and so that I could hike with my good friend Suvi…see summary post here. The AT section hike was as part of a guided trip that I LEAD! I didn’t include it as a post, since I didn’t want to mix business with pleasure on this blog. But I had a wonderful time guiding 5 women, something I’d like to do more of in the future (Andrew Skurka: if you’re reading this, hit me up!).

I probably did another 50 miles or so of day hiking while visiting family in Colorado.

Lastly, in October, I toured through the UK with my partner, visiting parts of England, Scotland, and Wales. Since I’m such a big fan of walking, most of our ‘touristing’ involved walking around the cities we visited. We did numerous Rick Steve’s walking tours (free) and a couple local-guided walking tours, including 2 “ghost tours” in York. We also went on many hikes in the Cotswolds, Snowdonia (Wales), and the Lakes District…I especially enjoyed these! We walked parts of the Cotswold Way and Hadrian’s Wall, which are official long(ish) distance hikes in the UK. Altogether, we probably walked/hiked 180 miles. I didn’t keep track of my daily distances but did keep a journal of our activities…reading back through, it’s easy to see how the miles would add up.

How many miles total for this year? I can’t say for certain but here’s my best tally:
MRT (including parts of the GET and CDT to get to Silver City): 620 miles
PNT: 1260 miles
Section hikes & shorter backpacking trips: 210 miles
Day hiking and walking tours: 250 miles
Total: 2340 miles (this doesn’t even include all the urban walking/running I do in the off-season for training/maintaining fitness)

States and Countries I hiked through or in: Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Florida, Wales, Scotland, England

Past trail friends that I got to hike with (or at least meet up with) again: Suvi (PCT), Picky (AT/CDT), Cashmere, Ticktoc, Cookie (GET), Mud Lantern (AT), Flowers (PCT), Pinestick (AT), Bacchus (AT), Two Spoons (CDT) plus probably a few I’m forgetting, sorry. I just barely missed seeing Skybird (PCT) but got to facetime with her about the CDT. Congrats to both Suvi Spacegoat and Skybird for completing the CDT southbound. Skybird is now a Triple Crowner, and Suvi might as well be since she’s done the PCT, CDT and Te Araroa.

New Trail Friends: MEGAman (FT), 925 (MRT), Skunkbear & Sashay, Wolverine, Karaoke, Funk, Quetzal, Costanza, Carol & Mathias, plus many many more I met but didn’t get a chance to get to know better. More info on the great people I met all year can be found in my trail angel summary posts for the PNT and MRT.

I would also like to mention 4 trail angels that climbed high to become real angels: Aunt Peggy, Laurel, Nita and Skip LeMay. It breaks my heart to have lost these beautiful souls but hopefully they’re looking down, laughing at all our antics and mishaps on the trails, still giving us a helping hand when we need it.

Trails I hiked in completion or in bits: MRT, PNT, AZT, GET, CDT, CT, PCT, AT, FT, Hadrian’s Wall, Cotswold Way

In summary, I hiked all of 2 and parts of 7 US long-distance trails… all but one of which that I’ve previously thru-hiked! In the same year that I attended the ALDHA-West Gathering to receive my Triple Crown award, I think it’s pretty cool that I also connected to these 3 big trails in some way (total of 217 miles!). In fact, I hit up the CDT 3 different times, once near the southern terminus, once at the northern terminus, and the last time in the middle.

I loved the symmetry of 2022. I can’t say it was my longest year of hiking but it was certainly one of the best!

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