On February 3rd of last year, we announced to the world that we were going to be attempting a thru-hike of the Mountains to Sea Trail in the summer of 2020. For a while we planned vigorously to figure out how we could make it happen, but we quickly realized that it wasn’t a feasible venture for an endless list of reasons.

But, instead of calling it quits altogether, we decided to try something unique. Something that, if we pull it off, could show a whole new way of completing a long trail for those who can’t just quit their jobs for six months.

So today, January 1st of 2020, we are starting our Mountains to Sea thru-hike.

I’m sure we’ll be getting messages and comments along the way and in the years to come of people disqualifying our hike as a “thru” and, if you’re a purist, you’re welcome to that opinion! However, we’re choosing to lean into the large part of the thru-hiking community who defines a thru-hike in many different ways.

What is a “Thru-Hike” Anyway?

If you research through the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), you’ll find that they define a thru-hike as hiking the entirety of the Appalachian Trail in a calendar year, or 12 months. That’s it. It says nothing about going the same direction the entire time, doing it all in one fail swoop, etc.

I really like how our friends over at REI put it in their blog about thru-hiking, “Thru-hiking is ultimately about challenging yourself: How you define that challenge is up to you.”

So that’s what we’re doing with the MST – defining our challenge and setting out to tackle it.

We’re taking the ATC’s definition to heart and setting out to finish the 1,175 miles of the MST in the calendar year of 2020. We’ll be doing sections throughout the year as we can, all while juggling a Master’s program, two small businesses, two large huskies and a home.

AND WE START TODAY!

We’re aiming to complete 90.3 miles in our first pass, but we’re totally open to the idea that we might be overestimating ourselves just a tad  

How We Are Asking For Help

Since we’ll be going back and forth from our home, this hike presents many different options for us. We’ll be trying a bunch of new recipes and new ways of doing food – specifically trying to eliminate the normalization of single-use plastic packaging in the hiker community – and sharing what we learn along the way. We’ll also be taking trash bags with us on each section and picking up trash along the way in an effort to clean up our state’s trail that so many hard-working volunteers have made possible!

We’ll be sharing our progress and our stories over on Instagram/Facebook, so be sure you’re following along there!

And, of course, if you’d like to help us out financially, that would be an immense blessing. This hike is going to take a lot of transportation and planning, so any reprieve would be a huge help! We’ll be thinking up various fundraising ideas in the future, but for now we’re hoping to get all 1,175 miles of the trail “sponsored”! We’re asking for volunteers to pledge just $5 a mile (or $10 for 2 miles, $20 for 4 miles, etc.) and those funds can be sent to our Venmo – @TrailMixforNewlyweds.

We are eternally grateful for the support you all show us in any form – prayers, encouraging comments, trail magic, sponsorships, etc.

We wouldn’t be here without you!

Happy Trails,

MoonShine & Gibberish