Fifteen years ago now, in August 2004, I embarked on the first of my three mega long-distance hikes. From Cape Gaspe, Quebec, I followed a network of existing long-distance hiking trails — including the International Appalachian Trail, Appalachian Trail, Long Trail, North Country Trail, Continental Divide Trail, and Pacific Northwest Trail — for eleven months and about 7,775 miles, until finishing my journey at Cape Alava on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.
My website had documented this journey well, but much of the content got lost when I migrated to a WordPress platform in 2011. My journal (what today we’d call a blog) is still live, but the Sea-to-Sea Route homepage is hollow and I’ve never bothered to restore the content — I typically find myself more interested by what’s ahead, not behind.
The missing documentation is unfortunate, since it was one of the most formative experiences of my life. I was 23 years-old, and not before and not since that journey have I seen so much of the country, both its places and people. The Great Western Loop was more noteworthy as a wilderness experience and athletic accomplishment, and the Alaska-Yukon Expedition still makes my jaw drop for its boldness and demonstration of backcountry competence, but the Sea-to-Sea Route was more quintessentially American than either of them.
In early-December I was contacted by Clif R., who may repeat the route and who converted my slideshow about the experience into a video file. I recorded the presentation as a PowerPoint in May 2006, when that seemed like a reasonable format — YouTube had been founded only fifteen months prior.
This has been a very long-winded way to say: My Sea-to-Sea Route slideshow is now on YouTube. Pull up a chair and get some popcorn, since it runs about an hour. Enjoy.
“At Mt Katahdin I reminded myself I still had 7100 miles to go.”
One step after another.