Thursday, January 05, 2012

Long, Long, Long Distance Hiker Bart Smith

Colin McDonald's article "A long walk through history: Man hiking 550 miles on 300-year-old trail passes through S.A." appearing in the San Antonio News-Express on 5 January 2012 tells us about the current hike of Bart Smith there in Texas. Pretty far from the Appalachian Trail, right? Well there's this:
His dedication to walking has made him a bit of a celebrity in the small community of long-distance hikers. He is the only person to have hiked the nation's 11 Scenic Trails, which include the 2,184 miles of the Appalachian Trail and 2,650 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. It took him 16 years to walk them all, more than 17,000 miles.

That resulted in four coffee-table books of Smith's photos.

Now, at 52, he is working on walking all 19 of the country's Historic Trails. His goal is to complete them by 2018 to mark the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System Act, which President Lyndon B. Johnson signed in 1968.
His wife, Bridgie Graham-Smith, is singled out as the person who often shuttles him, as well as supports him financially through her nursing profession. Bart quit his construction job in 2005 to focus on photography and hiking.

Talk about your long distance hikers!

(Smith's Appalachian Trail photos illustrate The Appalachian Trail: Calling Me Back to the Hills which includes poetry by Earl Shaffer. ISBN:0979565901)

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