On Saturday, we’re going to hike the Appalachian Trail in a day. Well, not exactly. But we are going to help the Dartmouth Outing Club celebrate its centennial by joining nearly 1,000 other hikers to cover the entire 2,176-mile trail in 24 hours.
Full disclosure here: I am married to a Dartmouth alum. Jim arrived at Dartmouth having never hiked more than a few miles or slept out in a tent or carried a backpack. He didn’t have much to do with the college’s legendary outing club until his senior year. That was enough, though: a few trips led him to six months on and around the Appalachian Trail, albeit doing trail work. Those experiences ultimately led him to become a hiker, backcountry skier, fisherman, and environmentalist.
Many people who enjoy the outdoors don’t come to it as children or with their own families. Like Jim, they come to it through organizations: college clubs like Dartmouth’s outing club or groups like the Appalachian Mountain Club.
Opportunities to celebrate such connections don’t show up every day. If you want to join the DOC celebration and help hike the AT in a day, you also have the chance to become a DOC member for a year, with all that entails. (Check the website below for more details. Student organizers, by the way, are especially eager to find volunteers for sections of the trail south of Roanoke, Virginia, down into Georgia.) The “hike” starts one minute after midnight on Saturday, October 10, and ends 23 hours and 59 minutes later.
In this space next week, look for dispatches from the trail.
Register on the Dartmouth Outing Club website to hike a section of the trail or read updates and hike reports.
“Great Kids, Great Outdoors” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Kristen Laine.