On March 21 of this year, Bekah and Derrick Quirin set out to hike the Appalachian Trail with the hopes of covering its entire 2200 mile (3450 km). Like other long-distance hikers, they were looking for a little adventure and the opportunity to complete one of the most iconic trails in the world. But unlike most others, they also have a small child in tow. Daughter Ellie is just 15-months old, and yet she is tagging along for the ride on the AT. And if mom and dad are successful, she could become the youngest person ever to complete the route.
According to this article from Mother Nature Network, the Quirins have been “flip-flopping” on the AT. That means they aren’t hiking it end-to-end, beginning or ending on either Springer Mountain in Georgia or Mt. Katahdin in Maine, which are the southern and northern most terminuses respectively. Instead, they started their walk in Virginia in March and headed south, reaching Springer on May 13.
Using this approach allowed the trio to start the hike in some of its easier sections, allowing Bekah and Derrick to get their legs under them before taking on more challenging legs. That’s not uncommon for backpackers, but most of them aren’t carrying a child on their back either. The strategy also allowed them to avoid hiking the trail’s southern end in the heat of the summer too.
Now, they’re preparing to return to the trail and continue counting off the miles. Ellie will of course be joining them, and although she doesn’t walk yet, she is getting close. In fact, it is possible that she might take her first steps on the A.T. itself. That sure beats scuffling across the carpet in the living. room.
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