OMG, I have to do that again!
The Massachusetts/Vermont state line was my personal halfway point. I'd hiked 1,095 miles to get there from my starting point in Grayson Highlands State Park.
I was overcome with emotions, but the only thought in my mind was, "Oh my God, I have to do that again!"
It was dawning on me that a 2,000 mile hike may be too much.
But, what's next?
One question that comes up a lot on the trail is "What's next?" After one long thru-hike, people assume everyone who hikes one long trail automatically signs up for the thru-hiking Triple Crown--the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail and the Continental Divide Trail (which isn't even finished and involves grizzly bears).
The Triple Crown question invariably comes when I'm chafing in unmentionable places, my toes still feel like vienna sausages and I could gnaw your arm off I'm so hungry.
My halfway point coincided with the start of the Long Trail, a 273 mile long trail that runs the length of Vermont. There I met a Long Trail hiker starting her own journey, one that would take her about three weeks and would take her up to the border with Canada.
Her name was Miss P. She wore a pine cone necklace. And she told me about the Triple Tiara.
The Triple Tiara isn't a thing...yet.
Google Triple Tiara...you won't find anything, at least not hiking related. But I'm on a mission, now, to make it a thing. I want this to be a thing. Because it sounds so much more civilized than the Triple Crown mania that grips thru-hikers.
Besides, tiaras are so much more wearable than crowns.
The Triple Tiara is made up of delicious sections of the three Triple Crown trails, and each one can be completed in a month or two. Here's what you get for your commitment:
- The Long Trail: 273 white-blazed miles in Vermont, 100 of which are shared with the Appalachian Trail.
- The Colorado Trail: a 486 mile section of the Continental Divide Trail through high peaks of the Rocky Mountains.
- The John Muir Trail: 210 miles through Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks--be still my beating heart!
See? The Triple Tiara is civilized in that way that allows you to walk every day and enjoy every step because you have time to cover the (abbreviated) ground.
So who's in? Who wants to help me make the Triple Tiara a thing?
I'm on it just as soon as I finish the AT. Meanwhile, enjoy some of the Long Trail.
BTW, Vermont gets a bad rep that's undeserved. I crossed into Vermont on August 1. Yes, there was mud, but by August it was mostly that dry kind of mud that isn't sloppy any more. In fact, it's a soft pillow under your feet. It's pretty, too. Not jaw-dropping, but pretty. And, there's pie. I loved Vermont, and I can't wait to hike the Long Trail, especially since there seems to be a community of Long Trail hikers that reminded me of the AT community.