The long distance hiking community is wonderfully inclusive. Details such as age, where you come from, what you do for a living are all but irrelevant. People from different generations and backgrounds are brought together not just by the goal of hiking from one obscure location to another, but more importantly by a mutual love of the Great Outdoors.
Rarely have I felt this sense of camaraderie between wayfaring brethren (& sistren) more than I did at ALDHA West, 2013. From start to finish the atmosphere was fantastic. Old friends reconnecting, new friendships established, many stories, laughs and even the odd brew or three shared between one and all (Note: That second keg appeared to materialize out of nowhere!). The organizers, Allgood, FreeFall, Dicentra, Marmot, Ravensong and SoFar, did a terrific job in making it all possible. The location, food and events schedule were all top rate and every ALDHA West veteran I talked to seemed to be of the opinion that the 2013 edition was the best ever!
On a personal note, it was a privilege to give one of the presentations during the weekend. As I mentioned during my talk, unless I happen to give the keynote address at the National Hobo Convention, never again will I have the opportunity to speak to an audience in which so many listeners have at one time or another been forced to sleep in a toilet. Hope to see you all again in 2014!