AT – Day 73 – 12 Long Walks

DATE:  December 28, 2012        20121229-091420.jpg

START:  Neels Gap, GA

FINISH:  Springer Mountain, GA / Southern Terminus AT + 2.8 miles

DISTANCE:  30.6 miles (49.2 km) + 2.8 miles

TOTAL DISTANCE:  2181 miles (3509.2 km)

There it is…….Springer Mountain, GA……….the finishing point of the 12 Long Walks……..July 2, 2011 to December 28, 2012…….approximately 14,500 miles*, a few days shy of 18 months………Wow! What a journey it’s been……..but now that I’m at the end all I really want to do is keep going……..continue walking……………as of right now, that’s what I’ll do……I’m turning around and heading back again……….not the whole twelve walks, mind you, just the last three……..well, maybe only the AT……..ok, ok, at the very least I should be able to make it the 30 miles back to Neel’s Gap 😉 ………What can I tell you; I just love to walk………………

*Note: This total is a little short of the 15,000 miles I originally envisaged. However, in my own defense, math has never been my strong suit and I’m sure if you calculated all the out and back trips I did to service counters at AYCE buffets around North America, the grand total would easily exceed the above mentioned figure!!!










AT – Day 73 – 12 Long Walks — 35 Comments

  1. MAN OH MAN CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! Seriously the AT in the winter is accomplishment enough, but 16,000 miles!!!!!! And now 3 more BIG hikes. Wow is all I can say. When might I add are you going to start these hikes? BTW: Glad you got to hike with Malto. He blazed through Tehachapi on the PCT in 2011 before I could meet him. You two make a great pair. Way to go Swami.

    • Hey Rockin,
      Thanks for your kind words. I decided that 14,500 thousand miles and almost 18 months was enough after all………at least for now!
      Hope all is well in Tehachapi. What do you have planned for 2013?

  2. Hey Cam,
    Congratulations on the completion of your 12 long distance hikes…a truly extraordinary accomplishment. Thanks for posting the journals and the many great photos. I’m glad to read that you plan to continue walking, and I hope you will continue to share your experiences with the rest of us. You are an inspiration, and I’m so glad to have found your website and blog. I love to hike, and I hope to do some long distance hiking in the future, perhaps starting with the AT or the PCT (I’m over 50 and self-employed). Your website is a very good resource for information as well as motivation, so please keep up the good work. Perhaps we will meet on the trail someday. Best regards and happy trails. Cal H.

    • Hey Calvin,
      Thanks for your kind words. Best of luck with your future thru hikes! Drop me a line if there is anything I can do to help on the planning front.

  3. Hey Cam, Dont have the words to say how proud of you we are. Amazing!
    Congratulations especially from Mum, Dad, Jonni, I & your nephews Harry & Jack.
    Has been absolutely awesome to see my brother in his natural environment…nature is your home. What a beautiful one it is. Love you Cam!
    PS. Reading your blog was a very ‘brave’ way for Mum (all of us) to find out you were going to turn back around & keep walking…well!
    On On!

  4. Cam – Great to hear from you on Springer! I has been fun to meet you and to follow you on your journey. I hope you can talk yourself into taking some time off!

    Best regards,

    Jan and Mike
    Purple and Carnivore

  5. Swami! Congratulations on finishing your epic journey and I’m happy for you that you can keep doing what you love. If you come back to Utah, look me up. It was great getting to meet and visit with you at Woods Hole hostel. I am finished with my AT thruhike and now starting to plan my next long distance hike because I miss it! I will be researching lighter weight gear and techniques here on your site and if you ever take a break from hiking and want to check out my blog it is at Happy hiking! “Carry-On”

    • Thanks for the congrats. Great meeting you and Eagle Eye as well! Woods Hole was one of my favourite places on the AT. Best of luck with your next long hike!

  6. Congratulations!!!! We’ve been thinking about you during a snowy winter. But… we want to know: how serious are you about turning around and yoyoing? We know you’re a little crazy, but what’s the extent of the craziness?
    –Step and Machine

    • I guess my craziness did have a limit after all! Well done on your CDT hike; I really enjoyed the day I spent hiking with you guys (as well as Mike and Naomi) a few months ago in Colorado.

  7. Hey Cam
    Happy New Year and well done you. Your achievement is amazing and I never doubted that you’d turn around and walk right back again. Maybe see you for another lazy stroll soon. Stay safe and maybe take a bit more rest – you’re not getting any younger you know!!! Keep in touch.

  8. Cam, it was in God’s plan for my life that we met on the trail Dec. 29 upon your return to Neal’s Gap as night was setting in. The timing was unmistakable that you were literally a light from God for which I am always grateful. This is also a sobering reminder to me as to how brief this life can be. I’ll always remember rule #2. Thank you my friend, and many miles more to you!

  9. Oh my God, you did it!! What a huge accomplishment…congratulations! Of course, there are always more trails, eh? Perhaps if you do re-hike the big three we’ll see you on the CDT in spring…if you do end up doing something crazy and hiking back to Maine this winter , I’m working in the hundred mile wilderness now. I would love to provide a hot meal or three and a woodstove heated cabin. Best luck with whatever the new year brings for you!
    Bone Lady

    • Hey Bone Lady,
      Thanks for your kind words. It was definitely an amazing journey!
      Best of luck on the CDT this spring…….it sounds like there are quite a few people heading northbound on that particular trail this year.

    • Thanks, Naomi. It was great hiking with you guys on the CDT a few months back. What’s next for you and Mike?
      All the best,

  10. Congrats Swami!
    You, like Billy Goat, seem to be in your element or @ ‘home’ while on the trail. Few thru-hikers seem to belong in the wilderness – most of us just visit for a few months. I wish you well on your continued journey. Someday our paths may cross again. Happy trails!

    • Thanks, Freebird. Great to hear from you. I guess Billy and I do have quite a bit in common………although he definitely shades me on the facial hair front! I still hope to make it to Hawaii in the not so distant future to join you for some hiking and surfing.
      Take care,

    • Hey Wrongway,
      Great to hear from you! Thanks for the congrats. Hope the rest of your hiking/cycling journey around the States went well. I still chuckle when I think of the diverse places that you and I ran into each other over the course of our respective journeys; Stecoah Gap, NC, the Best Western breakfast buffet in Safford, AZ and finally the snowy slopes of Mt.Baden Powell on the PCT.

  11. Congrats Swami on completing your 12 long walks! It was inspiring to meet you and hear your story before your journey up Mt. Washington. You’ve got a place to stay in the White Mountains, NH if you head northbound on the AT, just send me an email! Happy Trails!


    Pinkham Notch

    • Hey Mac,
      Thanks for the kind words. I won’t soon forget my time in the Whites during Hurricane Sandy……….what a glorious place the “Dungeon” was on that particular day out of Pinkham Notch!

    • Thanks, Bob. I used to be the man until a botched vasectomy…………it’s been all downhill, anatomically rather than geographically, ever since!

  12. Congratulations, dear Swami! Your verve and nerve carried the day. I hope your example will draw more young people to “the hiking life”.

    • Hi Amoeba,
      Thank you very much for the kind words. Meeting yourself and Billy Goat in the swamps of Big Cypress was one of the highlights of the Florida Trail! Verve, nerve and the occasional swerve………..whilst in bear country!
      Take care,

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