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Kansas

A Kansas City native conquered the country’s longest trails and earned hiking’s ‘Triple Crown’ | KCUR 89.3

It wasn’t till Leawood, Kansas-born Charlie Janssen was fully alone in a distant piece of Northern California alongside the Pacific Crest Trail that he felt nauseous.

“As a public education teacher, I somehow managed to stay COVID-free for two years,” Jassen mentioned. “But somehow I picked it up in the remoteness of northern California.”

Janssen had been immersed in a lifelong dream for greater than 4 months and hundreds of miles: He hiked all 7,800 miles of the Appalachian Trail, the Continental Divide Trail, and the Pacific Crest Trail in a single calendar 12 months.

Earlier this month, Janssen achieved that aim and certified for the Triple Crown of Hiking Award. He joins an elite group of fewer than 15 individuals who made it in a single 12 months.

Though he not lives in the Kansas City space, he says his hometown has all the time been on his thoughts.

“I feel like doing something of this extreme length is really foreign to people in the Midwest,” Janssen instructed KCUR’s Up To Date Wednesday. “I really wanted to represent Kansas City and my Pittsburgh alma mater. I also wanted to show my students that anything is possible.”

Janssen is a historical past trainer and cross nation coach at Eagle Valley High School in Gypsum, Colorado. He previously taught at Girard and Russell, Kansas.

A winding journey

After years of planning, Janssen took time without work work in December 2021 to start out getting ready the hikes.

He started his journey on the Appalachian Trail on February third – his thirty fourth birthday. The path begins at Springer Mountain in Georgia and extends north to Katahdin, Maine.

Janssen hiked for 71 days till he encountered a significant roadblock.

“I was about 390 miles from the finish,” he mentioned, “but I ran into impassable snow.”

Unable to proceed, Jassen packed up and flew throughout the nation to start out the Pacific Crest Trail, stopping briefly in Kansas City to alter his gear.

He started the Pacific Crest Trail on April 17 and traveled north for 56 days earlier than deciding to return to New Hampshire to finish the last leg of the Appalachian Trail in hotter climate. He completed this path on June twenty ninth.

Two days later he was again on the Pacific Crest Trail, which he accomplished in 42 days regardless of an enforced quarantine break as a result of COVID.

Janssen began the third and last path on August 16 at the north finish of the Continental Divide Trail. After 91 days of climbing what some think about the most tough of the three trails, Janssen completed November 15 and accomplished a full Triple Crown try in simply 285 days.

Janssen can now apply to have his efforts formally acknowledged by the American Long-Distance Hiking Association, a non-profit group that has awarded the prize since 1994.

He did not say if he would make an official software at the June opening, however Janssen mentioned he was grateful he had the probability to stay his dream and reconnect with the world round him.

“I’m not sure what I’m going to do,” Jassen mentioned. “But the beauty of wandering by means of is that you just discover the very best in nature and the very best in humanity. … In such a socially turbulent time, that is simply very refreshing.”

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