Hiking the Long Trail: A Truly International Experience

One of my favorite Long Trail adventures happened several years ago while I was backpacking on the trail for a week. I started the trip with just myself and my pack. By the second day, however, I met up with two brothers from England who were through-hiking, and we became trail friends and began hiking together. They were great trail companions not only because of their quick hiking pace, but the stories they told about life in England were really interesting, and I was totally charmed by their British accents. At some point one of the brothers noticed I was wearing Patagonia shorts, a favorite for their quick drying and comfortable fit with a backpack. So both brothers began to tell me how much they loved Patagonia clothes and made a special stop in Boston to purchase several Patagonia items. The way they pronounced the word Patagonia was the best part of the story: Pat-a-gooo-nea; unforgettable. This was also the first time I had heard the expression 'brilliant' (brill-yant) used as an exclamation for "great idea' or something that was clever. We parted ways as they continued north to the border and my week of hiking ended, but this experience was just one example of the many fun and interesting people I have met along the trail. It can be a truly international experience!

Thanks for collecting these stories about the trail!

Joanna Cummings


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Longtrail 100

VPR is marking the 100th anniversary of The Long Trail with a month-long series of reports and essays. Through this series, we'll explore the history and future of The Long Trail and introduce listeners to the people who built, maintain and hike it today.