Long Trail Thoughts

As we celebrate 100 years of The Long Trail, I am pleased that my daughter is en-route, as I write,  to becoming a third generation end-to-ender.  My dad, Alan Mead, was an avid hiker and introduced me to the trail and the GMC at age 10.  He co-founded the Connecticut Section of the GMC, was on several committees, hosted Intersectional and Annual Meetings and later was  President of the St. Albans Section.  Together with my brothers we maintained trail, built and re-conditioned several shelters, and by age 17, I had earned my end-to-end patch. 

A couple of years later I was hired with a friend by the Burlington Section of the GMC to plan and clear an eight mile re-route of the trail in the Bolton area.   This involved living/working in the woods for the summer and easily became the summer of a lifetime for me.  For me the trail holds very special memories of relaxation, hard work, friendship, love, and a grounded sense of well-being.  Each time I return to the trail, it is as if I have returned home.  

I will be waiting at Journey’s End for my daughter next month knowing that she will have accomplished more than the goal of completing the trail, knowing that she will have locked something special into her soul that will last her a lifetime.

- Randy Mead



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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.