Update from the Ultimate Hike

Update from the Ultimate Hike

It was a dark and stormy night...OK, actually Saturday was a sunny and cool (starting just above freezing) morning...a beautiful day for hiking. Four members of our team met at Harbison Forest and hiked just over eleven miles. Sixty-nine days from the 28.3 mile/one-day Ultimate Hike, I am feeling pretty good but I know that I will need the time to improve my stamina and toughen my feet. Saturday night was an Advil night! For whatever reason, the eleven miles this week took less of a toll on me than the six+ miles last week. Our Columbia team has lost a couple of members (due to scheduling conflicts, not injury) but we still have about fifteen members, including distant hikers assigned to us...from WI, UT, CA and FL. At Saturday's practice, we had Mel (the Coach of the Columbia team...who I hiked with me in the 2013 Ultimate Hike), Abby from West Columbia, Krystina (amazing 16-year old hiker) and me.

I am trying to be nice to Mel since he has the potential of leaving me in the woods (more on that in a minute*). I promised him that I would not say anything about him leading us in circles and figure eights on the Harbison trails on Saturday. It was all good because we needed to log miles and there is no shortcut to that.

As always, thank you to those who have contributed to CureSearch for Children's Cancer to sponsor my hike, I continue to add sponsors and I am now at a little over $1,900 ($2,500 minimum required). 63 hikers are signed up for this year's hike on the Foothills Trail and the total raised already is over $48,000. When it all comes in, this will fund a lot of research, clinical trials and support for children with cancer.

Thank you for taking this journey with me. -James

*Before I go to the woods with a new group, I try to make sure they know the story of Hugh Glass. He was a fur trapper in the old west. He was mauled by a bear and his companions decided he would not survive so they began to dig his grave. They were interrupted by the sight of some threatening Indians so they abandoned Glass and his unfinished grave. He was so angry that, driven by revenge, he crawled 200 miles to the nearest fort. After recovering, he set out to find the men who left him; with the passage of time, and finding the men doing honorable work, Glass decided not to kill them.

About the Author

James A. Brannock

James A. Brannock

James Brannock is a Columbia personal property appraiser (furniture, silver, art, antiques, etc.). He began backpacking when his son was in Boy Scouts and spent 10 days backpacking at Philmont Scout Ranch...he continues to backpack once or twice a year with friends from those Scouting days. Brannock and his son, Calder, walked the Coast to Coast Trail across England in 2010 (see the photo from the Lake District). On the Ultimate Hike for CureSearch-Children's Cancer Research, Brannock walked over 30 miles in one day...some eight miles further than any previous single day personal record.

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