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Hiker crushes PCT, AT — sets sights on ‘Triple Crown’


THE OPERATION. JENNIFER: NOW TO A GRANDMOTHER FROM CLACKAMAS COUNTY, WHO COULD VERY WELL ACHIEVE WHAT’S CALLED THE TRIPLE CROWN OF HIKING. ONLY ABOUT 400 PEOPLE HAVE EVER DONE IT IN THE PAST 25 YEARS. SHE’S ALREADY FINISHED ABOUT 5,000 MILES, MAKING HER MY WOMEN CRUSH WEDNESDAY. CAROL WILSON, ALWAYS LOVED THE OUTDOORS. BUT IT’S WHEN SHE MOVED TO THE STATES FROM NEW ZEALAND IN THE 1990’S THAT SHE STARTED HIKING. I WENT ON MY FIRST HIKE ON THE CLACKAMAS RIVER TRAIL I COULDN’T BELIEVE HOW AMAZING IT WAS. JENNIFER: CAROL KEPT HIKING, AND AROUND MOUNT HOOD, MET PEOPLE ON THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL, INSPIRING HER TO ALSO MAKE THE 2650 MILE TREK. AND SO ONE DAY I JUST SAID TO MY HUSBAND, I’M GOING TO DO IT. AND I GUESS IT WAS FROM THAT MOMENT, SAYING IT THAT I WAS GOING TO DO IT REALLY MADE IT COME ALIVE. JENNIFER: CAROL COMPLETED THE PCT IN TWO TRIPS, IN 2012 AND 2013, AND 4 YEARS LATER, SET OUT ON THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL, A 2200 MILE SPAN FROM GEORGIA TO MAINE. THERE ARE BEAUTIFUL PARTS OF THE TRAIL BUT THEN YOU’LL GET PARTS OF THE TRAIL THAT ALL OF SUDDEN YOU’RE CLIMBING UP TREE ROOTS, ROCKS, AND GOING IN A GENERAL DIRECTION THAT’S PRETTY STEEP AND YOU CAN’T KEEP AN ACTUAL FLOW FOR THE WHOLE WAY. JENNIFER: SHE WENT THROUGH THREE PAIRS OF SHOES. HER BACKPACK WEIGHED 26 POUNDS. BUT EVENTUALLY BOTH HER KNEES GAVE OUT. I DIDN’T LISTEN TO WHAT MY BODY WAS SAYING. JENNIFER: AND WHILE CAROL HAD TO QUIT, IN MAY OF 2017, SHE DIDN’T GIVE UP. I BELIEVED I COULD DO IT BUT I ACTUALLY DID IT, THAT’S PRETTY AMAZING. JENNIFER: FOUR MONTHS AGO, SHE FINALLY FINISHED THE A.T., AND HAS ALREADY, FOUND A WAY TO CONQUER THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE, THE LONGEST TRAIL OF THEM ALL. IF THERE’S A DESIRE THAT ANYBODY HAS TO DO ANYTHING, I THINK IF THEY MAKE IT THEIR GOAL TO CHOOSE TO DO IT THAT’S THE FIRST STEP. JENNIFER: I LOVE THAT LAST PICTURE. BY THE WAY, THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE IS 3100 MILES LONG, AND RUNS FROM MEXICO TO CANADA. CAROL WANTS TO START HIKING NEXT YEAR, WHEN SHE’LL BE 65-YEARS-OLD, AND IF SHE FINISHES IT, SHE WILL HAVE HIKED

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