April 4, 2013

Distance runner tackles North Country Trail

Distance runner tackles North Country Trail
By ALLAN TINKER

With the goal of being the fourth person to complete the entire North Country Trail from Garrison, ND to Crown Point, New York, even planning to add on the still-unofficial 40 miles to the western edge of Vermont, Luke Jordan set out on Wed, March 27, 2013.
John Tunge, park manager at Lake Sakakawea State Park, welcomed Jordan and his mother Roxanne and provided Luke with trip information and maps for his journey across the state. The entire North Country Trail is 4,600 miles, not including the 40 unofficial miles that have been developed into Vermont.
He registered in the special trail register, adding his name to those who had gone before him: Ed Talone, Chet Fromm (not a thru-hike), Andrew Skurka, Joan Young (the first woman to complete the official hike) and Nimblewill Nomad (who Jordan knew personally).
According to North Country Trail data, the official trip site is to “provide guidelines for hikers and followers of the North Country National Scenic Trail by which muscle-powered milestones will be recognized.
“Although the honor system will be used to determine who has completed the trail, certain standards will be put forth so that potential end-to-enders of any kind will know what is expected.
“To provide long-term stability to the process by which recognized long-distance hikers and followers will be rewarded.
“Prior to 2011 no standards for recognition of an end-to-end hike of the North County Trail existed. In theory, someone could hike from Crown Point, New York, to Lake Sakakawea, North Dakota by any route and claim to have hiked the trail.
“On occasion, long-distance hikers have skipped large portions of completed trail, replacing it with a road walk. Many people believe this sort of arbitrary choice of routes is not in keeping with the spirit of an end-to-end hike.


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