September 17, 2014

Many Paths one mountain top

By ALLAN TINKER

"I will not quit, no matter what it takes," said Gail Lowe of her hiking on the North Country Trail. From the Vermont/New York border start at Crown Point to the southern edge of Lake Sakakawea, the 4,600 mile trip has been filled with adversity and joy.

This hike is not unlike other hikes, only many more miles. In 1991, on the 2,200 mile Appalachian Trail, she was struck by lightning while hiking. Then she encountered a man with a handgun. Then the flooded Kennebec River, after Hurricane Bob had struck the area, drew her underwater, with her pack on, three times.

In 2008, hiking the 2,700 mile Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada, she broke her ankle and was off the trail for three weeks but completed the hike.

In 2011, she was halfway along her hike but became desperately ill. Her gall bladder was removed and she finished her hike. This was again on the Appalachian Trail, on the twentieth anniversary year of her first hike there.


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