The journey is complete! 36 days and 273 miles later, both Long Trail quester groups have made it back safe and sound! They have packed in, enjoyed hot showers, and are gobbling down the great meals at SAM camp. They are happy to be back and to know their trek is done!

I hiked into Journey’s End the day before I was scheduled to pick them up to bring them some goodies and see them complete Vermont’s Long Trail. I was able to catch the Robbins at the northern terminus of the Long Trail and welcome them to Canada exactly where the Long Trail ends; the Taylors, on the other hand, were very eager and made it to the terminus and into camp before I could even get to the trailhead! I brought both of them in some cookies for dessert after dinner and some Arizona iced tea and donuts for the morning, and they were definitely thrilled about that. They also enjoyed a “Vermonster” from Ben and Jerry’s on our drive back to SAM camp. Both groups devoured the bucket of 20 scoops of ice cream topped with cookies, brownies, bananas, whipped cream and sprinkles with delight.

It was wonderful to sit down with each group at the end of their time in the wilderness together and hear them reminisce the good times and appreciate each other. As hard as the trail was at times, both groups truly have embraced this trip and all its challenges with open arms and have come out of it stronger, both mentally and physically. They are incredible kids.  I know by the way they spoke to each other about their experience together this summer that they will cherish this thru-hike and the memories they’ve made for a long time to come. They did it!


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