Couple units new climbing document with Tour de Smokies

Posted by Jeff on Oct 9, 2020 at 6:36 am in Hiking News | 0 comments | Last change: October 8, 2020

Nancy East and Chris Ford were greeted by a group of fans and supporters as they emerged from the woods in the Big Creek section of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and set a new record for a unique long-distance hiking challenge.

The couple hiked all 900 miles of trails in the park in just 30 days. East, of North Carolina, said she was still getting used to the idea of ​​becoming a record holder.

"Having hiked thousands of miles, I've never hiked so many miles at once. It was immensely rewarding to achieve what I once thought was an insurmountable goal," said East. "I've dreamed and planned for so long to give it a try and I still process what it feels like to have achieved that goal. But in short, I am delighted and grateful. "

East took the extraordinary trip from Labor Day weekend with hiking friend Chris Ford from Tennessee.

Their mission wasn't just to hike every 900 miles in the Smokies – they had already done that five times between them. It wasn't a new record either – although it was a beautiful keystone.

Their goal was to raise $ 60,000 in donations for Friends of the Smokies to support the newly launched preventive search and rescue program for the park.

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