Last night I went over to the Happy Days Visitor Center to listen to Andrew Skurka talk about some of his incredible hiking adventures. Andrew is an accomplished 27-year-old professional backpacker who is best known for two monumental long-distance hiking firsts: the 6,875-mile Great Western Loop and the 7,778-mile Sea-to-Sea Route. The Great Western Loop is a journey that links five long-distance hiking trails, 12 national parks, and over 75 wilderness areas. The Sea-to-Sea Route is a transcontinental network of long-distance hiking trails from Quebec to Washington, along which Skurka had to snowshoe 1,400 miles. Skurka was named the 2007 "Adventurer of the Year" by National Geographic Adventure and the 2005 "Person of the Year" by Backpacker. Also, in 2008 he finished 2nd overall at the Leadville 100 Miler, his first 100 mile run attempt.
This lecture is part of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park's "Lyceum Series" which features national speakers who stimulate the heart and mind with compelling stories of our natural and cultural world. Click here to view some videos I took during Andrew's presentation.
After the lecture I was pretty pumped up, as you can imagine, so I went for a 5 mile trail run by myself from Happy Days to Kendall Lake and back. It was so peaceful and quiet as I ran through the fresh snow but I had to watch what I was doing since it was a wet snow and there were some areas with ice underneath. There wasn't much wind though so even though the temperature was below freezing it felt pretty good while you were moving. I wanted to stay on the trails longer last night, but with a winter storm warning in effect I decided to cut it short and make sure I got home safely. Total snow accumulation for this storm is expected to be up around 10 inches!
Despite all of this snow I was able to take a couple rare photos during my run...