According to reports on CNN and on American Discovery Trail’s own site, Ken and Marcia Powers from Pleasanton, California, became the first hikers to complete a continuous backpack of the country’s first Atlantic-to-Pacific trail.
Ken and Marcia started their 4,900-mile trek from the Atlantic coast in Delaware’s Cape Henlopen State Park on February 27, and took only four rest days on the entire 231-day jaunt.
The Powers had previously completed hiking the “triple crown” (three of the country’s 2,000-mile-plus trails: the Appalachian, Continental Divide, and Pacific Crest). But this is their longest and most impressive accomplishment yet.
These amazing retirees, both in their 50s, saw the wonders of our nation on foot, not in an RV. And as they followed the American Discovery Trail through 13 states, they experienced the best scenery the country has to offer and inspiring acts of generosity from their fellow citizens in this adventure of a lifetime.
They overcame deep snow in the East, a quicksand scare in Utah, close lightning strikes in the Midwest and blinding desert sandstorms in the West while averaging 22 miles a day and taking only four days off during the entire journey.
Joyce and Pete Cottrell, of Whitefield, New Hampshire, were the first to backpack the entire official route of the American Discovery Trail, but they hiked segments out of sequence over two calendar years, finishing in 2003.
The trail officially opened in 2000, 11 years after it was proposed by hiking enthusiasts as the first coast-to-coast footpath.