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Mammoth Hike 41 Challenge Stories – Part 1

The Mammoth Hike 41 Challenge is now history! During the month of October more than 6,500 people (yes, you read that number correctly) from across the state and neighboring states took on the challenge to hike 41 miles on the Ice Age Trail and, in the process, visit three different Trail Communities. I decided it would be fun to talk to a few people who completed the Mammoth Hike 41 Challenge and ask two questions:

  1. What was it about the Challenge that made you want to do it?
  2. What do you think you got out of doing the Challenge?

For the next few weeks I’m going to feature some of their responses, starting with the story from a couple of local hikers who also happen to be Lodi Valley Chapter members and Ice Age Trail volunteers.

Ellen and Bill from Columbia County told me that while they had been busy all summer doing gardening and yard work they hadn’t really put in the hiking miles they need to stay in shape and the Mammoth Challenge “pushed us out the door and reminded us that it just feels good to hike.” They went on to say that “the Trail makes you think of those that have come before and will come after, and how lucky we are.” This year Ellen and Bill made it a point to visit completely new segments of Trail in communities that were unknown to them since “there’s so much we haven’t seen.”

Bill and Ellen spoke of the fact that there is so much more than just a physical benefit to their hikes. “We love meeting other hikers on the Trail, saying hello but never goodbye, but also just spending time together looking.” Bill explained that “during one of our walks, Ellen said ‘look at all the colors,’ and I realized the colors are actually everywhere when you hike — on the ground, to the left and right, as well as above in the trees.” And Bill and Ellen are not done hiking! They told me that they have already plotted out the Trail segments they’ll do during next year’s Challenge, as well  as talking about doing their own “November ‘21 challenge!”

The Trail is created so it will be hiked by people. And it’s through people’s stories that we understand the many ways the Trail impacts people’s lives. I’m glad to be able to share stories of the people who are challenging themselves to hike….Along the Ice Age Trail.

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