Luke Jordan, aka Strider, has completed the first ever thru hike of the Great Plains Trail! He did it in impressive fashion, finishing the nearly 2100 miles in 85 days, an average of over 24 miles per day. All throughout, he maintained a workman like attitude, rising early, and knocking out the miles, but more importantly, he did it with a friendly attitude and a grace that made him the perfect ambassador for this fledgling trail. He was received along the route with a mixture of curiosity, encouragement, and hospitality that often went above and beyond what could be expected.
This trail began as an idea, and it slowly evolved into a working plan. From there, it took the courage of Luke Jordan to put it into action, but along the way, we all discovered that the true Great Plains Trail lies in the people who live along its route. It’s their generosity and enthusiasm that gives this idea-turned plan-turned action a chance to grow and live, and become one of the great long distance trail experiences in the United States.
An enormous thanks goes out to all the Trail Angels who helped Strider in times of need. You always seemed to show up just at the right moment! I don’t know how many people will hike the GPT, but I do know the character of the people they will find along the way. I know that whoever they are, and however many there are, they will be in great hands from Guadalupe Peak to the Canadian Border!