Hikeover Country?

Photo: Ken Ilgunas

Backpacker Magazine added a small blurb in the most recent September 2018 issue to post a few reactions to the main article on the GPT from the June issue. Here it is in it’s entirety. I welcome your comments.

Hikeover Country

If it’s ever finished, the Great Plains Trail will be nothing like our country’s other long paths; it cuts across the rolling plains of Middle America rather than vast western mountains or dense eastern forests. As we found out when we shared our profile of trail pioneer Steve Myers (“Walking to the Horizon,” June 2018), that kind of scenery appeals to some backpackers more than others. “Every state in this county has its own type of beauty,” Jessica Hubbard wrote on Facebook. Phillip Stretch Baker was less enthused. “I’ve driven through flyover states and don’t see the incentive to hike there,” he said. “You walk miles to see the same thing you saw at the start of the day.” But Anne P. O’Brien who was getting ready for a season in the Appalachian Trail’s “green tunnel,” saw a new opportunity: “Seeing an entire dark sky full of stars would be a welcome change.”

About greatplainstrail

Building the Great Plains Trail.
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3 Responses to Hikeover Country?

  1. trailsnet says:

    In reply to “Stretch,” I would have to agree that driving through the Great Plains isn’t all that exciting because 1. They only put roads where it’s easy to put roads which is not in the beautiful places (thank goodness) but in the flat & obstacle-less places and 2. driving anywhere isn’t all that exciting. To see true beauty at a beautiful pace, one has to hike/bike on trails. Even riding bikes on roads is incredibly boring. Roads were meant to get from point a to point b. Trails were meant for scenery, relaxation, exercise and enjoyment.

  2. I live in the “Great Plains”, I’m a native Okie. I’ve hiked on the Appalachian Trail and while there is certainly beauty there, there’s also boredom. I remember many days of endless ups and downs to catch just a glimpse or two of the majesty that surrounds the trail. “Long Green Tunnel “ is a fit name for the Appalachian Trail, There were times I longed for the wide open spaces we live in and love. I plan to hike at least sections of The Great Plains Trail and I will relish and wonder at the hugeness of the night sky and the vastness of our beautiful prairie!

  3. MissileToe says:

    Two comments:
    1. Like the quotation attributed to Roald Dahl, “Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” If you do not expect to find beauty on the plains then you will not find beauty. I live on a U.S. coast between two fun and crowded cities. I love the openness, diversity, and sometimes solitude of the Great Plains.

    2. I find the use of the term “flyover states” to be thoughtless, unimaginative, and insulting to those that live there and to those that love the area.

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