Press-Republican

Friday

October 25, 2013

4,600-mile hike leads to Crown Point

CROWN POINT — Over the Adirondacks and across the bridge here, Luke “Strider” Jordan took the final steps of his odyssey of the 4,600-mile North Country Scenic Trail.

Jordan’s research told him he is only the 12th hiker, and youngest, at age 23, to walk the entire North Country National Scenic Trail, which stretches from Lake Sakakawea State Park, N.D., to the Champlain Bridge at Crown Point. 

And, he decided to go a little farther — to become the first person to continue walking on the proposed Vermont extension that connects to the Long Trail and Appalachian Trail.

Nicknamed “Strider” because his pace prevents others from keeping up with him on hikes, the Minnesota man started out on March 27 when snow still covered the trail. 

He had spent a year and a half planning his trip by scrutinizing maps, talking to other end-to-enders and staging his weekly mail drops of provisions. 

“In college, I saved as much as I could budget and had about $5,000, but I have been frugal and not used it all,” he said. 

“Strangers have handed me a $20 bill along the way,” he added, “and my parents have sent me some money.” 

URGE TO WANDER

Some might think undertaking such a trek to be crazy or foolish, Luke writes on his website, www.striderNCT.com.

“But for others it is an opportunity to see isolated places, to discover oneself, and of course to have fun doing it! Such is the case with me,” he said.

Jordan and his family camped and hiked on a regular basis, so he always had the urge to wander in his veins.

“I decided in college, that before I got into a career, that I would do something like this. I wasn’t sure I could do it, but now I am here at the end,” he said. 

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