When he was planning this trip he was calculating 18+ miles a day. He trained with a backpack and climbed the highest hills in San Diego. But there is absolutely no way to recreate this trail.
First of all, when I look at a map and see “National Scenic Trail” I get the impression that there will always be a broad path that you could see. Hahaha. What was I thinking? Seriously I don’t know how Paul doesn’t get lost more often.
Second, Paul was prepared for hills. But hiking steep hills with loose rocks really slows down your hiking time. It has been raining the last week, so add slickness to the mix and I’m sure Paul feels like he is crawling.
He has also encountered obstacles. I’ve lost count of the trees that have fallen across the path. He’s had to crawl under them to get by.
I know Paul feels like he should be going faster, but he is doing phenomenally. I saw a sign in Shenandoah National Park calculating the difficulty of the trails. Every trail he was on rated a “strenuous” or “moderately strenuous”. The park service estimated that a hiker should expect to go at a rate of 1.2 miles per hour. This is without a backpack. In those terms, I think he is blazing.
He’s encountered more difficult terrain since Shenandoah. I’ll have to upload his pictures for you.
He is still enjoying himself, but this is no walk in the park.