Monday, July 20, 2015

On the FLT with the Botanical Hiker

I recently found out about a woman who is attempting to hike the entire Finger Lakes Trail and all the spur trails in one shot.  No one has done it before but she has plenty of experience and despite the excessively wet conditions this summer will probably make it.
Her name is Heather Houskeeper (yes that's spelled right, and yes it's her given name) and she's hiked the entire Appalachian Trail, after doing 1000 miles of it as a test run.  She also hiked the Mountains to Coast Trail in NC (twice) and wrote a book about the edible plants that grow along it.
She plans to write a similar book about the Finger Lakes Trail.
I had contacted her and offered to go along for a stretch in our area and help her avoid four miles of road walking to get around a closed section but hadn't heard from her.  Someone alerted me to an article in the local paper saying she was in Ithaca so I got in touch with a friend mentioned in the article and the next thing I knew I was on the phone with Heather planning a day to hike 15 miles together during the day between GrassRoots set-up and the actual festival.
We had a lovely walk, it didn't really rain much and she got an appreciation of the area from someone who lived just off that part of the trail for many years.  And only got her lost a few times in one day.

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