A Thru-Hiker is a person who hikes the entire length of a long distance trail, start to finish. We have had the pleasure of meeting a hiker who has logged over 20,000 thru-hiking miles. Marcia and her husband Ken who are often referred to as “Gotta Walk” have hiked: The PCT, the Appalachian Trail (AT), The Continental Divide Trail (CDT), The Idaho Centennial Trail and were the first to thru-hike the American Discovery Trail (ADT).
Marcia has decided to do the PCT again but this time solo. She is doing this hike to train for an Ultra Run called the Grand to Grand. It involves running 170 miles in one week!
When we went to interview Marcia, she was washing her clothes in an outside sink & we had no idea of her thru-hiking celebrity! It is funny who you can camp next to on the trail!
So, knowing all of the miles Marcia has hiked, let us now tell you that she didn’t start backpacking until she was 50! Her first backpacking trip to Henry W. Coe State Park, she got hailed on and just loved it. When her husband Ken retired at 55 she suggested they try to hike the PCT & figure out what to do with the rest of their lives along the way. She said that “after about 1,100 miles they knew they were hooked”.
She loves “being in nature everyday and feels like hiking is fun and so wonderful!”
Marcia’s Hero: Heather “Anish” Anderson – A hiker who in 2013 hiked the entire PCT in 60 days, breaking the speed record! Marsha & Ken met Anish in 2003 on the Appalachian Trail. Apparently, Anish was looking for Gotta Walk because she had heard of a couple that had accomplished so many through hikes. As she sped up the trail looking for the couple, Marcia saw her coming up the trail quick and without success tried to out-hike her. Later that day at camp, they all had a good time together. Marcia said that she once made the mistake of saying that Anish was the strongest woman hiker that she had ever met. Now she just says the strongest hiker.
Her advise to us: “Enjoy the hike one day at a time, make plans but be ready to change them”.
Marcia & Ken have two sons and live in Pleasanton, CA.
We are totally inspired and wish Marsha luck in her Grand to Grand Ultra run in September!
Check out their website- it has a map of all their thru-hikes: