Mission Accomplished

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Close the books on Xtreme Hike 2014.

We came, we saw, we hiked. I have the blisters to prove it.

I’m not sure whether we hiked 21 or 22 miles — we had to retrace our steps along a mis-marked portion of the trail — but Martin and I completed the trek in about 10.5 hours.

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We were not front-runners. We finished toward the back of the pack. But we made it.

The crew of Xtreme Hikers set out in the dark at 5 am. Two hours later we watched the sun rise from our vantage on the trail.

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Though the hike wasn’t a timed event, you couldn’t ignore the pressure to push on and finish fast. I stopped just a few times to snap a picture or two.

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And there was another motivating factor, another carrot dangling on the stick:

Complementary beer at the finish line at Devils Backbone Outpost Brewery.

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Not to mention killer-good pulled pork barbecue. The best ever. Even Maisie tucked into a plate.

And she deserved it after hiking oodles of miles, and taking one for the team (she was stung repeatedly when she crossed a ground bees’ nest).

She earned a pulled pork platter.

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And then she promptly passed out while we guzzled beer and nursed our sore feet.

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Many thanks to the 46 hikers, our support staff, sponsors, and everyone who contributed to this event!

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