While I’d read The Unlikely Thru-Hiker last year when it came out, hearing Derick Lugo recount his experience and read passages from his book was completely different. His humor and positivity shone through as he lead us through his decision to take on the trail, his trials and tribulations (including not knowing how to set up a tent on his first night out), and why he was ultimately convinced to write a book.
There are so many different ways to “be” a New Yorker and having Derick join us to talk about being both a thru-hiker, a writer and a local, really drove that home. I was also impressed by the audience’s questions – from “what did you think about in the solitude” to “how did you transition back to NYC life” – the questions led to hearing even more anecdotes and advice.
While a full video of Derick’s talk is included at the bottom, here’s a fun anecdote and a few of my favorite quotes from the night:
- “New Jersey.. surprised me, it’s beautiful, it was one of the prettiest sections fo the trail for me”
- “Halfway thru my hike I decided I would write about it… because people were walking up to me and people were thanking me for being on the trail,… I was the only black person on the trail that year and I wanted to share that experience.”
- “I made sure to stay positive no matter what, I could have been upset with Pennsylvania.”
Note: read Derick’s book for more stories, quotes and advice.
Finally, huge thanks to The North Face for hosting, Sierra Nevada for the brews and @shawnaustere for these photos!
Next up, we’re talking Women x Sports (with North Face athlete Anna Pfaff!) on March 10th and the Explore More Challenge is running full steam ahead through August!