Thru-hiking 500 Miles To Celebrate Earth Day

PCT speed-record holder Adam Bradley charts a 500-mile course for a renewable energy power line. Plus, what BP staffers are doing for Earth Day.

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Adam Bradley on the PCT.

What are you doing for Earth Day? Promising to recycle more? Driving your car less? Adam Bradley, who broke the Pacific Crest Trail speed record last year with Scott Williamson, has you beat. He’s hiking 501 miles across Idaho and Nevada to scout a path for a proposed renewable energy transmission line, starting today.

Sponsored by the Nevada Wilderness Project, Bradley hopes to both raise awareness about the energy plan and get on-the-ground beta about how to place the power line with the least impact on wildlife, landscape, and terrain. The Southwest Intertie Project is expected to cross from Jerome, Idaho to just north of Las Vegas and serve as a cornerstone in Nevada’s new clean energy plans.

Bradley expects to complete the hike in about 15 days, and he’ll film and take photos the whole way. He broke the PCT record last year with a time of 65 days, 9 hours and 58 minutes. You can follow the trip on the Nevada Wilderness Project blog.

So what are we doing for Earth day? Here’s a sampling from BACKPACKER staffers:

Shannon Davis, senior editor: I’m working on a story for BACKPACKER that is not preachy or full of green guilt but will still remind us that we can each make a difference. That, and I’m going to Taco Bell, like I do on every earth day.

Casey Lyons, assistant editor: I promise to: 1) use less plastic, 2) pick up enough trash to maintain a pack weight over longer backpacking trips, and 3) always dayhike with a reusable trashbag.

Kristin Bjornsen, associate editor: I’m going to start composting.

Kristin Hostetter, gear editor: I’m going to strictly enforce the 5-minute (or less) shower rule with my kids, plant my most ambitious veggie garden yet, and suck it up and buy the new furnace this year.

Jon Dorn, editor-in-chief: Mine’s part resolution, part revelation. Last night’s storm brought the most rainfall we’ve had in Boulder in months – probably since last summer. As I rode to work this summer, there were spots where the bike path was almost literally carpeted with worms of all sizes, shapes, and colors. It was like the frog scene in Magnolia, only the worms were wiggling through puddles across the pavement rather than falling from the sky. Thousands upon thousands of them – one of the most remarkable wildlife episodes of my life. My instant resolution – partly to save the helpless little buggers, partly to kept my gears from getting gunked with worm guts – was to ride like a slalom skier, trying to avoid as many as possible. So, not a big carbon-reducing step, but a nice magical, unintentional little moment of getting closer to nature that happened to coincide with the one day when right-minded outdoorspeople are supposed to have intentional green moments.

Happy Earth Day, y’all.

—Ted Alvarez

via The Goat

Image Credit: Adam Bradley