Seven-year hike of Appalachian Trail reaches journey’s close for Amherst girl, 66 | State and Regional Information

LYNCHBURG — A 16-yr-aged Marilou Wegert is highlighted on the cover of the 1973 edition of “The Compleat Backpacker,” a now-yellowed, compact paperback she’s smiling as she poses in entrance of Fish Creek Falls in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. 

It was a fluke job — she and a buddy were being each compensated 20 bucks to model for the images, a inventory photograph that would circulate in a selection of mountaineering magazines and outside guides, her teenage self captured freeze-frame in boots, a bandanna and a hefty backpack. 

Fifty years later on, Wegert, now 66, completed her 7-and-a-50 % calendar year journey on the Appalachian Trail, 2,200 miles across 38 distinctive excursions, a mission that was, she mentioned, all her own. Just after boosting and homeschooling 8 children with her partner, Monthly bill, in Amherst County, she explained she required to confirm to herself she could acquire it on. 

“Seems Marilou was destined to hike the AT,” explained Bill Wegert, who dug out an additional publication featuring the inventory photograph: an undated edition of Argosy magazine, with the terms “hike the Appalachian Trail” blazoned above the cascading water of the falls. It can be not a trail Marilou would have been familiar with at the time, a environment away the trail was not nonetheless as mainstream as it is now. 

Marilou’s genuine journey begun in May perhaps 2013 in Damascus, Virginia. Above the upcoming seven-and-a-50 percent several years, she conquered the white-blazed trail in week-very long excursions, 50 to 100 miles at a time. The shortest extend she did at once was 42 miles, and the longest was 275, spanning 5 weeks as a result of Maine and New Hampshire.