by BLAKE PIESCHKE, CSU Public Relations Intern
Our very own Maverick Adventures Graduate Assistant and the man running this series will be the final speaker featured in the Mankato Adventure Series.
On Wednesday, April 28, at 7 p.m., the Maverick Outdoors program will conclude its live-streamed speaker series with Martin Jacaruso.
The graduate student at Minnesota State University studying Experiential Education has had his fair share of outdoors adventures. In 2010, Jacaruso thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail(AT), starting March 12, 2010, and finishing August 23, 2010.
The AT was completed in 1937 and spans over 2,000 miles through 14 states, connecting Springer Mountain in Georgia with Mount Katahdin in Maine.
It is maintained by 31 trail clubs and multiple partnerships and managed by the National Park Service, United States Forest Service, and the nonprofit Appalachian Trail Conservancy. Most of the trail is in forest or wild lands, with some portions traverse towns, roads and farms.
Thru-hikers attempt to hike the trail in a single season. As of 2017, the number of thru-hikes per year has increased steadily with 715 northbound and 133 southbound.
In 2017, the school teacher from North Carolina decided to treat himself to a 30th birthday celebration with yet another iconic hike. It was a long awaited dream he finally got to experience, but this time he would do it alone.
The Long Trail runs 273 miles through the state of Vermont, starting at the Massachusetts state line, and runs north to the Canada–US border near North Troy, Vermont.
The Long Trail was started in 1909 by James P. Taylor. Taylor encouraged other Vermont residents who shared his dream of a mission to “make the Vermont mountains play a larger part in the life of the people by protecting and maintaining the Long Trail system and fostering, through education, the stewardship of Vermont’s hiking trails and mountains”. In 1910, work began on the construction of the hiking path and was completed in 1930.
With experience as a hiking guide, outdoors skills instructor and a certified wilderness first responder, it’s no doubt he could embrace the challenging trail alone.
On July 6, 2017, Jacuruso finally started his journey on the Long Trail near the northern border of Vermont.
“I took a few moments to let everything sink in. I was about to take my first official steps on the Long Trail with the intent of hiking all the way to Canada. Tears welled up. This isn’t just about the distance or destination for me. It’s about time to process everything that has happened in my life over the past 2 years. I took one last look at the sign, and said “let the healing begin”. I really enjoyed the next hour of hiking. I was alone the entire time; contemplating life, laughing as I squished through the mud, crying tears of joy at the thought of getting to do this for the next 270 miles,” said Jacuruso in a journal entry.
On July 25, 2017, Jacuruso finished what he considered a healing process of a journey.
To hear more about his remarkable hiking story along the Appalachian Trail, tune in April 28 at 7 p.m. on their Facebook page at Maverick Adventures at Minnesota State University, Mankato | Facebook