What's A Half Gallon Challenge
Monday July 3, 2017
Miles: 1082.9 - 1110.8 completed: 15.9
Weather: Hot but not crazy hot
Tenting at Caledonia State Park
There are many traditions and challenges on the trail. Some of the more common ones are a four state challenge, a suitcase challenge, naked hiking day and my favorite, the half gallon challenge. There may be others, these are the ones I am familiar with.
The four state challenge is when a hiker hikes 24 hours straight trying to get through 4 states which is almost 60 miles. I wouldn't even attempt that one.
I am not sure what idiot thought up the suitcase challenge. It must have been a bunch of fraternity brothers. To complete that task a hiker must drink a suitcase of beer, one beer an hour for 24 hours, hiking 24 miles wearing a suit. I have brains so I didn't do that challenge either.
I did partake in naked hiking day on the summer solstice. I stepped outside my comfort zone and it was so much fun. I would not have done so if I would have known I could have been jailed and listed on the federal sex offenders list. Really, what's this world coming to? I had socks and boots on and a back pack.
The best challenge of all is the half gallon challenge. I am surprised at the number of hikers who do not partake in this one. Hikers brag about how much food they can eat and this challenge is a chance to prove it. Shortcake and I crushed it! Just after the halfway point there is a store where hungry hikers can purchase a half gallon of ice cream. If you finish it you receive a cheap wooden spoon stamped with the words "Member of the half gallon club" and you get to sign the log.
What was really fun about today was a chance meeting of sorts. This morning we hiked to the country store as the trail goes right by it to check out the ice cream choices. It was too early in the day to stop and we didn't want to eat that much and continue hiking. So our plan of the day was to hike our miles and Batman would bring us back to complete the challenge. As we were getting ready to leave a nice young fella approached me. He asks my name and says we met last winter at LLBean. I then recognized him as a customer who was looking for gear and we stayed in contact. He was planning a hike starting in June at Harpers Ferry ending at Katahdin. What were the chances we would end up at the same spot on the same day at the same time. It was incredible. Thanks ColiN for saying hi. Best of luck and hope to see you and your friend up the trail.