The Dream of Hiking the Appalachian Trail
Three fellow coworkers who retired from the Big Sandy Power Plant in eastern Kentucky on June 19, 2015 are living their dream.
Gary Setser age 61, Greg DeLong age 57 and Tom Pettrey age 56 are hiking the Appalachian Trail. The three friends started their 2,190 mile hiking journey on March 17, 2016 at the beginning of the trail in Springer Mountain Georgia. As of March 31, after 14 days, they have hiked 207 miles over rocky terrain and currently are in North Carolina which has the highest mountains along the Trail, including several above 6,000 feet.
Knowing they would need to condition before attempting their adventure, the trio started hiking several times a week. Greg and Gary did all of their conditioning on hiking trails at Yatesville Lake in Lawrence County, averaging 11-13 miles per day. Tom, who resides in both Lexington and Flatwoods, conditioned at Yatesville Lake and on trails in Fayette County. Their conditioning efforts have paid off with the trio traveling 10 to 20 miles per day on the Trail.
Greg’s wife, Shirley DeLong, Registered Nurse with the Lawrence County Health Department, stated, “Hiking the Appalachian Trail is number one on Greg’s Bucket List, and I’m thrilled he is fulfilling his dream.”
Amanda Dingess, Gary’s daughter, said, “He has always been an avid outdoorsman and he has wanted to thru hike the Appalachian Trail for several years.”
“Tom has a love of the woods that was instilled in him as a youngster by a neighbor, Lawrence Melvin Gill. I am sure that Lawrence is constantly on his mind during this adventure,” said his wife, Lisa Pettrey.
Follow Gregory DeLong on Facebook for updates on the Dream Team’s adventure of a lifetime as they journey towards their destination in Mount Katahdin Maine. A typical thru-hiker takes 5 to 7 months to complete the entire 2,190 miles. The Appalachian Trail is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world, ranging from Maine to Georgia. You can use an interactive map and explore the Trail at: http://www.appalachiantrail.org/