Hikanation 1980 -- a John Olmsted diversion

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Things that to my mind were well, weird.

I wasn’t a crusader after all, I was just a skinny kid trying to fit in on the schoolyard.


AT Museum

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Dad got involved in Hikanation (great website here) unlike any of his other projects, which were mostly serendipitously self-discovered. Jug Handle State Reserve near Mendocino was 103 acres of wildland that included a forgotten farmhouse and sat adjacent to Jug Handle Creek and across PCH from a planned motel and development.

Of course dad stopped that development.

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In between saving Jug Handle (1968–’75) and building The Independence Trail (1969–’86ish), 1980’s Hikanation dropped from nowhere almost literally on his doorstop, beginning in Golden Gate Park (the site of his first job after college) and ending 14 months later at Cape Henlopen, Delaware.

And dad had zero to do with it.

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Except that he somehow filmed the damn thing.

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I heard someone say

Or build a wheelchair nature trail out of an old mining ditch.

Or re: the topic at hand, film 80 ish hikers trekking across the United States.

It was none other than

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Gomer shared about meeting dad the first day of the hike, and about various interactions along the way, like Gomer taking jobs to continue feeding his family and dad giving him rides in his truck to meet back up with the hikers.

It’s my opinion that a film like this, not only showing the hairstyles and fashion of the day, but combined with actual audio from the hikers and bystanders of some of the states they traversed is the closest thing we have to time travel.

And I can be proud of him for that.

And I am.

John Olmsted celebrating with members of Hikanation at Cape Henlopen, DE | May 27, 1980

Stay tuned right here or subscribe to my YouTube channel and look for the talk to be up in the next few weeks.

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In the meantime, go take a hike.

-- Alden


























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