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WCLS virtual events feature record-setting thru-hiker


Record-setting Pacific Crest Trail hiker Heather Anderson is giving a series of online talks and discussions for the Whatcom County Library System (WCLS) that’s already underway. The next one, at 10 a.m. on Saturday, October 3, is “Thru-Hiking 101.”

Anderson’s 2019 book, “Thirst: 2,600 miles to home,” is WCLS’s 2020 selection for Read and Share, the annual countywide reading program. The book is about Anderson’s 2013 Pacific Crest Trail hike in which she set the fastest-known self-supported time on the trail. Anderson averaged about 45 miles per day from the Mexican border to Canada, hiking along the spine of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade ranges. She hiked the 2,653-mile trail in 60 days, 17 hours and 12 minutes, beating the previous record by four days.

Self-supported means Anderson carried everything she needed, without a support team to assist. She hiked the trail in the traditional style, buying some food along the way and picking up other food and gear that she mailed to herself ahead of time at stores and resupply locations near the trail.

In the book, Anderson also delves into the mental transformation she went through after rejecting a comfortable and “normal” life in Bellingham to spend as much time as possible hiking long-distance trails. She also deals with negative self-talk and an imposter syndrome stemming, in part, from being an overweight bookworm as a child.

In addition to holding the self-supported fastest known time on the Pacific Crest Trail, Anderson holds the same record on the Appalachian Trail and has a long resume of feats on other long-distance trails. She became the first female to complete the Triple Crown – the Appalachian Trail (2,190 miles), Pacific Crest Trail and Continental Divide Trail (3,000 miles) – in a calendar year in 2018. Anderson has hiked more than 30,000 miles since 2003.

WCLS Read & Share 2020 online author events:

Thru-Hiking 101

Are you dreaming of backpacking a long-distance trail? Tune in to hear about the realities of thru-hiking and gain tips to help you prepare. Ample time for Q&A will be included.

10-11 a.m. Saturday, October 3

Registration required. wcls.org/readandshare

Backpacking for Women

Women are well suited to backpacking, yet many women have concerns about hygiene, safety and physical challenges. Hear answers to common concerns.

4-5 p.m. Tuesday, October 6

Registration required. wcls.org/readandshare

Thirst: 2600 Miles to Home Book Talk

Stories and readings from Anderson’s book tell the backstory of her first fastest known time and life lessons she learned along the way.

7-8 p.m. Thursday, October 8

Registration required. wcls.org/readandshare

Read & Share Series Finale: Adventure Stories

Anderson, a 2019 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, will weave stories and experiences from the trail into a compelling storyline. Join for an inspiring hour of entertainment to close out Read & Share 2020.

10-11 a.m. Saturday, October 10

Registration required. wcls.org/readandshare