BANGOR – What began as one man’s idea to inspire other baby boomers has grown into a mission of inclusion and community.
It all began with a phone call in November of last year.
“My friend Mike Fagan called and said, ‘Joe, I want to hike the Triple Crown,'” said Joseph Chiappetta laughing. He’s the project development manager at Gold Canyon Heart and Home.
Hiking the Triple Crown includes the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail and Continental Divide Trail. The distance totals 7,700 miles and spans across 22 states. The goal is to complete the hike within a year.
“Man, that would be a great idea for somebody older to do to demonstrate what was possible,” said Mike Fagan, the 71-year-old hiker who began the “I Hike with Mike Age Disrupting Triple Crown Challenge.”
Fagan said it’s a difficult goal for anyone to accomplish, at any age.
“Very demanding on the trail. Constant going up and down, going up and down,” said Fagan.
A partnership with AARP in Arizona helped this idea became a reality.
“Exercising is a really important piece of disrupting aging,” said Pat Pinto, President Volunteer of AARP of Maine.
Mike set out in February, but after 1,000 miles he hurt his rotator cuff. The turn of events created an opportunity to involve more “age disruptors.”
“A mission of inclusion, of community betterment through inclusion and letting anyone who wants to hike on our mission is welcome”
Mike passed the torch, and another injury didn’t set the group back.
“The idea for me, was just get to the finish and finish in time,” said Simon “WOW” Morris, a hiker who met the “I Hike with Mike” group in a cafe.
On July 4, “WOW” made it to the summit of Mount Katahdin. With only one of the trails down, there’s quite a bit left to hike, but they continue to hold on to their message.
“Anything that would encourage people no matter what your age is, to follow your passion,” said “WOW.”
They say the hike continues next week, and spans over the fall and winter.
To follow the journey or for more information click here.