The Triple Crown Award is recognition of the dedication, commitment, and achievement of those who have completed the three major National Scenic Trails; the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, and the Continental Divide Trail. ALDHA-West is the only organization that officially recognizes the accomplishment of these few intrepid hikers. At the ALDHA-West Gathering, held each fall, the Triple Crown honorees are recognized and awarded plaques noting their achievement. To view the list of all who have accomplished the Triple Crown, please visit the ALDHA-West website.
Having hiked the Appalachian Trail in 1998 and the Continental Divide Trail in 2005 and 2007, upon completion of his 2008 Odyssey of the Pacific Crest Trail, the Nimblewill Nomad was added to that short list of intrepid who’ve completed the Triple Crown, the three premier U.S. trails. With his PCT hike coming to a close on September 15, 2008, the Nomad headed to the ALDHA-West Gathering, held at Lake Wenatchee, WA, September 19-21. During this gathering he was recognized for his achievement and received an award plaque. (See photos/video below)
Message from the Nomad: “Achieving the Triple Crown was the greatest accomplishments in my life. Receiving the award will remain the most intensely emotional time in my memory. Thanks to Richard Nopack Anderson for his sponsorship, and a special thanks to Jackie YogiMcDonnell, organizer of the Triple Crown Award program.”
The above photo is of the Nomad accepting his Triple Crown Award at the 2008 ALDHA-West gathering. This photo courtesy of Mad Monte Dodge.
The photo displayed on the screen in the background was taken by Will Richard, the official SIA/IAT photographer and one of Nimblewill Nomad‘s very kind sponsors. The photo was taken of the Nomad at Belle Isle, Newfoundland on his final day, Odyssey 2000-2001, at the conclusion of the 5,400 mile journey, the first known and recorded trek o’er the entire Appalachian Mountain Range. The little mound on which he’s standing is at the northernmost point in the Appalachians, on Belle Isle, in the Labrador Sea.
The above photo is of those present to receive their Triple Crown Awards at the 2008 ALDHA-West Gathering.
Left to Right: M. J. “Nimblewill Nomad” Eberhart, Bert “Wildcat” Emmerson, Clint “Lint” Bunting, Anitra “Nitro” Kass, Garrett “The Onion” Christensen, Jessica “Wildflower” Winters, Li Brannfors, Eric Ryback.
This photo also courtesy of Mad Monte Dodge.
* Some Triple Crown recipients were not available for photo. View complete list for 2008.
* Dick “Nopack” Anderson was the Nomad‘s sponsor at the award ceremony. Since he was not able to attend, he wrote a short speech that was given. That speech and other photos are available through 2008 article on the IAT/SIA website.
Nomad Awarded Triple Crown
The 2008 ALDHA-West Gathering, held this year at Lake Wenatchee, Washington, was attended by over 80 hikers, including many of this years’ thru-hikers and 8 new Triple Crown recipients.
Nimblewill Nomad started the events Friday evening, after dinner, opening with insights, poetry and prose on the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of the long distance hiking experience. Other events were presented by some who spun tales of their adventures, demonstrated trail stoves and cooking techniques, recipes, photography, and a panel discussion on The Evolution of Long Distance Backpacking.
But the main event of the weekend was the presentation of the Triple Crown awards. Eight incredibly diverse hikers accomplished the feat of completing the AT, PCT and the CDT, among them the Nimblewill Nomad. The recipients stood and received their award plaques to the thunderous applause of the other hikers. This video was taken by Kevin Bear Spotter Clayton, as the Nomad received his award.
When You Wish Upon a Star
On April 21st Nimblewill Nomad embarked on yet another journey — o’er the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (PCT). Starting at the Mexican border, he hiked north, along the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (PCT), across California, Oregon and Washington, through the Sonoran and Mojave deserts, numerous national forests and wilderness areas, the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges, to the Canadian border and the completion of this odyssey. This year’s journey also included a successful thru-hike o’er the John Muir Trail located in California.
The Nomad started this hike with Dan Sheltowee Rogers and Kevin Slider Reardon, however early in the journey there were unexpected events that caused these fellow thru-hikers not to be able to finish the trail together. For the entire trek, the Nomad was assisted by Gordon Smith, also a long-distance hiker, who, along with sister, Sue Ellen Lockwood, transcontinental trekker, now deceased, has provided trek support to hikers for many years.
This journey has proven to be very special, for upon completion, September 15th, the name Nimblewill Nomad has been added to that short list of intrepid who’ve completed the Triple Crown. You can find out more about this achievement by visiting the Triple Crown 2008 section.
Be sure to check out the very detailed map of the magnificent places the Nomad visited this journey, his Itinerary, Gear List, Journal entries, and some pretty amazing photos and videos.
Of particular interest, take a look at the Nomad’s completely revised Gear List. For previous odysseys, his pack consistently tipped the scales at or below ten pounds, (food and water excepted). For this odyssey, and with the aid of some great new sponsors, Nimblewill was able to reduce his packweight to below seven pounds!
A Long Time Ago
On August 14th the Nimblewill Nomad headed south from Silverthorne, Colorado, to continue his trek o’er the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. For the next 65 days he hiked theBackbone of the North American Continent as he trekked on down to Mexico. Along the way, Nomad was following a general route mapped out by Jonathan Ley.
Journal entries of the Nomad‘s day-by-day journey have been posted to the Journal section and are complete. Using the latest, lightweight, digital camera technology (see “Gear List”), Nomad was able to get some spectacular pictures. Please take a moment to check “Photos.”This was certainly a great adventure.
On Wednesday, October 17, 2007, at the Mexican border, Antelope Well, New Mexico (and less than two weeks before his 69th birthday), the old Nimblewill Nomad completed his southbound Continental Divide National Scenic Trail journey. By far, Odyssey ‘07 proved the most difficult of all previous treks. The loaded pack to haul provisions for great distances. The long, lonely days (and days) between resupply. The grueling climbs, countless of them in excess of 2,000 feet, above 10,000 feet, most-always proceeded by precipitous descents through rocks, boulders, and scree, no marked trail or treadway to guide the weary intrepid. And the weather, every conceivable form of weather: relentless wind, driving rain, pelting hail, sleet, snow, bone-chilling cold, scorching heat–and blue-perfect days–everything imaginable.
But the reward, ahh the reward–remote wilderness, vast, untouched stretches of Nature’s best, 360 to the hazy blue, where presented breathtaking vistas beyond belief, bringing humbling appreciation afforded only one who toiled and struggled for hours to gain such heaven-bound pinnacles. Standing atop the world, in such special places, are created there such priceless moments, moments even the best photographer could not capture–spellbinding raw expanse, awe-inspiring mountain sentinels, legions reaching far beyond the horizon, and endless miles of unfettered beauty.
In my journal entries, day-to-day, and in words so inadequate, have I tried expressing my feelings, thoughts, and emotions, all the while realizing these special times were afforded and lavished upon this old man through the continued grace of God. That He has provided me such good health, stamina, and resolve (to journey on) is indeed humbling. I daily thank and praise Him with all my heart.
So, to all dear family and friends, to my faithful readers and followers, to the steadfast sponsors of the old Nimblewill Nomad, thanks, thank you so much!
“God has two dwellings;
one in heaven, and the other in a meek and thankful heart.”
This video interview, of the Nimblewill Nomad, was taken by Andrew Skurka at a chance meeting in the Gila Wilderness of New Mexico, while hiking the CDT during the Nomad‘s Odyssey 2007.
Color of the Wind