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Fastest person to hike Appalachian Trail has story to tell

By Jonathan Menard -   Mar 13, 2014

Jennifer Pharr Davis
Jennifer Pharr Davis

The fastest person to hike the 2,181-mile Appalachian Trail will talk about her unique experiences at the East Regional Library in Destrehan.

Jennifer Pharr Davis, who has hiked the Appalachian Trail three times, was named the 2012 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year. She has hiked more than 12,000 miles of long distance trails and trekked on six different continents.

In 2011, she became the first woman to claim the endurance record after averaging nearly 47 miles per day while traveling on the Appalachian Trail. She finished the 2,181-mile trek in a time of 46 days, 11 hours and 20 minutes.

The hike was named “Performance of the Year” by UltraRunning Magazine.

“The Appalachian Trail just has this amazing aura about it. It’s a place where seekers and romantics go. When you spend time on the trail it changes you,” Davis said. “You learn about who you are and how to interact with people and how to interact with nature. My greatest growth as a person has come when I’ve been hiking on the Appalachian Trail.”

Davis will speak about the many challenges and lessons that present themselves along the trail, showing slides from her many hikes.

She said that hiking has redefined her self worth and given her confidence.

“When I go hiking it could be for quite a while and I could smell bad, know I’m dirty and probably have bug bites covering my body, but I feel beautiful,” she said. “That’s a real gift the trail has given me.”

Davis will speak at the library on Monday, March 24 at 6:30 p.m.

Davis, who said that she loves remembering and sharing the things that have happened to her on the trail, is the author of five books. She lives in Asheville, N.C. with her husband, Brew, and daughter, Charley.

She is the founder of Blue Ridge Hiking Company, which offers guided hiking trips in the Pisgah National Forest near Asheville.

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