LYNCHBURG, Va. – A Lynchburg family is back home Thursday night for the first time in seven months after a remarkable journey.
Not only did the Suttons tackle the tremendous feat of completing a thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail, but they also set a special record along the way.
“We were so excited,” Cassie Sutton said. “It was a long, hard journey. I was crying. We were all hugging and screaming. It was just so exciting.”
Josh and Cassie’s five-year-old son, Harvey, is now among the youngest ever to ever make the trek, according to the Appalachian Trail Museum.
It took the Suttons 209 days to go the 2,193.1 miles. As the family stood on the top of Mount Katahdin, tears filled their eyes when they thought back to day one. Not even a third of people who start make it all the way from Georgia to Maine.
“It was exciting to break a record. It started out simple, we had about 30 YouTube subscribers on our channel. Now, it’s over 70,000. When we would re-supply, people would come up to us in grocery stores. Harvey got used to having his picture taken,” Josh said, laughing.
The couple said they read a book that inspired them to go out on adventures. After Harvey was born, they set the goal of hiking the Appalachian Trail soon. It took years of planning, but they finally hit the road on Jan. 13.
The Suttons braved the elements and hiked more than 10 miles each day. The longest hike they ever did in a day was 20 miles, something they say was Harvey’s idea. At times, they say they had to carry more than a week’s supply of food on their backs.
During the hike, the pair learned a lot about themselves and what they’re capable of and hope to learn more as they get back to life as they knew it.
As for the next adventure, it will be something a little shorter and easier.
“The Appalachian Trail is a one-time thing,” Josh said. “A once in a lifetime thing. Maybe Harvey will do it again. Who knows, ask again in a couple of years.”
For most of us, it’s even less than that.