78° San Marcos
The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Couple begins five month hike

Travis+and+Melony+LaCoss+stand+on+Mount+Whitney+on+their+hike+up+the+Pacific+Crest+Trail.%0ACourtesy+of+Travis+LaCoss
Travis and Melony LaCoss stand on Mount Whitney on their hike up the Pacific Crest Trail. Courtesy of Travis LaCoss

On March 22 husband and wife, Travis and Melony LaCoss, Texas State alumni, began the five month hike up the Appalachian Trail. Having dedicated their life to backpacking through national parks, the LaCoss’s are excited to mark another trail off their list of destinations.
They will start the trail in Georgia and work their way up 14 states until they get to Maine. According to the Appalachian Trail Conservatory the trail is 2,190 miles, making the Appalachian Trail the longest hiking-only footpath in the world.
It was in late September when they began the arrangement to set off on this expedition. Collaboratively, the couple has completed more or less 15 trails.
“I’ve always been driven by what’s around the corner, what’s on top of this hill, experiencing new things whether they are good or bad,” Melony LaCoss said.
They thought this would be the perfect next step in their thru-hiking journeys after going through the Pacific Crest Trail. They started the PCT in May and after 1,400 miles they stopped in September. They had to fall short of the full 2,650 mile trail due to wildfires and said they were heartbroken they could not complete it.
They plan to go back and complete the PCT in the near future and the Continental Divide Trail after that. Within the next five years they will complete the Triple Crown which is comprised of the AT, PCT and CDT.
“Trail life is a completely different animal,” Travis LaCoss said. “You meet some really unique people on trails and you are living in the middle of the wilderness for months and it makes you want to stay on the trail.”
There is lots of preparation that goes into taking on a project like this, such as training to build endurance. The LaCoss’s hike 10 miles five days a week in nearby areas and do strength, endurance training three times a week.
Aside from being physically capable of completing a long hike they had to do plenty of research to be well equipped. Lucky for them they become more and more knowledgeable and prepared with each experience.
On their last expedition they hiked approximately 20 miles a day, so as soon as the sun goes down the hiker family, consisting of a small group of random hikers who stick together on the trail, go inside their tents and call it a night.
They also had to account for materials they would need such as water supply, nonperishable foods and their sleeping gear. This time around they decided to read lots of books on other peoples experiences to get a feel for what they should expect on this specific trail.
Travis and Melony LaCoss have been married for 14 years after meeting in college. They aspired to go on the adventures they could not accomplish with eight to five jobs. So they sold everything they had to live the life they wanted where they could go on hikes that would take half a year.
“We motivate each other; it’s an insane amount of time we spend with each other,” Travis LaCoss said. “We talk about literally everything (on the hike) like philosophy, books, music, people we love and we talk about food a lot.”
Their blog takes place as their full-time job. The blog is for other backpackers and nature enthusiast to draw inspiration from. They write about each of their adventures and include photography. The LaCoss’s have much more in store for the future. They plan to write a book and start an informative website.
“My hope is to inspire people to get out and make their own adventures and to not let life go by without doing the things they want to do,” Melony LaCoss said.
To keep up with Travis and Melony LaCoss’ endeavors visit their blog at hikerlore.com.

Donate to The University Star

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas State University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The University Star