Hikers brave the lockdown to be the first to complete the Appalachian Trail in 2020 during the pandemic
Two hikers braved the lockdown to be the first to complete the Appalachian Trail in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic – but are accused of putting their ‘personal needs’ on everyone.
Andrew Underwood, 38, and Douglas Stevenson, 19, separately completed the iconic 2,200-mile trail through East America, while admitting they refused to comply with COVID-19 home assignments to save lives from the deadly virus.
Underwood, a graduate in psychology from Colorado, bragged Outside online that he “just didn’t think” about the possibility that he would have contracted and spread COVID-19 as he traveled through 14 states from Georgia to Maine from February to June.
“I just didn’t think about that. I was so focused on mileage goals to get it done in four months or less. That’s all I cared about all day, ”he said.
“Everything else I’ve never thought about too much.”
Andrew Underwood, 38, (photo) completed the iconic 2,200-mile trail through East America when they admitted they refused to comply with the COVID-19 home stays introduced to save lives from the deadly virus
The seasoned walker said that he saw the pandemic only as an obstacle that kept him from reaching his goal, nor did he believe that the color of his skin helped him go through the belly of American civil rights history without being detained for violating multiple state orders.
He admitted to Outside Online that he repeatedly dodged law enforcement, broke the law, and lied along the route to agents so that he could ignore quarantine decisions and continue his adventure – despite being a supporter of Donald Trump for the support of the President to the police departments and law and order ‘.
Underwood said he slept in shuttered hatches and slept on trails and through state and national parks to slow the spread of the virus.
At one point, when authorities closed Shenandoah National Park in Virginia before he could complete that section of the trail, he hid from rangers by pulling the trail through the thick forest.
At High Point State Park in New Jersey, Underwood said he waited an hour for an officer to leave his post before passing through to avoid detection.
The walkers braved the lockdown to be the first to complete the Appalachian Trail (pictured) in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic – but are accused of posing their ‘personal needs for a larger social mission’ because they ‘didn’t want to get bored’ during Lockdown
He told another time that he lied directly to a female agent in Glasgow, Virginia, after she questioned him at a convenience store if he was a walker who ignored the orders of the state officials.
He told her he would rent a car and go home that day, he said, before returning to the path.
On June 17, when he descended Mount Katahdin in Maine after completing the last leg of the hike, he was caught by a park worker who reminded him that the route was closed.
Underwood said he also dismissed criticism of him on social media for his decision to ignore the rules.
“It seemed like a pointless debate,” he said. “But I get it – it was another year, another walk.”
Stevenson, an Eagle Scout from outside Boston, briefly disagreed with the lockdown rules in the United States when he was the first to complete the path this year.
He told Outside Online that because of the color of his skin, he also managed to get out of a confrontation with the New York police.
Underwood (pictured) said that he repeatedly evaded law enforcement, broke the law, and lied to act along the route so that he could continue his adventure – despite being a supporter of Donald Trump because of the President’s support for the police and the public order ‘
He said the officers turned him off the path when he crossed the Hudson River, but offered him friendly advice.
Stevenson said he left the police and walked back to the path in a different way.
He swept away the fact that home orders were needed to save lives and said he didn’t want to stop his walk because he would have been bored with doing nothing else.
“There are two ways to deal with the unknown. One is to be so afraid of closing everything. The other is just to be concerned, “said Stevenson.
“Why change life so much until we know more?”
About three million people hike part of the Appalachian Trail each year, which stretches from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine
Sandi Marra, the president and CEO of Appalachian Trail Conservancy, blamed the two men for taking the position that “my personal needs and desires outweigh a larger social mission.”
“By walking now, you have created a story that says,” My personal needs and desires outweigh a larger social mission. Ultimately, what really matters is what I want, ”Marra told Outside Online.
“We must take responsibility for something beyond our own immediate desires.”
Marra said it points to a lack of diversity and inclusion in the thru hiking community.
She said it remains a sport that learned white men enjoy, and urged others to realize that the popular AT trail is no place for white men to have uncontrolled privileges.
Every year, about three million people usually hike a section of the Appalachian Trail, which extends from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine.