Two men are taking their love for history to the next level — by backpacking more than 200 miles along a trail that follows in Daniel Boone’s footsteps through the Appalachian Mountains.
According to a March 22 Harlan Daily article, Curtis Penix and Givan Fox decided to take this journey in search of their family history, hiking from Kingsport, TN through the Cumberland Gap to Fort Boonesborough in Madison County, KY.
Daniel Boone, the famous frontiersman, took the same path in 1775, blazing the Wilderness Road that helped more than 200,000 Europeans migrate west of the Appalachians.
“The American dream started on this road,” Penix said.
Penix, 46, aimed to model his journey after Boone’s — without any modern-day amenities or luxuries, sleeping in self-made camping sites under the stars and crossing rivers on foot. Penix traces his family roots back to some of the first pioneers who settled in the wilderness of Kentucky.
He traveled his first five days alone before being joined by Fox, 42, near the Virginia-Kentucky border. Fox’s father, John Fox, is president of Friends of Boone Trace, a nonprofit that seeks to preserve the Wilderness Road as a memorial to the first pioneers who walked it.
Whether the two men liked it or not, they couldn’t complete their journey without at least a little assistance from contemporary luxuries like prepackaged snacks. They even had to stay in a hotel one night to avoid catching hypothermia, the Harlan Daily reports.
The two men completed their 16-day adventure on Thursday, March 26, the Portland Press Herald reports.
“I can’t wait to sit down,” Penix said upon reaching the finish line in Boonesborough. “I could keep going if I wanted, but I don’t want to.”
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