October 2013: 3 Gen Hike – A Tradition Established

Our 2nd ever Three Generation Hike on the Appalachian Trail took place a few weeks back.  Such a cool experience for Dad, Will and me and now officially a tradition.

It seems like each of the last few times I have sat down to write this post it has been after yet, ANOTHER Florida Gator football, although it doesn’t really resemble football, loss.  I sit down, start to gather my thoughts and my disappointment in this so called team sneaks back in.  It is just football, right?  Not really.  It is SEC football which means it is a disease placed in you upon day one of college and sticks with you until you die.  Maybe longer.  Oddly, this disease doesn’t apply for nearly any other sport. While I’m at it I owe an official apology for the bad-mouthing I have provided to FSU fans over the past 10-15 years.  While your regular season conference schedule is still and will likely always be a joke, I, and my University of Florida brethren can no longer call it out given our recent loss to Georgia Southern.  Do you know what Georgia Southern’s mascot is?  That’s ok, no one else did either until yesterday (they are the Eagles BTW).  


 Truth be told, I fear the whoopin’ you will place upon our arses next weekend.  I’ll read about it on Sunday – I have grass to watch grow.

Wow…slight side trip there…let’s get this car back on the road.  Three Gen Hike.  3rd Generation Hike.  3GHike.  Whatever you want to call it the experience is quite unique.  Load a backpack on three generations of Suttons and set off into the woods for 15 miles or so over 2 nights.  Add some light rain, dropping temperatures, traffic to get there resulting in a 10:30pm first step onto the trail and it gets even more interesting.  Most of this could crater the event except for the fact that we all want this.  We likely want it for different reasons.  Will wants me to see how strong he can be (I’m impressed for the record) as he carries his own sleeping bag, clothes, snacks and pad.  I want my Dad to see what he has done by introducing hiking to me.  He has given me the right to introduce it without fearing it to my kids.  And my Dad, well, he’s almost always game.  A never say no kind of a guy.  I need to remember to ask my Dad what he gets from the hike.  It’s likely just plain enjoyment.  Both trips have been awesome.  The terrain is not a slam dunk – we have jumped into the section coming out of Georgia that starts to feel out the 5,000+ footers on the way to the 6,000 foot Smokies.  I’m proud of the boy Will is and the man he has the chance to become.  There is some sense in me that says if I just let him take what comes to him he will do crazy impressive things!  It is me who can limit this and in all honesty, I have to check myself on this more regularly…We have some pretty amazing kids.

This trip was great.  15 miles.  1 on Friday night at 10:30.  10-11 on Saturday and 3-4 on Sunday.  We tented the first night and we slept in the Wayah Shelter with a guy who was going north over the winter.  He’ll have to get his stuff together a bit more than he had it to make it.  Oddly, he was the first hiker I’ve ever seen hiking with a duffle bag slung over his shoulder.  Crazy innovative or just crazy?  Not sure it would have met the Blue Duck or Ironweed test.

I hope we can continue this for years to come – it is an amazing time spent with some of my favorite things:  my Dad, my son (and eventually one days Sons and Daughter) and nature.  Pretty good life we all have.  Thanks Pops (and Mom)!

Click here for a slideshow of the hike.


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