Hawkeye’s heroic hike

Michael “Hawkeye” Johnson plans to walk out the door of his Mountain Village home, and then walk almost continuously the next 36 days.

Hawkeye is embarking on his third annual hoof around the San Juan Mountains to raise funds for his GoHawkeye Foundation, which provides high-tech gear and sports experiences to disabled athletes.

Hawkeye has worn out his share of boots, having earned the Triple Crown of long-distance through-hiking: completing the Appalachian Trail, the Continental Divide Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail — and Johnson has done each twice.

Hawkeye calls his route — which expanded to 300 miles from 250 for 2018 — the GoHawkeye San Juan Trail (GST). But GST is not exactly a trail, combining as it does many existing trails, Forest Service roads, 14er ascents, abandoned trails and confusing bushwhacks.

Hawkeye reckons the GST circumambulates at an average elevation of 10,400 feet, with a vertical gain of 66,000 feet. He said he added the 50 miles to his path because, “this year I started receiving Social Security, so I figured if I ever was going to up my game, it better be now.”

He plans on traveling 10-12 miles a day, taking plenty of time to fish the waters of the six wilderness areas he’ll cross. His pack will weigh about 37-43 pounds, depending “on how much food I’m carrying. I’m not a lightweight hiker. I bring a lot of food — enough to feed lightweight hikers cause they never have food!”

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