Mike on Old Speck.

I started hiking for the reason most people start anything – for a girl. I had always been an athletic person, playing almost every sport competively through my younger years, but the concept of hiking seemed boring. However, the girl I was dating at the time was quite fascinated with it, so naturally so was I. I quickly took a strong liking to it, being out in nature and away from cell service for hours at a time with only like minded people and beautiful views. It was unlike any sport I had ever participated in, there was no way to rank yourself against other players or “get better”. It was more of a spiritual activity with the added benefit of being immensely good for your body. Hiking has taken me to places I wouldn’t have ever imagined before, to the beautiful White Mountains of Maine and New Hampshire, to the Rockies in Colorado. It created this amazing outlet to meet new people and erase the stresses of everyday life. Flash forward 10 years and it took me to one of the most pivotal moments in my life, the moment that I asked that same girl to marry me, on the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro on the “Roof of Africa,” in Tanzania. Now throughout the years there have been many reasons why I hike but the biggest reason has never changed, it has always been for a girl.