Editor’s Letter: Get Dirty

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Looking for an outdoorsy New Year’s Resolution? Dare ya to do the Dirty Dozen! Already, hundreds have signed up to complete the challenge of hiking 10+ miles in 12 Southern wilderness areas (for a total of 120+ miles). At the end of the year, winners in several categories will be selected for prize packages and highlighted in the magazine. If you haven’t registered for the challenge, it’s not too late. Registration remains open and there’s still plenty of time to complete the challenge. Visit southeastwilderness50.org/dirty-dozen

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“I did battle with the Linville Gorge Wilderness, and at the end of the day, battered and bruised, it was very clear which one of us had won round one.”

—Timo Holquist, Linville Gorge Wilderness, NC

“Fantastic day for a trail run with my 12-year-old son. It was his first big trail run, and he ran several hours across super-technical singletrack with challenging nav and big vert (over 3,500 feet)!”

—Jay and Chilton Curwen, Middle Prong Wilderness, NC

“Wilderness has a way of lifting my spirits and providing me with what I need when I need it, whether it is reassurance, inspiration, or a new friendship forged on the trail.”

—Kayla Strong, Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness, NC

“As we set up camp I soon discovered that my borrowed tent was just a rain fly. Backpacking 101: No matter how late you get in after celebrating your birthday, always check your equipment prior to departure, especially if it is borrowed.”

—Kris Hensley, Shenandoah Wilderness, Va

“I’ve found a new meaning to the phrase “trail magic” on this hike. When you are lost and panicked, out of the blue the trail just finds you and guides you in the right direction.”

—Jennie McElroy, Cheaha Wilderness, Al •

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