68-year-old woman set to hike Appalachian Trail - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

68-year-old woman set to hike Appalachian Trail

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- What do you do when you're retired, living the dream, and about to turn 69? If you're Elaine Gregory-Duty, you set out to hike the entire Appalachian Trail!

Age, gender, none of it matters to Elaine. She made this a goal more than three decades ago, and nothing is going to stop her.

"There is life to be lived and I'm not one to sit down," Elaine Gregory-Duty says. "My grandmother died in her 80s and she walked two miles a day every day."

At 68, Elaine will up her grandmothers ante, as she plans to hike 7-16 miles a day for five months on the Appalachian Trail. That's 2,182 miles from Springer Mountain, Georgia to Northern Maine, crossing 14 states.

One could only ask, why?

"Because it's there and I love the outdoors," Elaine says. "First time I stepped foot on it in 1977 in October, they said it went from Georgia to Maine, that was my goal."

Since 1977, Elaine has been training and has hiked the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to the Pennsylvania border in intervals.

She's hiked parts of Maine and New Hampshire. On March 27, she'll set out to tame the entire beast in one shot.

Family members are giving their full support.

"I'm not worried about her, I'm proud and anxious," says Linda A. Gregory-Duty, Elaine's life-partner. "I want the five months to already be here, so she's back home. But, this is her dream and I'm glad her dream is coming to fruition."

One could also only ask, will there be a time when you say what on earth did I get myself into?

After laughing a bit Elaine says, "There are days that come up, and I've had a few days like that myself. You just have to look and say, 'you had a goal in mind, finish it'. It's on the bucket list let's go."

Elaine will turn 69 three days after she starts. She hopes this motivates anyone her age to get out and pursue something because as she says, "it's never too late."

Her family will meet up with her at checkpoints, and they'll send us pictures along the way.

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