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10 famous Appalachian Trail hikers

By: Laura Moss on May 18, 2011, 1:23 p.m.
Mike Hanson hiking Appalachian Trail blind

Photo: courtesy of Mike Hanson

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Mike Hanson

On March 6, 2010, 45-year-old Mike Hanson set out to hike the Appalachian Trail, and seven months later he completed the more than 2,000-mile trek. What makes his hike so special? He’s completely blind. Hanson spent years testing a special GPS receiver that would guide him to campsites, water sources and other points, and he chose to hike the AT to demonstrate the value of adaptive technology, as well as “the competence and independence of persons with visual impairments.” Hanson says the toughest part of his journey was the mile-long boulder field across the Maine border: “You go over, under, around and between boulders for a mile. If I ever do that again, it will be too soon!”