The latest initiate to our crew of Salty Trekkers, Whitney "Allgood" LaRuffa has stepped into the role of 2016 Trail Ambassador for the Continental Divide Trail Coalition. Before he embarks upon his journey next week, let's learn a little about what led Whitney to leave his job and take a leap of faith to fulfill a lifelong dream, shall we?
Whitney grew up in rural NH where he forged his love of the outdoors and activities such as fishing, skiing, and his true love backpacking. He honed his outdoor skills and developed a passion for long distance hiking as he worked his way to become an Eagle Scout.
Whitney has hiked over 6,000 miles with his K-9 companions over the years. After finding a dog on the Appalachian Trail in 1996 his life was forever changed. Whitney and his first dog Erwin (named for the trail town Erwin, TN) worked on the Appalachian Trail in the 1990’s as Ridge Runners after their thru-hike, where they provided education and support to a variety of trail users. Whitney has hiked many long trails in the US but is most proud of his 2014 pioneering first thru-hike of the Chinook Trail, a 293 mile route through the Columbia River Gorge in WA & OR.
Karluk, the doggie, with his person, Whitney
After many years on the trail, Whitney is a sought after speaker, teaching people about responsible backcountry use with their dog through his business Allgood's K-9 Adventures. Whitney is also the President of The American Long Distance Hiking Association-West (ALDHA-West). When not helping others learn about hiking, you find Whitney walking the trails around the US in need of a shower, a cold beer, a pint of Ben & Jerry's, and some Salazon Chocolate. (I'm sure he added that last one for our benefit, but we'll take it!)
He loves dogs and chocolate...nuff said. I'm sure he'll have no problem making trail friends with Karluk by his side. Welcome to the team Whitney and Karluk!
How incredible is that? Over 6,000 miles hiked…with his K-9 companion! How did Whitney and Karluk have the energy to go so far? With Salazon Chocolate, of course! Check out Whitney’s favorite chocolate bar, 57% Organic Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt & Coffee and see if it’s the right jump starter for you. Take 10% off your Salazon Chocolate order with discount code HIKINGCHOCOLATE.
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