Hike for Hugs; Boyne natives plan to hike to end child abuse

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Megan Wilson

Contributing Writer

This Summer two young men will be embarking on a journey that they are hoping will change their lives and the lives of many other people as well.

“We are going to start on the North Country Trails at Chandler Hills, and then work westward from there,” said Adrian Smith. “The North Country Trails are old Native American trails that were used during seasonal migrations.”

Smith will be hiking with his friend Mike Curtis on a trek that will start at Chandler Hills, and the two hope to promote awareness of child abuse and how to prevent it. They are calling their cause “Hiking for Hugs.”

“Originally, we wanted to leave technology behind, and just live off the land but when we told our mothers about the plan they persuaded us to take a cell phone with us in case of emergencies,” said Smith. “This trip has been spontaneous, but it’s something that we’ve always talked about doing before.”

The two young men are investigating starting a fund-raising page so that they may raise funds for organizations that help prevent or treat child abuse.

“We hope to be leaving around the week of May 18, but things are dependent on the weather. Right now there are a lot of storms that are moving through Wisconsin and Minnesota,” said Smith. “We are definitely hiking as far as Wisconsin, but we are not sure how much farther we will be able to go from there, it depends on how far we can go each day.”

The two are no strangers to camping and the wilderness, both having been exposed to the outdoors since they were children.

“I’ve always been into camping and the outdoors. When I was younger, I was in the Boy Scouts,” said Smith. “This is my first pack however, it’s my first time going into the wilderness for an extended period of time.”

Both men are determined to making a difference.

“I’ve seen a lot of child abuse It’s a terrible thing. I feel like, with us doing this, that maybe people will start to think twice, and that maybe we can raise money to help programs around our area,” said Smith.

He added, “We plan on writing all of our travels in journals, and we would love to have them published at the end of our journey and have some of the proceeds go to the fight against child abuse.”