Summer-Fall 2010 Telluride Magazine

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Mary Duffy

Telluride nonprofit. That money helped the organization purchase a high-definition video camera for movement analysis training and promotional purposes, as well as a flat-screen television for its new headquarters in Mountain Village’s Capella building. Last summer, Johnson embarked on his next fundraising challenge: Starting in Campo, California (on the Mexican border of the United States), he traveled the first 1,700 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail north to the California/Oregon border. And this summer, he plans to complete the remaining 950 miles from Oregon to Canada to, at last, achieve his goal of being a twotime Triple Crown hiker. Life on the trail isn’t always easy, Johnson admits, nor is being away from home for extended periods of time. It’s not the physical part that’s the most difficult, he says, although he admits that there are times when hiking day after day, in all kinds of weather, can “get to be a drag. But…at least I can experience this discomfort. There are people out there who would love to be able to feel this, and I find strength in that,” he says of the physical toll. His long-distance endeavors can be much more taxing emotionally, he describes, especially on Wednesday nights when he knows a great band is playing at the Mountain Village Sunset Concert Series or when he’s alone in his tent on the Fourth of July. And it’s not just his hometown that he’s missing: Johnson married Telluride local Debbie Madaris at Las Vegas’ Graceland Chapel last year while on his way to start his Pacific Crest Trail journey. Despite some of the hardships faced while out on America’s wildest trails during these fundraising journeys, Johnson says that the sweet satisfaction of accomplishing his personal goals while doing something good for his beloved hometown nonprofit makes the grueling days and long nights worth it. “People ask my why I do it, and for me, it’s really a question of what one person can do. It doesn’t have to be big—you can start by just doing something simple. I just try to be an example. I’m keeping myself happy, and hopefully, along the way, I g can influence some people.” summer/fall 2010

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