Story of the Month: Hiking in the Wilderness
Hiking in the wilderness, clambering through the small trails of America’s back-country already sounds like a challenge, but can you imagine if you were also blind and your dog was key to your survival? This is exactly what Trevor Thomas has accomplished! We are already impressed!
Trevor has accomplished a lot in his life. He was always described as an “adrenaline junkie” and loved racing his cars and mountain bikes. However, when Trevor was 36 he was diagnosed with a serious eye condition that lead him to lose his sight.
He did not let that stop him! In a recent interview he said that nature was his “greatest opponent of all” and he definitely puts him self out there to compete with it. Trevor is an ambitious man, as soon as his lost his sight he began to learn how to read Braille and make the most of his life without his sight. How fabulous is that?
One man and his dog: Trevor and Tennille on one of their hikes (Photo: BBC Ouch)
Trevor was inspired by a friend to start hiking after learning to walk with a cane in his suburban street. He took on this challenge and attended training that allowed him to explore more complex terrain. His next challenge was short hikes alone within his home state of North Carolina.
In a recent interview with the BBC he said “Hiking alone seemed to give me some control, I was able to take ownership of my successes and learn from my failures, although at times it was frustrating it in the end gave me the self-reliance that I so desperately needed”
On his travels he met a teenage who inspired him to complete the Appalachian Trail, which stretches a staggering 2,180 miles through the Appalachian Mountains along the eastern edge of North America and takes in a 14 states along the way! He completed this trail within 6 months! After his success Thomas then set up a charity to encourage young blind people to pit themselves against the elements. His charity called the FarSight Foundation has also provided him with a number of volunteers who meet him when he is exploring the wilderness and resupply his food.
What in inspiration! Trevor and Tennille hiking through the mountains (Photo: BBC Ouch)
Trevor’s guide dog, Tennille, has helped him a great deal along the way, they both graduated from Guide dogs for the blind in 2012. She is the first guide dog ever to be specially trained for long-distance hiking, she walks ahead of him and he walks in her paw-prints. He said in a recent interview that looking after Tennille was his main priority; she even has her own tent, sleeping bag and boots to protect her paws in extreme terrain. A dog really is a man’s best friend!
We wish Trevor all the best on his endeavours and hope that he continues to inspire people!