Classes of 1997-2000

The late 1990s was a formative period for growing a hiker base for the Florida Trail. Active FTA trail maintainer Joan “Igloo” Hobson wrapped up her first end-to-end hike in 1997, collecting trail data along the way while generating publicity for two years as “The Hiking Grandmother.” She was 65 when she started a southbound thru-hike in 1996. It eventually morphed into a section hike. One of her hiking partners, Rick “Vagabond” Gushè, wrapped his own flip-flop hike in 1998. Jon “Wanchor” Phipps, having hiked the AT the year before, completed the Florida Trail in 1997.

The three joined forces to create both a Long Distance Hikers Committee for the Florida Trail Association and to give workshops at ALDHA about the Florida Trail. Joan and fellow hiker Susan Roquemore developed From Here to There on the Florida Trail, the first long distance hiker guide for the trail, and published it in 1998 and 1999. At the same time, Rick Gushè wrote about his journey and pulled together other long distance hiker journals in two extremely limited edition books, Long Distance Backpacking the Florida Trail, also published in 1998 and 1999.

Jump to year: 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997

Class of 2000

Joan “Igloo” Hobson, Minneola FL
Scott Galloway,Grand Rapids MI
Jon Leuschel,Taylors SC
Chuck “Swamp Eagle” Wilson, Naples FL

Class of 1999

Scott “Scotty” VanDamm, LaCrosse WI
Jack “Archaeopterix” Magullian, New Zealand

Class of 1998

Eb “Nimblewill Nomad” Eberhart, Dahlonega GA
Rick “Vagabond” Guhse, Winter Park FL
Damon Stewart,Prescott AZ
Ed Talone, Silver Springs MD

Class of 1997

Jon Brinda,Bellingham WA
Jon “Wanchor” Phipps, Oviedo FL
Joan “Igloo” Hobson, Minneola FL