Monday, October 8, 2018

Meet your Neighbor Jeffrey Hunter

Penned by Francey Petty, Mont Del Neighbor

Jeffrey Hunter
16 Crosslands Road, Mont Del

Jeffrey and his wife, Debbie, moved to Mont Del in 1998, from the southwest part of Fort Worth.  They have two adult children who both live in Houston along with three grandchildren.

Jeffrey is at the wonderful crossroads of life where he recently retired from Lockheed, having worked as an engineer for 34 years.   While he is modest about his accomplishments in Backpacking Expeditions, it is amazing to those of us who are not privy to that sport.   He started these adventures when his kids were young and he and his wife would take them on day hikes to the national parks.    After his son joined the Boy Scouts, Jeffrey started backpacking with Troop 50 on multi-day treks.    

But as time went on, Jeffrey began doing longer hikes by himself.  He has backpacked in New Mexico, Arizona, Tennessee, California, Wyoming, Montana and Colorado.    Recently, he finished an incredible 480 mile Colorado Trail from Denver to Durango! It took 26 days.  The plan for food he needs along the way is diversified.  In addition to carrying the initial week supply of food, he buys food in nearby towns, or ships a package to a Post Office.  Normally his pack weighs up to 35 pounds with food and water.  All the luxuries of backpacking are carried in the pack including a tent, a sleeping bag, rain gear and a filter to process water that he derives from streams and lakes.  I asked him about the solitude and safety on such a long trip and he said those subjects did not bother him…that he does not worry about it although he prepares well and is safety minded.  He loves the solitude and beauty of nature…being alone is something he treasures.  Jeffrey commented, “If hikers are inexperienced and think they are smarter than nature, then accidents and problems can happen.” 

His adventures are continuing with another hike of 180 miles this fall when he walks the Ozark Highlands Trail.   Jeffrey will drive to Lake Fort Smith Trailhead and his wife will pick him up at journey’s end near the highway 65 bridge over the Buffalo River.   It will take about 12 days. His daily diet while on the trail which is carried in his backpack include dehydrated food, granola bars, power bars, peanut butter, jerky, peanuts, dried fruit and most importantly:  CHOCOLATE!     He admits that sometimes the trek is difficult but is a wonderful metaphor for the struggles of life.  You just have to keep going, taking one step after another.  This indeed is a very private kind of adventure and challenge. 

You may wonder what else Jeffrey does for a hobby while he is not participating in hiking all these years.   He is a Furniture Builder!    Through the years, he has built furniture for his home and for his adult childrens’ homes, which includes beds for the grandchildren.  He enjoys sleeping in a bed he built whenever he goes to visit his children. 

I’m sure everyone reading this report wishes Jeffrey well on his next journey. 


1 comment:

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