Identical twin sisters Elrose Couric and Sue Hollinger have completed the Appalachian Trail at the chipper age of 80.
Most people consider the Appalachian Trail to one of the most challenging footpaths in the world, and one mostly reserved for youth. But incredibly, Couric and Hollinger managed to complete the 2,190-mile trail this past summer.
Their secret? Apparently, it’s as simple as setting a goal each night while enjoying a glass of red wine.
In an interview with the Asheville Citizen-Times, the twins explained their motivation an approach when tackling the trail. “We’re very goal oriented. We always needed a goal,” said Hollinger. “We wished we were daring enough or young enough to do a thru-hike. It would have saved lots of time, but we couldn’t.”
Regardless of the fact they couldn’t make a full thru-hike of the trail, Couric and Hollinger’s feat is still impressive. According to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, 3,000 people a year attempt a thru-hike of the trail. Typically, only one in four will complete the 2,190-mile journey.
The two sisters didn’t begin hiking until later in life, after 30 years of being apart. Couric lived in Virginia while Hollinger was living in Washington D.C. It wasn’t until both sisters’ husbands passed away that the two picked up hiking.
Their average day would see the sisters hike anywhere from 7 to 18 miles, depending on the trail conditions. Nevertheless, Couric and Hollinger reached their goal, and are a reminder that age truly is just a number.