Doncaster man completes gruelling 2,600 mile, 149 day charity hike across America

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A Doncaster man has completed a gruelling 2,600 mile charity hike across the United States.

Brian Brimmell took on the Pacific Crest Trail which led him the entire length of the USA from the Mexican border to Canada in just short of 150 days.

But Brian, who took on the exhausting challenge in aid of Doncaster dementia charity DonMentia, only just completed the challenge in time – with a raging forest fire stopping walkers in their tracks on the very last few miles of the expedition.

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He said: “How lucky was I - three days after I finished, the final 17 miles of the trail were closed due to a local forest wildfire. So anyone trying to finish their hike now will have hiked more than 2,600 miles, but be unable to complete the final 17 miles - how maddening would that be?"

Brian Brimmell has completed his charity trek across America.Brian Brimmell has completed his charity trek across America.
Brian Brimmell has completed his charity trek across America.

But even that wasn’t the end of his adventure.

“Once I reached the border, the hike was not finished,” he said.

"I then had to hike back the way I had come, for 40 miles, to reach the nearest road, and escape to civilisation!”

He added: "I am now reflecting on the support I have had from all those that sponsored me, and support and sponsorship that is still coming in.

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"Honestly, I’m not sure I could have kept going for almost five months without knowing that so many people had been so generous.”

Brian, 64, from Bessacarr took on the trek in memory of his wife’s aunt Pat Plant who battled the condition before her death in January last year.

He said: “She was a wonderful, energetic and bright lady, whose shining light was dimmed by dementia.

"She loved to travel, and was so excited about my American adventure.”

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Hiking about 20 miles almost every day and carrying everything he needed to survive in the wilderness , the journey took him through hot days and freezing nights in the Southern California desert, over snow covered mountains at 14,000 feet in the high Sierra Nevada, and across majestic volcanic mountain ranges through Oregon and Washington.

He also encountered scorpions, tarantulas, and rattlesnakes as well as elk, black bears, and mountain lions along the way.

He said: "At times I have been so cold I have had to hike in my trousers - and that's unnatural for me.

He said: "I had to get used to crossing and climbing large snow fields. This is a slow and laborious task and, at times I have to admit, it's scared me. When you're climbing across snow, on a 45 degree slope, with a 500 foot drop onto rocks below you, it really focuses the attention."

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Eileen Harrington of DonMentia said: “He raised £2,660 for DonMentia. A big thank you to Brian, an amazing number of donations!

"The Just Giving account is still open if people would still like to donate to assist and support Doncaster people affected by dementia.”

Donations can be made to Brian’s appeal at the JustGiving page HERE

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