Hiep in Sandals Does AT in 99!

17 Sep 2002 - by Tom Hartman

I only met Hiep Nguyen on his 100th day on the AT. He had already completed his South to North 2150 mile journey and was heading back up Katahdin to get photos on a clear day instead of in rain.

Naturally Hiep was wearing only sandals with a little duct tape on his left big toe. The rest of him was encased in grey Gortex. He complained that California boys don't like the frosty weather.

Though he carried his full AT gear and I had only a day pack, he hopped nimbly along the Knife Edge rocks pausing to photo me struggling behind him. Hiep told me about his escape from Vietnam as a Boat Person and his passion for rock climbing and hiking. I told him I now understood why the Vietnamese kicked our butts!

At the summit Hiep was reunited with several groups of fellow "Through Hikers" that he had passed on the way. The legend of Hiep in sandals continues.

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