My Trail Story by John Floyd

John Floyd is a 2022 FarOut Scout

The trail came into my life when I needed it the most. Little did I know how true this statement is. How it happened was pretty crazy.


One day I said I think I need a change in my life. That’s when I saw my friend Dixie’s first videos. The next day I started selling everything I owned and a business I built over 18 years. I had a lot to do so I could begin my adventure in 2019. It’s funny when you’re hiking you forget how much you love it. Some of the days are daunting. You love it and you know that, but when you are done and go home, it’s all you can think about.

A group of hikers sitting in the forrest eating some food on paper plates
Photo provided by John Floyd
a group of thru-hikers posing on and next to the Pacific Crest Trail northern terminus
Photo provided by John Floyd

I remember my first day becoming a thru-hiker. It’s like it was yesterday. After climbing all the stairs and getting to the shelter, I had walked 8 miles. I said to myself how will I even make it. This is insane. I didn’t ever think about quitting. I was just in awe that it was possible to finish. Each day I went further than the last. What I learned from day one the most was that my pack was too heavy, I had plenty of excess gear. I started trading gear out by the first real town. I probably replaced everything but my sleeping pad.


The further I walked, the stronger I got. The more I walked in a day, the more important it started to become to have a lower base weight, I never wanted to do it for the fad or anything like that. I wanted to decrease weight so I could be more comfortable and push myself harder and harder. I feel like the trail gives you a new hope for humanity. The generosity and love you feel just makes you forget the bad things in life.

a big group of hikers posing together on a rocky hillside
Photo provided by John Floyd
three thru-hikers standing next to the Colorado Trail sign
Photo provided by John Floyd

Being a thru-hiker, I hear all the reasons and stories behind why people are doing their thru-hike. You meet people from all walks of life. You hear people often say by hiking this long crazy trail we are running from something. I never felt like I was running from anything. I was just on an adventure living my life. I’ve done so many reflections and have learned a lot about myself. I now realize my entire life since I was a kid I was running from some significant childhood trauma.


The trail is amazing for my soul. It sure has a way of working things out and helping us heal. The trail never leaves me, it always listens, it always provides, and it only reminds me to never give up. It only took me 7,400 miles of hiking before I realized how broken I was. I always put a smile on and went on with life. The trauma finally surfaced and I’m in the process of getting it resolved. I feel like finishing my triple crown in 2023 is going to be sentimental for the fact that it’s a huge healing part of my life and accomplishing one of the coolest things in my life. 

a group of thru-hikers posing on a hill next to a blue lake
Photo provided by John Floyd
a group of thru-hikers siting and standing next to a mile marker on the Pacific Crest Trail
Photo provided by John Floyd

The journey is always different to everyone. For me it’s been very magical in many ways. I was never “cool” in my life, but on the trail I’m the “cool” guy who leaves comments on the FarOut app about water. I can be friends with anyone around. It’s the one place in life I can exist and there is no judgment.


There is so much love and acceptance. I can’t say that everyone hiking goes through this but to me the trail will heal you when you need it. It may not do it when you want it but when it’s time your body is more open to hear the trail speak to it. The trail will forever be my happy place and my go to place to work through anything. 

a group of thru-hikers smiling on the Pacific Crest Trail
a group of men smiling with a lake in the background
Photo provided by John Floyd
a small group of hikers smiling on trail with a lot of trees and bushes in the background
a group of men hiking and posing in front of a building
Photo provided by John Floyd

Related Trail Guide

The Colorado Trail is a challenging and rewarding hike of 485 miles (780 km) that stretches from Denver to Durango, passing through six National Forests and six wilderness areas on its way. Thru-hikers will traverse eight mountain ranges, including the Colorado Rocky Mountains, and climb to over 13000 feet (3900 meters) during their journey. The trail is also perfect for day-hikers and mountain bikers. Our data for The Colorado Trail guide was collected in partnership with Bear Creek Survey Service, LLC. For more information about their work, visit their website at!