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Mike Haugen finds a well-known attraction on his way through West Virginia
"It’s really to expose people to the beauties of our country and to inspire our kids to get outside," said Haugen speaking to MetroNews from
Haugen speaks from experience after watching a transformation in many of his own students who join his "Outdoor Club" in school. He sees children relax, improve their attitude, and undergo a radical transformation when they finally detach the ear buds and allow natural flora, rather than pixels, stimulate their senses.
The 50-States in 50-Days idea was conceived as an encore to Haugen’s ascent to the top of
"They (Coleman) share the exact same message as I do," said Haugen. "Show kids there are always outdoor adventures to be had."
On the Coleman website, kids are able to do their own High Points tour and earn a "
Haugen and his merry band of adventurers include longtime friend Zach Price, driver Lindsay Danner, and documentary film maker Jordan Millari. Over the course of the last two months they’ve endured exhausting travel. The crew has put in more than a few all-nighters on the road, catching a nap in the car on the way to the next state.
Haugen made it to
"I’ve actually spent a lot of time in that area," said Haugen. "I spent a lot of time doing a lot of rock climbing at Seneca Rocks, so I’m really familiar with that beautiful area."
Logistically, 50-states in 50-days mean you have to get some multiples in
West Virginia’s Highest Point — Spruce Knob
the mix. June 20th had Haugen and his crew not only on Spruce Knob, but also the highest points in neighboring
"Some of them you could probably just drag your hand as you go by and do a ‘drive-by’
Haugen and his team took in Wyoming’s Gannett Peak in a 40-mile round trip and King’s Peak in Utah is 24-miles, The group also scaled Mt. Hood in Oregon and Mt. Rainier in Washington during the final days of the exhibition. The last leg sent the group on a hike up
He says it’s been a fantastic adventure and one that could easily be replicated on a family vacation, whether you take in every state high point or just a few. For Haugen, it all comes back to the core message.
"You don’t have to climb Everest to be at the top of your game," he said. "Find your own Everest. Find what you like to do and be the best at it."