A couple years ago, while applying with his wife for yet another reality television contest, Ventura resident Jeremy Jacobus became frustrated with the process, which required the couple to grow their social media presence in order to be invited onto what would have been their sixth time on TV.
“I said, ‘What am I doing?” recalled Jacobus, a debt collections agent originally from Cleveland. “I’m going to do my own thing.”
That “thing” turned out to be one of the world’s most ambitious hiking marathons ever, as Jacobus began a quest to tally 1,000 hikes over the next 1,000 days, and blog about it the whole time. That was in November 2010, and today, roughly 720 days later, Jacobus — who’s done the bulk of his hiking in the Los Padres National Forest but has also traveled to Yosemite, Hawaii, New Zealand, and the Pacific Northwest on this mission — is still going strong.
“I haven’t missed a beat,” said Jacobus, who manages to mix the hikes into a busy schedule that includes his daughter’s soccer tournaments, his son’s cross-country meets, and his wife’s opening of a new frozen yogurt ship in Port Hueneme. “I’ve done it when I was sick,” he explained. “I’ve even done it while my ankle was sprained and I could barely walk.” By the end, which is on August 13, 2013, the admittedly exhausted Jacobus believes that he will actually have accumulated 1,400 hikes over the 1,000 days on 1,000 distinct stretches of trail.
“At this point, there are some days when I don’t really want to, especially being out there in the winter,” said Jacobus. “I’ve done most of the nearby trails and the scenery is mostly the same, but sometimes you see new things. That’s why I am doing 1,000 different trails, because it becomes something new each day. The bottom line is that once I’m outdoors, I’m glad I’m there.”
Jacobus was initially shooting to make it into the Guinness Book of Records, which still might happen, but his true goal is to hike Mount Whitney on the last day next August with his nine-year-old son. But even then, Jacobus may keep going. “I don’t think I will stop after that,” he said. “I’m gonna make sure I keep hiking everyday. I want to keep going.”
Follow his progress, see photos, and read trail reports at calihike.blogspot.com.