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37 Mile Trans-Catalina Trail Opens to Public

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There's something very different about hiking on the interior of Catalina Island, something you can't get on the plethora of trails immediately surrounding Los Angeles. It's the deafening sound of silence--that ever-present rumble of freeways we are so used to on the mainland is no where to be heard on Catalina, where this past weekend a new 37.2 mile cross-island trail opened to the public.

It was 1956 when Thad Jones, Dick Lyon (one of the first ever Navy Seals) and Dr. Steve Royce--all in their early 30s--jumped off a boat, swam to shore on the island's East end, scaled a wall, and ran, walked and bushwhacked their way through to the island's other end. "They didn't even have water, they just took off," said Brad Avery of the Thad Jones Hikers, the first group to hike the new Trans-Catalina Trail. Eleven and a half hours later, Jones and the other two swam from Catalina's West end to the boat waiting for them.

It took Avery and his group of hikers two days to complete the trail, which the Catalina Island Conservancy predicts could take up to four days. "The trail is just awesome," Avery said as he explained the many different terrains the trail comes across, something the LA Times discovered on their journey last week.