Kenny ends epic 2627 mile walk with a surprise

Kenny at the end of the trek.
Kenny at the end of the trek.

A St Monans man is taking a well-earned rest, after an epic five-month trek through the US, from the Mexican border to Canada.

Kenny Mackinnon walked 2627 miles through deserts, snowy mountain ranges, and dense forests to reach the northern terminus.

Kenny Mackinnon at the start.

Kenny Mackinnon at the start.

He began his journey along the Pacific Crest Trail in April near Campo in Southern California, and despite coming up against one of the worst snowfalls for a decade, finished in Canada towards the end of September.

A keen walker, Kenny (54) was inspired to take on the challenge after meeting some visitors from the US.

“I met two Americans on the West Highland Way,” he said. “They told me about some of the long distance trails in America.

“When I started researching, I found out about the Pacific Crest Trail.”

Taking in a huge array of landscapes, Kenny was drawn to tackle the challenge.

“It’s just the diversity of the landscapes,” he said. “When you start, at the Mexican border, the landscape is really arid, it’s kind of scrubby desert and it’s lizard and snake territory and you have to carry a lot of water.

“It changes as you cross the corner of the Mojave Desert, then it starts to get a bit more hilly until you get to a place called Kennedy Meadows, which is the start the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

“It’s incredibly snowy up there. It’s metres of snow you’re walking on. It’s freezing in the morning and freezing at night, but during the day you’re walking in shorts because it’s nice and sunny.

“When I came off the mountains there was a heatwave and then the last two days it snowed again, so it’s pretty crazy.”

The trek was not without its dangers, however, and the extreme snowfall resulted in a close call.

“There was a scare where the snow melted. Some times you have to wade the rivers to get across.

“Because of the highest snowfall for about 12 years, the amount of water was extreme.

“At one point the strength of the current took my down on one knee, and about 50 meters downhill was a massive big water fall. That was the scariest moment.”

While a five-month trek may seem like a daunting task for most people, Kenny undertook another life-changing experience at the end of the walk.

“I’d arranged with my partner for her to come across and start walking south from the Canadian border to meet me, but I walked on a few miles and surprised her.

“Then I surprised her even more because I got down on my knee and proposed to her.”

And thanks to the positive response to the big question, his next challenge may lie closer to home.