After following markers, like the one pictured, for more than 800 km, Brian and Michelle arrive at marker 0 in Finisterre, the “end of the earth.” CONTRIBUTED

People who’ve had bucket-list adventures want to inspire YOU to do the same

Want to hike to the end of the earth? Michelle and Brian Coleman have and they will share their awe-inspiring experience as part of the upcoming Adventure Speaker Series.

Five Rivers MetroParks and Wright State University are again partnering to offer a series of four free presentations designed to inspire outdoor enthusiasts of all ages and ability levels. From cycling to stand-up paddleboarding to hiking, the speakers will share their passion for adventure starting on Feb. 12.

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“Not only will they share stories of their adventures from across the world, many of them are local and even found their initial inspiration by attending The Adventure Summit,” said MetroParks special events coordinator Angela York. “We hope the Adventure Speaker Series presenters will be a catalyst that will inspire people to tackle once-in-a-lifetime, bucket-list adventures.”

The Colemans’ once-in-a-lifetime trip to Spain to hike the Camino de Santiago in 2017 will soon be a twice-in-a-lifetime adventure as the Fairborn couple is heading back this summer. They completed the Camino Frances in 2017 — the route featured in the 2010 Martin Sheen film “The Way” — and will next hike the Camino Portugués.

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They will also return to the “end of the earth” — Finisterre. The richly historical end of the Camino de Santiago offers breathtaking coastal views. The centuries-old name is Latin in origin — finis terrae, for the end of the earth.

“There is something very special about that place,” Michelle said.

The entire experience of completing their challenging 624-mile Camino trek was special for the couple. That is part of the message they want to share as Adventure Speaker Series presenters.

Michelle and Brian Coleman will talk about their travels during the Adventure Speaker Series. CONTRIBUTED
Photo: Contributing Writer

“We want to make hiking accessible to everyone,” Michelle said. “And we want to inspire couples to do this — you can do this together.”

That’s not to say it’s always easy.

“There are times I think we both felt like we don’t need to talk today,” she said with a smile. “But our relationship is stronger because of these shared experiences.”

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An international adventure can be especially daunting — tackling the logistics and overcoming language barriers — but the long-term payoff is well worth any short-term pain. But Michelle and Brian didn’t start their hiking adventures halfway around the world, they started close to home in the MetroParks.

“Everything we’ve done over the past seven or eight years has been to get people out there on the trails,” Brian said. “They can do more than they think they can do, it’s just a matter of trying.”

If you want to follow the Colemans’ adventures, check out their adventure blog Cruisin’ with the Colemans at www.cruisinwiththecolemans.com.

2019 ADVENTURE SPEAKER SERIES

SUP the Susquehanna River, Pete and Ainsley Savard

When: Tuesday, Feb. 12, 7-8:30 p.m.

Where: Wright State University Student Union

What: A team led by Pete Savard and his 15-year-old daughter, Ainsley, set out to stand-up paddleboard (SUP) the Susquehanna River from source to sea. With a goal to link their 30-day paddle to the need for safe, sustainable water for humanity, the Savards’ adventure down the Susquehanna impacted their SUP team and people around the globe. Join them on their Global Water Consortium #SUP4WATER adventure.

Bike Across America, Earl McDaniel

When: Wednesday, Feb. 27, 7-8:30 p.m.

Where: Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark, 1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave.

What: Earl McDaniel cycled 3,642 in 38 days while traveling through parts of 18 states to cross the United States on bicycle. McDaniel, joined by his father in a support vehicle, were challenged by city travel, mountains and more. Experience cycling across the country with McDaniel as he shares his story.

Hiking the Camino de Santiago, Michelle and Brian Coleman

When: Thursday, March 14, 7-8:30 p.m.

Where: Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark, 1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave.

What: From St. Jean Pied de Port, France, to Santiago de Compostela and on to the end of the earth at Finisterre, Spain, the Colemans hiked an average of 14 miles a day during seven weeks to complete all 550 miles of the Camino Frances in summer 2017. El Camino de Santiago is a 1,200-year-old pilgrimage across Europe, culminating in Santiago de Compostela, the final resting place of the Apostle St. James. Join the Colemans as they share stories about trip planning, interesting people, challenging temperatures and more.

Backpacking Along the Giants of the Alps, Gudrun and Peter Seifert

When: Thursday, March 29, 7-8:30 p.m.

Where: Wright State University Student Union

What: Defying preconceived notions of your average outdoor adventurers, at ages 80 and 82 the Seiferts have tackled trails in the Alps for the past 20 years. Last summer, they traveled through the Aosta Valley in Italy. Traveling just below the ridge of the Alps, they headed west in the shadow of the Matterhorn connecting with the famous Tour Mt. Blanc route to the tiny French village of Chapieux. Spend the evening enjoying pictures and tales from the travels.

For more information about the Adventure Speaker Series, visit theadventuresummit.com.

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