Brett Tucker [aka trail name blisterfree] is the owner/operator of Simblissity Ultralight Designs and a long-distance hiker who has logged 18,000 backcountry miles across the US since 1996. His primary focus these days is on self-made routes: he is the lone architect of both the Grand Enchantment Trail and Sky Islands Traverse across the Southwest US. These long routes are conceptual in nature, utilizing existing infrastructure – trails, dirt roads, and cross-country terrain – to provide an adventurous and rewarding experience that is at once off the beaten track and challenging, yet also accessible and compelling. Brett takes great pains to develop the specific layout of his routes in order to maximize the experiences they offer, with an eye toward sharing them with the hiking public. He is convinced that there are many more “virtual routes” worth creating and promoting that will provide unique opportunities for long-distance hikers and travelers to explore and cherish our public lands. This blog seeks to provide a glimpse into this unfolding frontier of hiking invention.