Finding a Trail Buddy
So one day, you wake up and say to yourself, “Self, I am going to hike the AT!” As your body and brain regain their composure after the shock of this news, your brain starts flashing very pressing and important questions at you: “Are you insane!? Do you have the money? Do you have the time? Will you be safe by yourself? Will you hike with someone or will you do this alone?” Most likely these questions ripping through your head are very similar to those you will hear from your loved ones once you decide to break the news to them! But that’s for a different time.
So you say, “Self, that is a great bunch of questions. Let’s focus on one at a time. Who to go with?”
For me, this choice found me. I had all but given up on my dream of doing the AT until one fateful day, when speaking to a good friend of mine, hiking came up in conversation. I had expressed my interest, nay, desperate desire to do the AT and she blurted out, “Oh! You should talk to my friend Carrie Yehle! I think she’s interested as well!”
Well I’ll be darned, that’s my friend too! The rest is history. We touched base, she said yes, and we are trail-mates to be!
So who is this infamous Carrie Yehle?
She is a Marine Biologist working in Alaskan waters. What a job! She is lucky enough to get 18 months of time off between contracts for her job, giving her tons of time to explore the world in many ways. She has summited Mt Kilimanjaro in Africa, rode solo on her bike from New Orleans to Minneapolis (following the Mississippi River), trekked over 500 miles in Patagonia (Argentina and Chile) and taken a 5 day Salkantay trail to Machu Picchu. All over the span of 2 years (2013-2015). With all this wonderful experience, she will put my puny hiking experiences to shame, but she will make a phenomenal trail-mate (she may say otherwise of me when I slow her down)!
As if hiking the AT with me wasn’t enough, she is also planning on biking from Seattle (her home “port”) to San Diego, following the Pacific Coast prior to our AT adventure. Being the really cool aunt she is (of three wonderful nieces and nephews) she hopes to pass on her passion of hiking and biking to them, teaching them to learn to live life at a slow and peaceful pace, something she tries to do in her own life as well.
So that is the legend, the dream-maker, the Carrie!
A special thank you to Candice Young for allowing me to use these pictures, and Carrie for allowing me to introduce her to the world!
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