It Takes a Village to Get You to Maine
The Trail Community
Nobody makes it from Georgia to Maine without the support and kindness of others. That takes so many forms. The Appalachian Trail community is an amazing, diverse web of people helping and supporting each other and the trail. That community also extends all across the world in many forms.
If your familiar with the AT you know all about trail magic and trail angels. I prefer to think of trail magic as trail blessings. I mean, it’s done by trail angels isn’t it? For those that don’t know what I’m talking about think random acts of kindness and those that perform them. It is one of the truly amazing pieces of the puzzle that make the AT the spiritual journey that it is. At this time of immense unrest I’m looking forward to experiencing the best parts of human nature instead of the daily barrage of the worst. These trail angels, fellow hikers, trail maintainers, business owners, and townspeople will all help me on my journey. Some I will never meet but they will touch my hike and life just the same.
There are also all those that have gone before me and helped me to where I am right now, on the brink of the adventure of my life. These people also take many forms. It started with reading books like “A Walk in the Woods”, “Becoming Odyssa”, and Appalachian Trials”. Two years ago I was blessed to attend the Appalachian Trail Institute with guest instructor Jennifer Pharr Davis. That was really my first true lesson in what the trail is all about in so many ways. I spent only a week with Jennifer and my classmates but they are all still in my life and a few will be joining me on the trail.
Following in Their Footsteps
I’ve followed countless hikers blogs and vlogs that have given of their time and opened themselves to share their experience and knowledge with others. There’s Kiwi, Early Riser, Terodactyle, Elle, IWOX, Slip Knot, Bigfoot, Spielberg, BonBon, Left Turn, Grasshopper, Figgey, Red Beard, Alpenglow, Big Bird, Highlander 58, and countless more (these are trail names for the newbies).
Every season I would follow hikers as they journeyed North experiencing their highs and lows. I remember the day Highlander 58 left the trail. My electricity was out due to a thunderstorm so I sat down on my porch swing to enjoy his latest video on my phone. I literally yelled “No!” out loud when he announced the end of his hike. It was only disappointment for myself. He was so at peace with himself and his hike. It’s my hope that I bring my readers the same type of information, joy, excitement, and inspiration.
The House That Built Me
There are others that have been a part of making me the person that I am including family, friends, mentors and yes, even those that are not my friends. I’ve been so blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life. Being that person I don’t easily share what they have meant to me and how much I love them all (well, maybe not the last group but I’m trying!). I hope to learn to express that more freely on my journey.
My Trail Team
Lastly, here’s the team that will get me to Maine!
Nickle Pickle (personal bodyguard) My oldest son decided last fall to hike with me. I think this had something to do with his need to protect me but I also think he’s going for some of the same reasons the trail has drawn me. It will be an experience we will never forget. He’s in super shape but has never spent a night in the woods or put up a tent. This should be interesting…
Grambo (trail boss) Yes, I’m 54 but my mother is still worried about me going on this hike. She’s the perfect choice to be my trail boss and get everything to me when I need it where I need it. In true Texas fashion she is 77 and owns a mini arsenal hence her trail name. She’ll be assisted by her roomie and my hiking partner/sister in crime Cardinal.
Art Vandelay (latex salesman and fixer) You Seinfeld fans will appreciate that reference. My husband is my fixer and he’s the best around (think Michael Clayton). He will be taking care of all those things that come up like orchestrating rides or getting me into a hotel. He’s also the prime person responsible for making this hike a reality and I love him for it.
Bopper, Lebron, ZZ Top, Prickly Pear, TBear, and Bongo (soul support) This is the group that’s going to keep my mind right and my eyes where they need to be. Being a mother has always been the most important thing I do and it’s going to be awesome sharing my journey with my children and grandchildren.
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