A long distance hiking trail that starts at the peak of Springer Mountain in Georgia, and ends at the peak of Mount Katahdin in Maine.
Leaving the campground the day after our hike we met these AT thru-hikers who had started from Georgia late February. So fun to chat and cheer them on for their last AT push - Kathdin! The guy on the left - trail name Traveller - couldn't wait to shave off that wooly patch on his face :) The guy on the near right is from Edmonton, AB, Canada. And the other fellow on the right in the background and the girl sitting in the front got married a few days before they started the AT. Their trail names were Honey and Moon. Love these AT stories and achievements. Both sets of parents of the newly-weds were here - they had provided this morning feast (trail magic!) - you see the scrape on Traveller's knee? That is fresh blood from scraping the rock "table" this picnic was sitting on: I'm thinking after the 100-mile Wilderness this food looked pretty inviting!
Taking a breather under the canopy not too far from the "finish line" - car in the parking lot @hammerhead got his mo-jo happening and had pushed on ahead :)
Which way is the best - safest, easiest - way down?! With @hammerhead and friends. Photo courtesy of Janice Rand.
My (mountain) man @hammerhead - the day before his 65th birthday xo Photo credits, Janice Rand
@hammerhead with his shoes off while eating lunch - yes he did eat more than an apple and red pepper. We all consumed a lot of water - and the light jacket we brought for the top was not needed! Photo credits: Nancy Veinot
Must have a summit photo! It was pretty crowded at the top, being a Saturday with good weather and clear skies...saw a marriage proposal with engagement ring and tears and cheers - that was cool. Took us four hours to summit - had a half hour lunch break and then another 3 3/4 hours down, which overall was better than we anticipated.
Well, my fellow travelers and hikers-- I am still trying to keep moving and getting into the forest to preserve my sanity! Today, I hiked for about three miles on the Art Loeb Trail starting from the trailhead along the Davidson River. Naturally, every day I miss my time on the AT. And boy, have I lost my trail legs!!
This was a real gem to find along the trail today--it's past the blooming season for most of the rhododendrons. So I stopped for a few moments to enjoy its perfection. There is a saying that flowers don't compete with other flowers--they just bloom when they are ready. Be like the flowers.
The most important part of the trail for me was the forest healing, the therapy of being out there. Finding a way to replace that therapy while off the trail is taking some effort. I'm blessed to live in North Carolina where there are such beautiful mountains and trails. So getting out there even for day hikes is a priority. In addition, I have been working on mindfulness meditation to help me adjust. There are two audiobooks that you simply must listen to--these were real game changers for me-- "Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics" and "10% Happier" read by the author Dan Harris. It's not my habit to recommend books but these are so relevant to our modern life, on and off the trail.
Right now, practicing loving compassion for all is my mindfulness exercise, even for the most difficult in my life. I experience deep gratitude for those who hike with me in life and have been a positive influence and I will work on mentally developing compassion for some people who have done some seriously ugly stuff. You gotta know that people who hurt other people intentionally aren't feeling good themselves. No matter what you do to hurt me, my internal happiness is not yours to take!
Hope you have enjoyed today's trail beauty. Happy Trails, Deb
One of the conflict areas where I worked was Liberia-a country largely modeled after the USA. Rural areas suffer from a lack of clean water. As hikers we know how much work it is to collect our liter bottles of water—but imagine that you have to provide water for all uses for your extended family, elders, littles, the disabled and all. This arduous task usually falls to the women of the family. So I am supporting this project in Liberia. I know the groups involved and have met them personally in Liberia. Please read about the project for its interest when you have time. Donating is appreciated but not required. None of the funds go to my hike. Only to help the project get on its feet with an ultimate goal of self-suffficiency. GoFundMe.com/cleanwaterforliberia