Strong Independant Woman

IMG_5679Boone has long legs! This is hardly surprising since he is 6’2″ and would really have a hard time of it otherwise. As our trail legs have developed it has become clear that mine are never going to keep pace with his. This is kind of worrying because I hate it when he waits for me.

After an amazing thunderstorm in which we had to quickly make the – rain gear or no rain gear call – we rolled into Deer Lick Shelter.  If I had known  all the water from everywhere was going to fall from the sky maybe I would have opted for rain gear – but my clothes got rinsed out.

Into dry clothes, and a nap later, we woke to find that in the matching shelter we had company in the form of the coolest NOBO’s we had met thus far. That’s saying a lot. Maybe what makes them so cool is that we got our trail names from them – although I think I’m going to keep mine under wraps for a bit!

Panther and Overdrive shared stories, knowledge and tons of laughs. Boone was particularly impressed by Panter’s well above average fire building skills. He wants to learn at the foot of the master. I can’t believe I didn’t get pictures! I’m going to have to get better photo taking skills – because the people we are meeting are beyond interesting and I don’t want to forget them.

Morning comes early on the AT – especially for slower hikers. Boone and I  planned an almost 11 mile day to the next shelter so off we went. Along the way meeting hikers going in either direction is always fun – even just a simple hello – but the most fun is running into people you know. Panther and Overdrive came with news of a hiker feed at a park three miles beyond our goal and Boone was stoked. People his age and food!! Off they went – I told them I would catch up. Dangerous words – hurrying isn’t good for me. I trip. Of course I face planted. Nothing serious but it’s getting old.

By the time I got to our original goal I was done. Tired, hot and hungry I texted I was staying at the shelter and to have a good time. Want to freak out your 18 year old? Tell him you are staying in the woods alone!

After talking him down – I’ve survived to 52! It’s ok! I headed down into Tumbling Run Shelter. The guides are’t joking that it’s steep and it’s a hike to the water source but it’s so pretty! I was so excited to be alone. A brand new bear box meant no bear bag to hang. A broom to sweep the shelter. The privy was tolerable. Nice. However I got joined by two guys, one that just stayed for dinner and hiked out and the other spent the night. They were super nice, smart, zero creep factor and had good stories. I wasn’t afraid, slept like a baby that actually sleeps and hiked out at a reasonable time! Success! I fell all adult and stuff!!

One Oppurtunity?

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It’s 2 o’clock in the morning and I’ve got Eminem lyrics on repeat in my head.

Look
If you had
One shot
Or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted
In one moment
Would you capture
Or just let it slip?

We leave in 4 short hours to drive to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia for the beginning of our Appalachian Trail Flip Flop hike. I’m struggling to sleep because this has been a dream of mine since my middle teens and to finally be about to step out on that trail is a bit overwhelming. It kind of feels like that one shot or one opportunity. Certainly a self made condition. Plus my pack is heavier than I would like!

One of the common videos and/blogs most thru hikers do Is a pre trip gear rundown but I just didn’t have the time or inclination. Did I mention finished our move and had our last kid graduate in the last 7 days? Ok..yes…only obsessively!!

What I’m carrying is really same things as most. The lightest tent I could afford, a Big Agnes Cooper Spur UL2 – but a two man because ….. claustrophobic slightly and my husband plans to visit. Across the board from my self inflating sleeping pad to my darn tough socks I took advice and managed some good sales. At the half way mark I plan on doing a video on what was really useful and what was not! I do have a feeling some stuff will go home. Simply because I just don’t want to carry the weight.

As Boone and I take our first steps on the AT on the 11th we also begin the first official day of our fundraiser for Shatterproof. Shatterproof is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to ending the devastation that addiction causes families. It began as a fathers promise after he lost his son to the disease. This could have been our family, with myself and one of our children in recovery. Boone and I would like to raise $1 for each mile walked for a total of $2190 in the course of our adventure. We are walking to promote Prevention, that Treatment is effective and should be available and Long Term Recovery is possible.

If you wish to donate a link appears here on my blog. It can also be found on my Instagram page and on my Facebook page. Don’t forget to check and see if your employer matches donations!

Ok! Enough begging. It’s now time to rest my mind. I’m thrilled to take you all along for the ride. Just can’t wait to get going!