Friday, January 9, 2015

"Two Roads Diverged in a Yellow Wood...."

She finally made it!

On this bleak winter's evening, I thought I would write something inspirational, although I'm going to take a winding road to get to that inspiration!

In 2010, my older daughter did a science research summer internship in New Hampshire and fell in love with hiking. So, during her senior year at the university, she began making plans to hike the Appalachian Trail as soon as she graduated. 

That entire spring semester, she was consumed with planning the daily mileage to be hiked, researching gear, and trying to convince me everything would be fine. (Years before, when she was just 12 years old, we'd been planning to go out on the Trail for a few hundred miles, as a mother/daughter bonding journey. But, life's circumstances had made that impossible and now she was heading out there without me.) One of her male friends from school decided he thought it may be fun to attempt, so he made plans to accompany her. 

They were going to begin at Harper's Ferry in Virginia and hike to Mount Katahdin in Maine.  I was a bit happier that she was hiking with a friend; so, even though I had some reservation, I tried to be supportive.

The few trains that pass through our town don't stop to pick up passengers, but in a small town just about an hour north of us, they do.  The train that they needed to catch came through at 3:00 am.  We had left the house around midnight in order to get there and get checked in. 

McAfee Knob -  AT, Virginia

As the train emerged through the darkness and pulled into that deserted station, not a person was in sight.  After a hasty good-bye, the train was off again as quickly as it had come, and I was left wondering why I'd agreed to the whole plan.

To summarize this quickly, - her friend lasted only 8 days before returning home.  My daughter hiked on for almost 500 miles alone.  One morning around 6:00 am, I got a phone call asking if I'd help her get home....I was on the road north 15 minutes later.

She was very unhappy that she hadn't completed what she had set out to do, and began planning her hike for the next summer.  But, this time she planned to hike the whole thing ---Georgia to Maine.  April 14th, we drove her to Georgia and dropped her at the trail head of the AT the next morning.

And....she did hike the whole thing --- 2180+ miles.  She had a wonderful time. I had a nerve-racking time; however, I knew she was doing something that she'd had her heart set on doing. It took her several months and she met many wonderful people along the way.

My younger daughter joined her for a short time and they hiked together for about a week or so. My role during the whole hike was SUPPLIER. I spent the summer dehydrating food, packing supply boxes, and mailing them to her pre-arranged postal stops/drops.

Somewhere along the way, she got Lyme Disease and even though she wasn't bothered by it at the time, she was soon after......but that is another Post by itself.

This spring she begins her hike of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) from Mexico to Canada to raise money for Lyme Research.  To learn more about her hike, click

AT View 
What had started for her as an interest, rapidly developed as a passion, and now is impacting the lives of others.  I am proud of her for making a difference.

".....somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, -and I
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."
                          - Robert Frost

No comments:

Post a Comment