My Message

Here’s what I said to a woman struggling to lighten her pack. 

“And now, if you’re game for an even deeper exploration, it has helped me immensely to delve into clarifying my purpose for walking. I realized that the trail is a blank canvas on which I paint my own journey, design my own fulfillment. Sure, a popular way to engage with the AT is to backpack long distances. That’s not the only way it can be visited, and, conversely, hiking might not necessarily be the best way to fulfill your dream. It might open up a whole new journey to explore what you’re thinking that hiking the Shenandoah section will provide… ultimately, in my own hiking, I want to create something that makes my heart sing!” read more

Purpose

I encourage my heartsingers to know their purpose for walking the Appalachian Trail, or any journey! Here’s a good example of a stated purpose that a woman posted in a women’s hiking group. To me, it seems alive with feeling, possibility, and anticipated transformation.

“I live in GA and hike on the AT every chance I get…thru to the Smokies. Even tho Its training…I cant wait to start at Springer an rock out each and every milestone of the trail and my life. Crying, Smiling Laughing…emptying the baggage thats held me back for so long!! I NEED EVERY STEP of 2189 miles to tear me down and rebuild me, from the soles of my feet to the soul of my heart!!”
I would feel incomplete if I didnt go from start to finish…  read more

Self Righteous

November 9, 2016

I truly want to grasp what Marnie means here! I would love to sit together with friends Vera, Roger, Kym, and others who envision unity with all, to listen and understand!
She says:

​”Yesterday morning I predicted Trump would win. Want to know the main reason why? Over the last 7 years I have watched the preparation of Light Bearers with messages of freedom to share (spiritual, physical, financial, and emotional restoration). But these people have gone through a lot of hard things in the last few years. We’ve just been trying to survive. 
Maslow knew that people can’t self actualize when the basics are threatened. Lighting the way for others is the last thing on your mind when you’re in survival mode. 
I knew that if we continued along socialist paths, our society’s days were numbered.   Light Bearers would not have the opportunity or time to deliver their foreordained messages. Millions would not be set free and healed. Surely God would not place a good desire in your heart and then not create a way for you to achieve it. 
As we united in prayer to save America, God created a window of time for us to step forward and deliver our messages. And Trump’s boldness paved a way for our voices to be expressed and heard as well. 
We are bolder now, and we have a work to do and a window of time in which to do it. The light bearer chandelier, which had been taken down for cleaning, will now be hoisted back to the ceiling to illuminate the world with Christ’s light. 
Do your work now, my friends. Shine, teach, liberate the captives and bind up the broken hearted. You are Christ’s healing hands! Step forward and rescue and triage the wounded while this season of liberty lasts. #LightTheWorld” read more

Projection

Fulfillment Partnership Journey

November 1, 2016

I noticed this morning that John asked, “How can I make your morning special?” My response was, “talk with me.”

I ventured into expressing my ever-present imagination of having a life partner who shares my fulfillment. I spoke about that and John listened without balking.

What I noticed is that as soon as I had shared a bit, I balked! I thought, “whoops! There I go again, talking too much, laying out my impossibly demanding, far reaching, complicated, outlandish life-purpose thing that no one else could ever live into! Why can’t I just settle for being loved and cared for?” And then I apologized. read more

Countdown

September 17, 2016

9 a.m. 26 miles to go! 

Yesterday evening, we reached our goal, the Spruce Peak Shelter. It was a nice shelter, but it was only 5:00 p.m.! There were still two hours of light. We kept going.

First, through Devil’s Gulch, a short scramble through huge craggy boulders covered with ferns. I was glad we were exploring that as an evening activity rather than first thing in the morning. 

We kept walking. The trouble was that the trail skirted the side of a mountain, so no flat spots for tenting were available. “There’s one” would reveal lumps and bumps on closer inspection. Another quarter mile. Now, the trail headed straight up the mountain on narrow stone steps, up and up to Ritterbush Overlook. Now, we’d gone another full mile and darkness was soon to arrive. The trail leveled out. Yay! A decent spot appeared, but John had already moved on. Keep going. Another hundred yards, and John says, “Here’s a spot.” It was a very good spot – flat, with two trees for tying the tarp, and off the trail down an old road about twenty feet. Yes! It was a good spot! We had walked 17.3 miles too! 30.1 miles from Canada! read more

Hiker Friends

September 12, 2016

“Hiker Friends, we need a hiker friend, to pick us up at this trailhead and take us to town.”

That’s my new thought when I have to hitch a ride into town for resupply. I accept that most of the drivers passing us by don’t know anything about the Long Trail and why backpackers would be hitching a ride. I pass by all the self-hating things they could be thinking about me. They are not who I am signalling with my thumb.

I’m signalling one of the Hiker Friends, who know that long distance hikers need a ride into town every few days.  read more

Completion!

September 4, 2016, 1:00 p.m.

Tadah! John and I reached our goal of Killington Peak, Vermont, the point that marks where we have walked all of the Appalachian Trail at least twice!

When I set out to do a thruhike of the AT in 2007, my aim was to start in Maine and at least make it to Catawba, VA where I had left off walking the trail in sections with my then husband. I wanted to be able to say, “I’ve walked the whole trail” in one quick sentence.

I reached that milestone in November, 2007. That day, when I reached that nondescript road crossing, I burst into tears. “I’ve walked the Appalachian Trail!” read more

Sleep on it

September 2, 2016

We are 52 miles from completing our goal of walking the Appalachian Trail twice! Camped just 1/2 mile from Manchester Center, we’ve positioned  ourselves to get down to the road, hitch into town, pop into Food Chopper for  a bite to eat, shop at Eastern Mountain Sports, pick up our last food box at the Post Office, then hitch back out to the trail with enough time to walk 10 miles.

We have a choice to make, though! When we reach Sherburne Pass and celebrate our second traverse of the AT, we have to (get to?) choose what to do next? read more

Perfectionist

September 1, 2016

OK. I admit it. I am a perfectionist, at least when it comes to talking about myself. I have been on the Appalachian Trail again since August 9 and I have been too shy to share. 

When John and I resumed our walk where we left off on July 6, I wasn’t sure how far I would walk, and that was hard for me to feel, even harder to admit to you!

Both my physical energy and my emotional energy  were low. I had had clear symptoms of Lyme Disease. In addition, I believed that all the posting and reaching out I had done on our first section was bothering John.  So, I wanted to be invisible and just walk for myself. I wanted to test out my Lyme treatment and sort through my relationship.  read more

Completion

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July 5, 2016
This is our last night on the trail for this section walk. Tomorrow, we’ll walk an easy 6 miles to Delaware Water Gap, rent a car, and drive back to Virginia.

The rocks are waning, Pennsylvania is falling behind us.
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Today’s walk gave us a chance to exercise one of our “trail mastery” skills: moving on from an undesirable social situation. Let me explain.

We arrived early at our day’s goal, just nine miles from our starting point, at a shelter with easy access to water. A couple of hikers were already there. They pointed us to the water. We noticed a picnic table on the trail to the water source, in a shady clearing behind the shelter. Nice! We could set out our stuff there! I suggested that we share the fire the other hikers were tending at the shelter and took our pot over there. No problem. read more