"Phil Valentine’s call to walk the Appalachian Trail is a vivid example of moving beyond recovery FROM life-threating illnesses as a means of recovering TO a life of extraordinary possibilities. Thousands of us who have shared the challenges and unexpected gifts from such recovery journeys will be walking in spirit with him.” ~Bill White
Life on (and near) the Trail Mary and I made our way to Hanover, NH on Sunday and arrived at Dartmouth to pick up Right Click, Dr. Pickles, Tina, Just Doug, and our favorite section hikers - Riptide (aka Matthew) and McPackin' (aka Rick). We headed north to our campground, Jacob's Creek, in Orford, NH. It is small but perfect. Quiet, peaceful, and we have a huge area all to ourselves. Everyone set up their 1-2 man tents, and I setup our 10 man tent, lol. We weren't sure we were going to do this, so our supplies are limited, but we've been able to make it work. The crew hiked 14+ miles on Monday and we cooked burgers on my griddle, and pancakes this morning before they left on a huge trek - 19.7 miles - over Lamberts Ridge, Smarts Mt, and Mt Cube. We hope to reunite with Paradox and Rock Steady tonight for some type of dinner that includes pasta and sauce for these guys.
I continue to see some incredible beauty by supporting the hikers. A few things over the last few days: CT River (the unpolluted part up north). Fields of wildflowers, purple, green and gold - in fog, in sun, at dusk. Grassy meadows for hundreds of acres. Dairy farms and horse farms. Deep woods with tall, tall trees. Mountains of green, and walls of granite. A simple red barn. Corn fields and hay fields. Mountain lakes and small creeks. Log cabins and 200 yr old mansions.
However, the most beautiful things I've seen, are the smiles on the hikers faces when they realized they conquered another day on the trail, one day closer to Mt. Katahdin, one step closer to home.