Training took a backseat the last two weeks. A friend of Lindsay and mine, Nathan Crawson, was struck by a drunk driver on his bike and killed. He had a 5 year old daughter he had just gained full custody of her, deservingly so. It was and truly is a sad occasion. Nathan was a very unique individual of whom I'll never feel I got to spend a sufficient amount of time with. He was an amazing artist, an even more amazing dad, and a supporter of our trip. He was taken too soon and will be sorely missed.
Sarah(gf not mom), Nathan, and Kat
I sometimes wonder what the home life is gonna throw at us while we're on the Trail. How soon will we get the news and will we be able to do anything about it? We both have Grandmas and other family we'll be leaving that we hope and pray all stays well for at least the 5 and a half months while we travel. I imagine a lot of people have to get off the Trail due to such circumstances. It's so sad when a twist of fate calls you back where you truly need to be. But I would have it no other way. If you gotta go, you gotta go. Family first. That includes the closest of friends.
Hunting season is over too. I ended the year with 4 deer. The last one is in the ice chest now. All 25-30lbs is going straight to jerky for the trail. Few things match the taste of deer jerky. It's squirrel and rabbit season now which I will not be taking part in. Too much preparation left. The itinerary begins tomorrow and thanks to the good people at WhiteBlaze.net for running such a helpful and useful website and the Appalachian Trail Conference for the Data Book and Thru-Hikers Companion, the necessary task should be much less difficult. I love reading the Thru-Hikers Companion. It's so informative and every bit of information is crucial.
In case you needed a reminder.
Thanks ATC! Can't wait to get up there!
Maybe a month's worth?
Our friends with the film Beauty Beneath the Dirt will be showing their film at Trail Days in Damascus, VA May 18th. Trail Days is an annual event. Hikers and other Trail enthusiasts come from all over. Some have to catch a ride from further away on the trail to experience the festival then get a ride back to continue their hike. We might be in that very position. I want to catch that film. They gave some real words of wisdom and encouragement when this hike was still only an idea. I appreciate them and want to support them in anyway that I can.
We want to thank everyone who comes up to us and asks about the Trail. That little spark of interest, whether it be about the Trail specifically or just about what we are doing with our lives, we thrive on. We have such a massive support group and that is extremely comforting. We aren't going on this journey to escape anything. It's a journey to discover something, anything, and everything. We can't wait to have the same enthusiasm telling you about the stories we will have experienced as we do telling you now about the stories we have to come. We look forward to every step on the Trail and will have the people who helped us get there in the front of our mind. It's for anyone who believes we can do it. 2100+ plus miles won't be easy but will be completed.
Chris Caffarel, Andrea Baty, Rebecca Marchiafava, Becky Rhodes, Andrew Bursavich, Helena Wolfe, Barry Blevins, Aunt Sharon, Jill Barringer, George Waggner, Carol Patt, Marissa Frayer, Lyric Cox, Jonathan Tillman, Chesley, Mom, Dad, and anyone else who has helped in anyway. Thank you.
Until next time...
"I swear I didn't chew up any tissue paper"