Thursday, February 28, 2008

Fixing to get ready to go

Of course all this is not happening overnight. I have been mulling and cogitating and looking at maps and gathering info on the internet and trying out the idea on people for nearly a year now. Funny how different people respond. At first my husband did not express much interest, but he soon realized I was getting serious. I finally knew that he was not pacifying me when we were at a business dinner and some of his colleagues asked me about my plans -- he's actually telling people! Made me feel much more legitimate. Outdoor type friends are excited and supportive and saying "put my name down" on a list to accompany me on hikes. Other friends are more nervous about the safety aspects. A couple think I am simply nuts. But what do I want on my tombstone: She thought about a great adventure?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

What next?

I mentioned my grand idea to friends at my local Girl Scout council where I have been an adult volunteer leading girls and training in different outdoor venues for many years. Here's an idea to make my hiking adventure do double duty: it will serve as a fundraiser for the Girl Scout council's outdoor program. We will link to the council's donation website and folks (and businesses) can sponsor me mile by mile! We have recently bought a huge tract of undeveloped land that will evolve into a fantastic resident camp/primitive camp/waterfront/sports mecca and there will be many needs. Or the money can be used to to fund camperships for girls with financial hardships. Or it can be used to start an inner-city kids' hiking club. Or...lots of possibilities. So time to get out the trail map!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A New Decade, a New Challenge

Hi! I have enjoyed hiking and camping for many years with my family and my Girl Scouts and have often visited the Smoky Mountains, dreaming of one day hiking every trail in that national park. A year ago I was ruminating over the fact that in 2008 I will jump the hurdle to age 50 and my last child will be leaving home for college. I wanted to do something challenging and remarkable to ease the transition. I came across a book by Elizabeth Etnier entitled Day Hiker's Guide To All The Trails In The Smoky Mountains and ideas began to swirl in my head: I could do this! Here was my blueprint! Well, many people hike all of the trails in the park, some quickly and some over many years. I've already hiked about 100 miles of the 800+ miles myself. How could I make this "remarkable"? The germ of an idea became an obsession and finally I realized what I could do: hike all the trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National the one year that I am 50 years old. Okay, now I've told everyone I know and I've put it on the internet, so I'd better go through with it. April 11, 2008...tick....tick...tick... To read the next entry, click here