Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Give and Take

Our trek along the Continental Divide is finally upon us, and as we prepare to leave Flagstaff we find ourselves examining the people who have helped us arrive at this point. We are fortunate and speechlessly gracious to have found community support in unexpected places. Every person who has donated to our trip had enabled us to pursue an adventure that will define our lives.

Thru hikes are unique. This will be the longest trip that either of us has embarked upon, and we both recognize its significance. Long adventures carve our souls and deepen our spirits. They help us find a new meaning of wholeness that we never knew existed. At this point, I cannot begin to conceive of the ways in which I will grow from this trek, but I do know that I am anxious to meet myself in five months.

Forrest and I hiking in West Fork of Oak Creek

In the late nights of packing bags of dog food and instant mashed potatoes I have found myself asking, "how does one say 'thank you' to another who has enabled this trip to become reality?" Written words cannot describe the deep gratitude that we hold for those who have donated to our trip. I feel hopeful when I think of the ways in which I will pay it forward as so many have done for me.

Support has come to us in a variety of ways. We would like to thank our parents for their well wishes and incredible support for our trek. In addition, we would like to thank Run Flagstaff and Vince Sherry for allowing Forrest to pursue this adventure with ease. Valerie Caro, the "Monday Night Dinner Club," Kathy Lampros, Ann Montgomery, the Vestals, Jim and Carol Dykes, Gehl Tucker, Joanne Hooker, Kristen Downs, and Trina Painter donated generously to our trip. Because of their kindness the shipping costs will be covered, ensuring that we will have fuel in our bellies to keep hiking! Abe Clark and Janet Cherabon-Bawcom made in-kind donations that will power our legs to continue walking. Coach Kyle Harris has allowed us to coach track and field with Flagstaff High School, despite leaving early in the season. Finally, the time spent with Addie and Eddie packing food boxes cannot be overlooked. Their help and dedication has made it possible for us to start hiking on time with our start date. 
Forrest and I hiking near the Verde River, Arizona

Our first blog post from the trail will be within a few weeks. We look forward to sharing our first experiences from the trail!


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