Thursday, November 14, 2013

Book Release Party Day 5 - What are Friends For?

Day 4 of the Book Release Party for Mountains, Madness, and Miracles celebrates friendships. The Appalachian Trail brings together a closeknit circle of friends unlike any other community. No matter your background or where you come from, when you are out on the trail, you are one hiking together. You are there enjoying the triumphs and the hardships, sharing about gear, the trail, and the next meal. And you develop friendships that last way beyond the hike itself.
Hikernutt and I were reunited on the trail in Maryland where I worked as a ridgerunner

Today's special guest is an interview with one of my close friends I met because of the Appalachian Trail. Her trail name is "Hikernutt."  Without her friendship in the Smokies, I doubt very much I would have lasted. You see, I was ready to quit when I ran into her. She kept me going with encouraging words and a smile you will never forget. I talk about her in my book, but now, find out more about this great hiker and friend of the trail.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am 47 years old and love to hike.  My husband and I started hiking back in 2000. We went out for a four day trip, met lots of great hikers that we are still in touch with today and we have been hooked on hiking ever since. We spent every weekend and week long vacations on the AT. In 2000 we made it to Fontana and then in 2001 we picked back up at Fontana and every weekend and week long vacation we could fit in we were on the trail and finally made it Damascus VA where we ended our hike together. We would get out ever weekend and hike somewhere. Then in 2007 I decided to leave my job of 18 years and try to do a thru Hike on the AT. I had met Blissful when we were starting through the Smokey Mountains. I was so scared heading into the Smokies and I don't know why, I had been through the Smokies several times but this was different for some reason. Then on the first night I met Blissful and we sat and talked and all my fears went away. It was so great meeting her.  

Why did you decide to hike the Appalachian Trail?
My husband and I hiked it together in 2000 and 2001 and I feel in love with the beauty and magic and peace the Appalachian Trail brings to me.  I can be in such a bad mood or down in the dumps and go for a hike and within 15 minutes I feel so much better, even on the worst days on the AT. 

How did you meet Blissful and Paul Bunyan?
Hikernutt and I at Newfound Gap in the Smokies
I was starting to enter the Smokey Mountains and was scared, I was stopped for a break and here came Blissful and Paul Bunyan.  We managed to stay at the same shelters every night and hike together most of the time during the day. If it had not been for meeting Blissful and Paul Bunyan I probably would not have made it through the Smokies.  
Thinking back on your trail experiences so far, what have been the highlights for you?
Meeting all the great people and learning so much about myself, learning that I can take care of myself.

For those thinking of the hiking the Appalachian Trail, what are two things you recommend?
Always listen to your body, and don't get in a hurry. The mountains are not going anywhere.

What is your favorite piece of hiking gear?
My Mountain Hardware -15 degree sleeping.

If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
On Charlies Bunion, in the Smokies

To Order Mountains, Madness, and Miracles  - 4000 Miles along the Appalachian Trail

In Print - Amazon and Barnes and Noble

E-book - Kindle  or  Nook

1 comment:

Hiking at a glance said...

I just wanted to comment and say that I entirely agree with the following response, "I can be in such a bad mood or down in the dumps and go for a hike and within 15 minutes I feel so much better, even on the worst days on the AT." Personally hiking is such a stress reliever for myself as well. Overall I enjoyed reading this blog entry.