The last six months have been, well ......like an long evil episode of the Twilight Zone. Not quite sure where's it was going, if it was real, or if it was just a bad dream that I would eventually wake from. Hard as I tried to carry on like I know Toesocks would have without me, it has been a rollercoaster of highs and lows the like of which I have never experienced. Even now as I prepare to carry her ashes the 2180 miles of the Applachhian Trail, I just cannot get excited and find myself dragging my feet and not wanting to even gather up the gear.....our gear.....to begin this journey. But the journey will begin, I will meet new and fantastic people on the AT, friends and family will join "us" along the way and she will be a thru-hiker! She will always be at Springer and Katahdin and special places along the trail. Of all the places we travelled and all the adventures we had, from paddling with orcas in Alaska to camping in brown bear country, from the great Everglades to the rugged Oregon coast she was the happiest while on the AT. The reason was simple.....it was the people she met along the trail and in the towns as we hiked north. Toesocks loved people and everyone she met loved her. She never had a bad day on the trail, no matter the weather or the difficulty of the hike she was always smiling and laughing and enjoying the wonderful people we encountered.
Today I bought the ticket for Amtrak to take me to Gainesville Georgia where the Hiker Hostel will pick me up, give me a bunk for the night, breakfast and a ride to the trailhead that leads to Springer Mountain, the southern terminus of the 2180 mile long Appalachia Trail. I plan to start the four to five month trek to Maine on April 1st which is fitting being All Fools Day!!