One year ago today

It’s been awhile since I’ve written here and this will be one of the last times. One year ago today on April 4th, 2012 Alison and I embarked on a journey which we knew little about. Of course we had done a bunch of research, but that is totally different than living it. The night before Alison had attempted to cut my hair. It got pretty short before mom came to the rescue and evened it out. Oh well, I’m going hiking, right? I won’t be looking in the mirror. :) As we waved goodbye to our parents at the approach trail we started climbing. Looking back it was really not that hard. We took lots of breaks and enjoyed the views. The 49 pounds that were in my pack gave me sore shoulders, but we only did 7.8 miles that day. We ate knepp with GU that night. I am not sure I’ll ever do that again!

But, you can read the rest of the blog to reminisce about my adventures. It was quite the adjustment coming back to the midwest with the flat land and home community. For a long time I didn’t feel like I fit in. I didn’t get the same excitement about being in choir or seeing people I knew. It was a really hard time. I cried nearly every day. That’s hard to admit. I felt like I was totally out of my element and all the people that had become family while I was on the trail were now farther than across the shelter or campsite. And I wondered how long I would feel this way.

I got a job at Target, and boy was it a shocker. I was used to living with everything I needed on my back and then going into this retail job where people are spending lots of money. It made me want to not spend anything. And I didn’t really have any money to spend anyway, so it worked out. Don’t get me wrong I have enjoyed my job at Target, but it was quite a difference from what I was living for 6 months.

Over time I have become re-accustomed to the way things are run here in the ‘real’ world. I keep in contact with some that I hiked with through Facebook, but it was hard to find some of them. I knew them only by trail names, so I had to do some searching. Of course if they had a summit picture as their profile picture it was a good possibility I knew them. :)

I have not been out hiking recently – well, there has been no place to hike really here – but I have been thinking about the trail and those that are hiking now. I have been following some on www.trailjournals.com and I wonder how many of them will make it. Every one of them is so excited to be fulfilling their lifelong dream. I hope they make it. When I run marathons there are many things that can happen that can make the race not turn out well. And that’s only for 4-5 hours. What about 6 months? I guess that’s a little pessimistic. I really do wish them all well and hope they find good friends along the way to be a support. I was so very blessed to have Alison with me for 200 miles and then supporting me the rest of the way.

I would love to bring trail magic to hikers this year and I may do so when I’m in Harrisonburg VA for EMU graduation. Our time will be short there, but I hope I can go out to the trail. I wonder what it will feel like to be back there. I probably won’t be in hiking garb. My gear is stored away, but I’ve been itching to get it out.

I have heard of someone that is starting today. He is hiking with some friends of mine that I met in the Smokies: Buzz, Grizz and Gypsy. Gypsy is the one that gave me the challenge coin. He is going as a trail chaplain, being available for anyone that may need spiritual guidance. His blog is here: http://hikingwithhardtack.wordpress.com/

Also I heard of a Mennonite gal: Sarah Kahle from MN that is going to head out on the 15th of April. I have been in contact with her and may actaully see her sometime next week. Her blog is here: http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=405412 I look forward to keeping track of these guys and also sending them care packages.

X, N, Castaway, Deadeye and Susan will all be completing the John Muir trail in July. I so wish I could go with them, but alas, I am unable. So, I hope to follow them as well as send them packages. So much fun!

Some may be wondering what my next adventure will be. I was actually nominated and won a regional award for Target as a wellness superstar. Everyone was really impressed with my trail and marathon stuff. I guess it just seems natural to me, but a lot of people I know also do these things. It’s like someone visiting Freeman SD during Schmeckfest and they are blown away. I have grown up with it so it is just that way. It takes outside people to remind you that it’s awesome.

In July I will be attending Service Adventure Leadership training. I have accepted a 2 year assignment in Anchorage Alaska as a SA unit leader. I will be in charge of 3-5 young adults as they work in placements like foodbanks etc. It’s gonna be crazy and quite the opportunity. I think the adventure bug has bit me. And, while I’m there I’ll run my AK marathon!

Well, that’s all for now. Thanks for still looking at my blog. I think it gets between 5-10 hits a day still. Mostly looking at the map. Some other search terms have been – ‘meet the troverts’, ‘fundraiser on at’, ‘aminals’, ‘kathy harder’ (not sure about that one!), ‘flurry at harper’s ferry’, ‘bearded woods’. Fun stuff!

Oh, and I am finally giving a presentation on the trail. April 6, Salem Mennonite Church of Freeman, SD at 7:30. Everyone’s invited!

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About Renee

I enjoy adventures. Whether running marathons, thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, working with Service Adventure, or working with youth as Program Director of Swan Lake Christian Camp for 9 years, I have encountered many an adventure. On this site I will try to capture the big and small ones for you. Enjoy!

Posted on April 4, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Alaska? Wow! That will be an adventure, for sure. Will you have any time for visitors? I thought of the anniversary of the start of your AT treks that you and Castaway mentioned today while I was out hiking hills in the woods in the rain trying to get in shape for the JMT. You will be with us in spirit this summer. Hope by then you will be enjoying the scenery and placing in marathons in AK.

  2. Well said, Kleenex, well said!
    ~Castaway

  3. Our life was forever changed for the better the day you walked into it, K. All the struggles, all the songs, all the belly laughs, all the tears – all of it was better shared with you.

    With love & best wishes for a wonderful experience in AK.

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