“Not going to lie. It was hard to say good bye to this guy.” My husband leaned over and whispered those words to me as we watched Andrew walk toward airport security last February. He was “flying south to walk north” on the Appalachian Trail.
Andrew’s dream of hiking the AT was hatched as he and his hiking partner, Eddie, mapped out a plan in which they would take leaves of absence from school and job and set out on their adventure. Andrew told us about his plan by letter from his summer job in Maine. He laid out his objectives and gave us his reasons for going. After some back-ing and forth-ing, Tim and I consented.
Well, things did not go as planned. The hike ended just short of two weeks in. Bad weather and injuries kicked Andrew and Eddie’s butts to the side of the trail. Even so, they learned a lot about themselves and what it takes to be a thru hiker. Plus Andrew, the kid who had never traveled alone, learned how to make his way back home through a fierce ice storm which snarled all forms of transportation into an a big old knot. I applaud these two for trying, for doing something uncomfortable and difficult. And for stepping off the trail when their hearts drew them in a different direction.
Dreams are blue sky clouds
hanging nearly of reach
grasp them and hold tight...