I got involved with the Ultimate Hike in 2013 after receiving an e-mail from The Backpacker. I was intrigued by the challenge of completing the 28.3 mile hike in one day on the Appalachian Foothills Trail. I was also curious about fundraising. It wasn’t hard to make the commitment. The issue of children’s cancer was very personal to me, as one of my former students, Catherine Sherpy, had lost her courageous fight with leukemia on June 17, 2013. Meeting and training with the Columbia team is something I will always cherish. By the end of my first hike weekend, there was a sense of true accomplishment. I completed the hike and far exceeded my fundraising goal.
Articles tagged with: Hiking
This beautiful young woman is Torie Costa of North Carolina. She lost her battle with Cancer on Christmas day. I walked a CureSearch fundraiser with her aunt, an Ultimate Hike two-time alumnae, at the Baxter Trails at Fort Mill earlier this year. She said that she had never heard of CureSearch before the diagnosis...but that is where the doctors directed her family to learn more about the disease and treatment options.
Short version: I successfully completed another Ultimate Hike on Saturday, May 16. I hope you will read the longer version, below, when you have time and a cup of coffee or an adult beverage. If it does not make you proud to have been a part of it, I am a lousy writer/storyteller.
I told you that I was having foot trouble. I tried re-lacing my boots (that I had already worn for hundreds of miles) to put pressure on different spots...decided my feet had changed and I needed new boots...so I went to the Backpacker. Because I am breaking in new boots, I have been doing shorter hikes...eight milers. I chose the Palmetto trail because it is close to my home. I told you earlier that there was a lot of trash along that trail so I took a large trash bag and an extended reach "grabber" to pick up the trash. Sticking close to the trail, I easily filled the 30 gallon bag with plastic wrappers and bags, cups, Styrofoam containers, etc. I also took clippers and did trail maintenance where Spring growth was encroaching...no, none of this "public service" was mandated by a judges order!
We are 27 days (but who is counting?) from the Ultimate Hike...28.3 miles on a mountain trail in one day. Serious fund-raisers say that you should never admit this, but I want you to know that I have met the financial requirement ($2,500) and my own goal ($2,830) for the year...my current total is $3,219. Some people wait until near the hike to contribute so I am hopeful more money will come in.
June 29, 2014, Foothills Trail - I have just returned from volunteering at the Ultimate Hike on the Foothills Trail...it was different, both because of the time of year and because of seeing it from a different angle: volunteer instead of hiker.
Although our Columbia team was smaller, the overall group was diverse and larger than 2013 (a lot of familiar faces among coaches and hikers). There were also a couple of insane people:
Hiking is a well-established old tradition in our family. So, naturally when my husband, Jim, and I ventured out West to Reno, Nevada to visit my brother and his family, we had to go on a hike. My brother has a home near the base of the Diamond Peak lifts on the Northeast side of Lake Tahoe.
“This isn’t working” says Dave, as he tries to stuff his 35* bag into an extra small compression stuff sack the size of a 1 Ltr. Bottle…
Jonathan probably figured he was being the good son, and he was – taking his girlfriend and his mother walking in the woods, a Sunday hike up to Sunfish Pond.
It’s only a few miles and while it might be hard hiking to get there, we can take our time, and it will be all downhill on the way back to the car. And, he probably thought, it’s a beautiful day. Momma will love it. Fresh air, sunshine, and my two ladies can spend some time together.
Sweet. What could go wrong?
The summer’s second half began in a Jersey heat wave, and temperatures and the heat index forced me off the trail as severe raid had a few weeks earlier. Being from South Carolina, I know heat, but this is hot even by Midlands standards. Or close, I guess. Anyway it’s hot. So hot that i shaved the summer-long beard, though i saved the mustache. Will send along a photo soon.
The summer thunderstorm blew through Delaware Water Gap, up and across the Kittatinny Ridge, its winds whipping the Backpacker Campsite on a steamy August afternoon.