27 Days to go for the Ultimate Hike
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.
My training is on schedule also. On Saturday, we hiked some 22 miles on the mountain-like trails of Harbison Forest. We began in the dark at 6:00 AM (with headlights) to mimic the 4;30 start on hike-day. We walked despite a drizzle because the Ultimate Hike happens rain or shine.
I believe I could have made it 28 miles Saturday but I would be lying if I said I was not hurting at the end of the day. I plan to train a lot more (numerous hikes 5-6 miles and another over twenty) to be fully prepared. My boots, that I have hiked in for many, many miles are hurting my feet (no blistered but my toes feel jammed at the end of the hike) so I am going to try lacing them differently and try other boots that I own...I have to decide quickly because we are near the point where there would be too little time to break in new boots.
This week, the dogwood blossoms formed a white carpet in many areas. All of the trees had fully developed leaves and the forest floor was green with ferns, grasses and other plants. The low/wet areas were covered with a delicate while lily-sort-of-flower.
There were flowering bushes that looked like rhododendron...they were a little different so I am not sure if they were a relative (of the mountain variety) or if our midlands climate takes a toll on them (I was surprised to find them living here). We found an Eastern box turtle lounging in a puddle in the middle of the trail. Washed by the puddle, its yellow markings were bright and beautiful.
As always, thank you for being a part of my team, helping me reach my goal and making this journey with me. Most of all, thank you for helping find a cure for children's cancer...so far, for this year's Foothills Trail Ultimate Hike, over $98,000 has been raised! -James