This climbing can stop anytime! I was talking with a kid today. His trail name is Bright Eyes as everything is new to him. This is his first time backpacking for more than a night or two. Anyhow, the point is, he has talked to several Triple Crowners. These are hikers who hiked all three long distant trails in the US. The PCT, CDT and AT. His people confirmed that the AT is by far the training ground for any thru-hiker. If you can conquer this trail, you are well on your way to completed the others. Just as I suspected. The AT is one tough trail and it’s teaching me much humility.
Today was all about the wind. Not a breeze or a slight wind, but a gale force that typically precedes some sort of weather event. I can handle a little wind from time to time, but this was a bit much. Even Blue was wondering where we would hunker down for our required snack breaks! We found a pile of rocks and sat down basically on the trail. My right foot was giving me a bit of trouble so off came the socks and shoes. The Duke as I call him stopped by and ask if all was good? He saw my cushioned bandaid on my big toe and gave me a piece of KT. This stuff is gold on the trail but I’ve never seen KT cut and trimmed for blister protection. Ingenious, so I graciously accepted. I have this big old callous that was rubbing on my shoe but once the tape went one and my socks over it, all was good in my world. I could finish this day without pain.
We headed up to Rock Top Mountain and met the sweetest family. The Shepard’s had hiked eight miles one-way so they could check out the view of the Smokey’s. Dad was overjoyed as Mom was home with the younger two boys. I could just see Dad’s excitement in having his five kids with him, climbing this mountain. It was quite a sight and to think they still had to hike eight miles back to the car. That’s youth and stamina for you!
Once we bided farewell to the Shepards, one of the hikers I met last week showed up, Ricky Bobby. He’s been struggling with tendinitis and walks a bit slower. Hmm, sounds like a perfect person to finish the day with. Blue and I walked with him to our designated camp site. I asked Ricky Bobby why he was hiking the trail? He had several reasons but mostly to decide what he wanted to do with the remainder of his life. He is a French Canadian Nurse who has been evaluating Drug Addictive Patients for the past ten years. He was at a point where he needed a break, looking to shed a few pounds, and decided to hike the AT. I shared with him my reason for hiking, sharing Gods love on the trail and being right where God intended me to be. He told me he was religious when he was younger but is a realist and agnostic. I’m thinking to myself, perfect! Now I know where to head this conversation.
We had a couple of hours to share our life journeys and I talked of how I had strayed from following the Lord when I was younger. But as I had children and truly felt something was missing in my life, I returned to the church. It allowed me to have purpose, fulfillment in knowing who I am in Christ and gave me direction. Ricky Bobby was intrigued and I knew this was the reason the Lord had me throw away my planned schedule. I shared with him how I truly believe that God knew we would be here on this trail together and it was not a coincidence. My faith in the Lord allows the Holy Spirit to direct me and be right where he needs me. We had a great conversation and when we got to camp, I offered him my Arnica Gel for his tendinitis and my Psalm 91 Bookmark. He accepted them both. He told me later he already read the Psalms and would keep it with him for the remainder of his hike. The end to a perfect day.
So my day was definitely ordained by the Lord. I was sharing with Blue how we have so many opportunities to share Gods love. Blue said she is listening more and talking less, hearing Gods direction. I think that’s exactly where we need to be. Be good listeners so we can hear God speaking to us, and listen to others, rather than constantly dominating the conversation. We all want to be heard, and by silencing our constant chatter, we have so many more chances to walk with others, right where they are. Thank you Lord Jesus for directing my ways and helping me share your love with others.
“He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”
Mark 16:15 NIV
One thought on “Day 19: May 3, 2022 Mollie Ridge to Derrick Knob Elevation Profile +3191/-3117 12.1 Miles; Total 189.8 Miles”
WoW ! Your trail is Going Great Guns !
Even better is the gentle way you gave him Psalm 91.
So nice mentioning this as I will keep him and others in Prayer in my back office !
A peachy day on your trail………
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