While we may not be hiking an “assisted” thru-hike in the sense that we have people along the trail, bringing us food and water and carrying our packs, we certainly have one the best support crews we could ever compile. The support we have received so far via phone, email and mail has been beyond anything we expected, especially since this is our second trail and the sentiment could always be, “Oh, you’re doing that hiking thing again, eh?” Instead, the response has been nothing but positive and all of you out there reading this, sending emails, visiting us, calling us and sending us boxes has kept our spirits up high.
Yesterday was both and high and low day for me. It started raining at about 1am Thursday night, and we walked in a cloud all day Friday into Harper’s Ferry, WV. We had 21 miles into town, which is a lot of miles to have the patience to walk through before getting the reward of town, and I simply just didn’t want to walk. I think I woke up on the wrong side of my sleeping pad. All I wanted was to be in town in a warm, dry building, preferably eating pizza and drinking hot chocolate. I can’t say I got those things upon arriving in town, but what we did receive at the Post office was even better. To our surprise, there were four boxes of goodies from friends and family awaiting us. It was like Christmas as we sat in the corner of the lobby, opening each of the boxes and being amazed at the contents and letters from friends. It was the ultimate motivation to keep hiking, to keep living the dream, and to make it worth all the efforts of those supporting us from home.
As I write this, I’m awaiting the arrival of Optimist’s parents and brother, as they come bearing lots of homemade food, laundry detergent, clean clothes and a car to take us to a hotel for the evening. Most of all, they are bringing themselves, and we’re really looking forward to spending time with them for a break from the trail. We’ll still get back on the trail tomorrow, but for a brief stint, it will be nice to relax with family and good food.
We have so many people to thank so far for all the support, and in case you don’t know who you are, here is a list of all those people we’d like to thank for sending care packages and letters, taking us to the trail or meeting us along the way: John and Jackie Urbanski, Anita Von Holle and Bob Von Holle, Frank and Phyllis Von Holle, Laura Von Holle, Louise Herndon, The Morrison family, Jeff Urbanski, Ronald and Jessica Lyp (Rocketcop and Jersey Jess), Achilles and April, The Kummerer family. A special thanks to Rocketcop and Steve Case for making the reading of this possible, as they designed and built the website, and continually help us improve it based on your feedback.
Again, thank you for the support thus far. It lifts us up out of a bad day and motivates us to keep doing what we do best out here, which is just plain walking.