Bittersweet Update

Sorry for going dark for the last two weeks. A lot has changed in the time since I last posted and I hope that I can bring you up to speed on everything in this post.

I’ll get the bitter part out of the way first. Shortly after getting back on trail, I developed a hip injury and was forced to come back to Atlanta and put this dream of mine on hold for the foreseeable future. In short, the injury is know as bursitis and is an overuse injury. What likely happened is that I injured my hip before coming off of trail in June for the weddings and then when I got back on trail it got extremely aggravated by the extreme increase in activity. Right now I am on a few supplements, am seeing an awesome chiropractor and am doing my best to stretch and do light activity but nothing like what I need to be able to do on trail.

Now for the fun stuff.

I walked 1156.4 miles. I spent almost exactly 3 months In the woods, I walked farther than I ever thought possible. I discovered things about myself that I never thought I would. I learned what it means to lean into things that you are passionate about regardless of how hard it is. I grew more than I know how to put it into words and it wouldn’t have been possible without this trail. I am so blessed to have had this time to focus on chasing this dream.

I can’t even begin to thank everyone on here that has read along with me and supported me. I am so glad that I got to share this journey with so many amazing people.

I want to give you a final update on Holt’s House and the incredible resources that we were able to help provide to that amazing ministry. When I started this journey I was hoping to raise $1 for every mile I was planning on walking. Over all we have now raised more than $3,000 dollars, far surpassing my wildest dreams. Every single person that donated played a vital role in this success. As a result of everyone’s generosity, Chris and Abby have been able to purchase hundreds of books and a few laptops with software for English class for a few of the boys. Again, I want to say thank you to everyone for making this possible.

Final thoughts:

No, I didn’t make it to Katahdin. Yes, I accomplished more than I ever thought I would. I am so proud of myself for everything I accomplished and I can’t wait to keep chasing this dream over the years as I have time.

Would I do it all over again? In a heartbeat.

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Holt’s House of Hope Update!!

In the first half of my hike I set out to raise funds for Holt’s House of Hope – Please see that page of my blog for more information.  My goal was to raise at least $2,189.00 or the same number of dollars for miles I would walk.  It’s so humbling and exciting to say that in the first half of my hike all of you out there made it possible for me to raise $3,234.78.  Isn’t that incredible and amazing.  It was so much greater than anything I had hoped for.  This has allowed Holt’s House to purchase so much on their wish list.  If you recall, here’s what they wished for…

“A learning center that would provide access to learning materials, books, technology resources, language learning software, and other opportunities that do not currently exist in this area. Needs in this area include adding hopefully 2 laptops to the learning center (approx. $400 each), purchasing books from their Amazon wish list (ranging from approx. $5 to $20 each), as well as Rosetta Stone language software (approx $150 each).”

Well they were able to purchase a Rosetta Stone immediately and use that on an office table for the boys to start using.  When more donations came in they were able to purchase the laptops and start ordering books.  Then they were able to purchase tables, chairs and stools.  Yesterday the learning center opened!!!  I am just blown away that you made this possible.  It is also so like God to help motivate me towards my goal by having the Holt’s House Update come out yesterday, my last day before starting my 2nd half of the trail.  And today I’m able to tell you, my first day back on the trail.

Here is the update and the pictures!!

Holt's House 1

This is the original Rosetta Stone ordered and the picture I got by text in May.

Holt's House 2

This was the staff starting to learn a few days ago before the actual library opened.

And NOW… Here’s the Learning Library open for business as of yesterday!!!

Holt's House 3

And a few more pictures because it’s so exciting.

Holt's House 6Holt's House 7

Here is the link to the Facebook post if you want to see it or comment on the post directly.  And please feel free to share the post so others can learn about Holt’s House too!  https://www.facebook.com/1935817403310609/posts/2543128565912820/

Your faith and giving made this possible.  I am just so grateful!  Thank you so very much!!

I’m Back to “I’ll Be Back In 5…”

I am back on trail as of today!!  I’m starting in Carlisle, PA and heading north as fast as I can walk with Mt. Katahdin in my sights – not literally – but that’s where I am headed.  Please see all the details on “My Progress” page of my wonderful and adventure filled time off the trail May 27th until today.  I ask for your prayers as I head north.  I have 1,060 miles to go and the entire way until I am within 100 miles of the finish will be without visitors or interruptions.  That’s way different than how I hiked the first half of the trail.    I’m excited to start again and blog more.  I am going to post about Holt’s House in just a minute so stand by…

Rain in MD

When it rains, it never stops raining.

Yesterday I walked 25 miles and roughly 20 of those miles were in the pouring rain. It’s really pretty much the worst and it just makes everything soaked, like the take a long shower with clothes on kind of soaked. On a cool note I did see the original al Washington Monument! Other than lots of rain, Maryland doesn’t have a whole lot to offer, no great views, and mainly just rocky, ridge walking. On to PA today!

Halfway

Halfway there!!

What an amazing journey it’s been so far, I’m in awe of the things I’ve seen, the people I’ve met and the growth I’ve witnessed in my own life over the past 2.5 months. There is almost nothing that I regret about the first half of the trail except my attitude towards Virginia. The only other thing I would change is how much I blogged. I realize that I was not very good at it and I’m gonna work on that!

In the next few weeks, I will see 4 states as I move from WV to Maryland to Pennsylvania. I’ll be updating much more frequently and here are some things I recently did and a few things I will be looking forward to:

1. I hit the 1000 mile mark

2. I finished VA.

3. I finished WV.

4. I saw Washington DC for the first time ever, in the pouring rain, and with some amazing company.

5. I will finish MD either tomorrow or the next day.

6. I get to see my mom in a few weeks when I am somewhere in Northern PA. She is meeting me for a few days and I am so excited.

7. I’ll finish PA and NJ

8. I’ll come off trail for about 12 days to attend 2 separate weddings and see a bunch of family and friends in Atlanta and Virginia.

9. After the weddings will be roughly a month and a few weeks of no support. It will be a long test for me but at the end of it I’ll be in ME and I will get to finish this amazing journey the same way I started it, with my dad!

10. I like round numbers so this is just here to remind everyone of how incredible your support is and I can’t wait to share the top half of this trail with you.

Until next time!

Safest Sign on Trail

A quick update, this is a sign I saw about 3 days after posting this picture. The crown has been past to these three signs.

For some hilarious reason the AT signs in this part of Virginia have become more and more secure. This one is absolutely the most secure. You mind as well pull the whole post out of the ground.

It has a total of 22 nails holding it to the wood. If that isn’t overkill I don’t know what is.

This is going to be stereotypical but I would bet any amount of money that this sign was put up by the same kind of guy that when he has finished wrapping a Christmas Christmas present decides that it isn’t secure enough so he adds another piece of tape, and another, and another, till he realizes that he has used the whole role of tape on accident.

The VA Triple Crown

So I wanted to share a pretty cool thing that I just got to do this past week! There are 3 famous views in Virginia, they are referred to as the Triple Crown of Virginia.

From South to North, they are:

Dragon’s Tooth

Mcafee Knob

Tinker Cliffs

These vistas can all be accessed in one day but due to the amount of time I spent on Mcafee Knob I wasn’t able to get to Tinker Cliffs until the morning!

It sure was an awesome day and I got to hold with a new friend I made named Sharkbait (ooh ha ha).