I was given another special privilege today (Saturday). Usually my Saturdays are spent hiking a local trail and spending some quality time outdoors, but today I had the opportunity to speak about the hike at Barnes and Noble Booksellers in Miamisburg, OH. Dayton Christian Elementary School held a book fair at the store and they invited me to read a book and talk about my adventure. I asked my wife (who loves to read books to children) if she would be willing to take the reader’s chair and I would share after she read the story. The school librarian (Mrs. Brown) found a great children’s book about the Appalachian Trail (“Ellie’s Long Walk” by Pam Flowers – a true story about Pam’s A.T. thru-hike in 2008 with her dog, Ellie). I decided to take my backpack and show the children all the things I plan to carry during my adventure on the Appalachian Trail. I pulled out my winter coat, my cook set, my tent, my sleeping bag, my rain gear, and my bug net jacket. I enjoyed the event very much – it seems that I never get tired of talking about the trail, no matter the age or size of the audience.
My wife, Cathy, did a fantastic job of reading the book about Pam’s 199 day SOBO hike. Pam left Mount Katahdin on August 24, 2008, hiked all winter and arrived in Georgia on March 10, 2009. As she was completing her hike at Springer Mountain, she met many NOBO hikers just beginning their trek toward Maine. I can’t imagine such a long hike through the dead of winter. However, Pam is an amazing woman – check out her resume and adventures (see the links below). Pam Flowers and her eight-dog team also successfully completed a 2,500 mile trek across Arctic America (Alaska to Canada). It was the first solo trip by a woman and the first solo trip by an American. My hat is off and my admiration high for the bravery and determination of this woman! I think I have discovered another hero.