The first event will happen tomorrow morning as I have been invited by the Middle School Principal at Dayton Christian to share about my hike with his students (grades 5-8). I am so excited about sharing my plans with these 230+ students. I really appreciate middle school students because they have enough maturity to really begin to understand the significance of the abstract, the ability to think critically, and the imagination to catch the adventure of the wilderness. I hope to be able to not only share about the Appalachian Trail but also paint some of the parallels between a physical hike and the spiritual path that we all experience in life.
I plan to share about some of my anticipated fears about the trail – solitude in the darkness, the power of the lightning storm, and snakes. I hope that the students will be able to identify with the significant emotion of fear and as well as the foundation stones that I will share as a solution to calm the heart. Please remember and pray for me on Thursday morning (8:30 – 9:15).
The second event tomorrow (the listening one) is an evening workshop at Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark. The park is holding a session called “Long Distance Hike Trip Planning.” The workshop holds real excitement for me because it includes a dialogue with local experts who have hiked the Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail and the Florida Trail. The park’s advertisement for the session encourages the participants to bring their questions and take advantage of answers provided by the depth of knowledge and hiker wisdom gained through the experiences of others. I hope I have some time to think of some good questions prior to the event. I know Princess Doah –my friend, Vonnie – is planning on being there. She is a DC alumni parent and expert long trail hiker. I have been trying to talk with her for a long time so I look forward to making this connection.