On August 20th I wrote a blog about a young woman named Niki Rellon. She was a determined thru-hiker who stepped out on the Appalachian Trail on March 9, 2015. Her thru-hike attempt was to be a special one because she wanted to be the first woman with a leg amputation to complete the trail. Before the decision to hike the AT, she was a world class athlete. Then a failed mountain-climbing harness caused a 45-foot fall resulting in a broken sternum, pelvis, spinal cord and several ribs. Her left leg was so crushed that amputation was required.
Niki was a “flip-flop” hiker, meaning she started in Georgia and walked about halfway north before flying to Maine and climbed Mount Katahdin for the journey south. Last Sunday, December 27, 2015 Niki, trail name Bionic Woman, completed her thru-hike near the James River, Virginia. Her hike took almost ten months – 293 days (41 weeks and 6 days). Fortunately we have had a mild early winter, but the wet, cold rain still makes the trail miserable and sloppy and slick. Having spent 152 days in the trail I cannot imagine the journey taking almost twice as long. Niki conquered many injuries to her amputation and had to take several breaks from the trail in order to heal. Check out her Facebook page to get an idea of her adventure.
Niki has been on my prayer list for the last several months. My congratulations and applause are lifted high for this amazing accomplishment. She said in a recent interview that her next goal is to write a book about her adventures. I am looking forward to reading about her ten-month trek.
In the meantime, check out my book: Hike It Forward at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Hike-It-Forward-Hiking-Appalachian-ebook/dp/B019A86KEC. You can read it for free if you belong to Amazon Prime. Otherwise it costs $5.99. Please consider sharing a review.
Rehab photo found at https://www.crowdrise.com/oneleggedwomenwantstohiketheappalachiantrail/fundraiser/ekiehrellon
Photo on bridge found at http://appalachiantrials.com/niki-rellon-makes-history-on-the-appalachian-trail/