I receive some posts that I have to repost because they touched my heart in a VERY SPECIAL WAY!!! This one came from Angie Maennle.
“The trail reminds me of our walk in life… Sometimes our lives are easy beautiful meadows… Then a rocky time will come and we have to push through… Then we have the times that it looks like we may not get over the boulders but that’s when He gives us the views from the top… Thanks ” Mustard Seed” for taking us through this journey with you! Blessings!”
THANK YOU Angie for such inspiring words! That’s what keeps me trudging on!!!
LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK!!!
I LOVE ADVENTURES!!! I live for them each and every day! But the ONE THING that I am already dreading most of all is not being able to share my stories with each of you. So as I sit here on this log along the A.T., I’ve been thinking about an idea and just wanted to get your honest opinion.
Many of you have just met me through facebook and only know me through my journey along the Appalachian Trail. You don’t know what I do in m…y every day life back home in the Smoky Mountains. Well, believe it or not I do something very similar to this for a living. I take people camping, fly fishing, hiking and exploring in the backcountry of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, mostly at a sacred place known as Hazel Creek. I’ve been camping, fishing and exploring this Creek for the past fifty-one years. I have operated my guide service there for the past twenty-three years. I temporarily discontinued my business to hike the trail for a cause, Big Brothers/Big Sisters. It is an organization very near and dear to my heart. But what about when this journey comes to a close? Write a book about it or put together a photo album to share my stories about “Life Along The Trail?”
What would you think about the idea of continuing my stories, not about my journey along the A.T., but stories of “The Life of An Outfitter On Hazel Creek.” I have had so many interesting clients over the years as well as stories about bear encounters, sharing history along the creek about copper mines and logging towns, and of course fish stories. My business has been featured in many magazines and publications and most recently was featured on The Weather Channel’s morning show with Sam Champion. They camped with me for three days and aired a 3 minute segment featuring our camping/fly fishing trips. I’ve had NFL head coaches and players as clients as well as mafia bosses. You name it, I’ve had them. And then there are the annual trips with families such as the Paul Young family who bring happiness to our hearts just to spend time in the woods with them!
For now as my good friend Jimmy Blevins puts it “Trudge On Mustard Seed”, and I will, sharing my stories about “Life On The A.T.” But looking toward the future I just wanted to see if there might be an interest in continuing my story, a different story, about a different place, a place very near and dear to my heart, a place known as “The Legendary Hazel Creek”!!!
I do not hike with other hikers very often, but this morning I have enjoyed the company of section hiker “Unknown” from West Knoxville, TN. I say Tenn. because I passed a Knoxville, Maryland along the trail not too far back. It has been a pleasure to talk about each other’s experiences back home in the Smokies! For those who may have just started following my journey a “section hiker” is someone who is hiking a section of the trail. A “thru hiker” is someone who is hiking the entire trail from Georgia to Maine all in one journey which is what I am attempting to do.
I just entered a long section of trail that warns hikers that this is the VERY ROCKY section of Pennsylvania!!! GREAT!!! WHAT DO THEY THINK WE HAVE BEEN HIKING THROUGH???!!! This section is sending many of the flip floppers home. A flip flopper is a hiker that begins their hike somewhere other than Ga. or Maine, hikes to the end and then hikes the other section. They do this to avoid the crowds. Most flip flippers that I have met started in Harpers Ferry and are going n…orth to Maine. This section of trail is testing many of these hikers and several are heading home due to injuries along the way. Every step has to be precise and deliberate, therefore you have to think about each step and where you are going to place your foot. And daily milage can be cut in half! Many of the rocks are on their edge and slanted, not giving hikers a steady surface to walk on. No day dreaming on this section of trail for the next few days! One wrong step can send you home for good!!!
I love this couple I met several days ago near the half way point. They are thru hiking the trail and are from Rome, Georgia. Their trail name is the “Roman Noodles.” Mrs. Roman Noodle is believed to be the oldest female thru hiker on the trail right now at 69 years young. She will soon turn 70!!!
There are SOOOO many facebook friends who have put a smile on my face or touched my heart along my journey. There are a number of thru hiker friends out here on the trail who have also touched my life. I was hiking along this morning and found this note on a rock beside the trail.
And then there are those moments that transpire over a long period of time. Moments that have taken an “ENTIRE BAND OF ANGELS” to come together to touch my life like it’s never been touched before along my journey! And when it finally takes place, I cannot wait to share this story of all stories with you of a journey that has been six years in the making!!! More on that later!!!!!