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Tami "" Vanderwilt
Begins: Mar 23, 2010
Date: Wed, Apr 20th, 2011
Daily Distance: 0
Trip Distance: 135.4
Entry Visits: 164
Journal Visits: 2,699
Guestbook Views: 106
Guestbook Entrys: 1
An unanticipated zero day. A real shame, especially since the weather turned out so nice. You see, Sue, Bill and I had planned to hike 13 miles today, to Stecoah Gap. But when we woke up, the weather outside looked like it was going to get pretty bad, and the weather report on the TV news and on the computer seemed to confirm that storms were on their way. Indeed, it even began to rain—pretty hard-- so we decided to scrap our hike plans for the day and take a joy ride together. We drove around some local towns (Ashville, and the community where the Vanderbilt family’s home, the Biltmore—America’s largest private residence, is located) and ran some town errands (getting prescriptions, Easter goodies, etc.) The day dwindled away pretty fast, and the expected rains never fully materialized, and we were all disappointed to have missed what turned out to be a beautiful day to hike. Still, we explored and had fun, and enjoyed one another’s company. I’m just sorry they didn’t get to experience those miles on the AT with me…and I’m another day behind “schedule”. (Believe it or not, I do have a schedule I must stay within. I’ll tell you about it sometime.)
Anyhow, I had a fun time with my Austin friend and her cool brother. Tomorrow, come rain or shine, I get back on the trail. The Smokies are three days away, and I’m not taking another zero until after I get through them. I have a full battery charge on my computer, so I think that, during this stretch, I might be able to update you somewhat more regularly. I’m figuring stuff out, getting into a better routine. So in the morning, off I go, and I expect to reach the Stecoah Gap area somewhere, and camp alone. The next shelter is an additional 3 miles away, and while that doesn’t sound like much, believe me, it is…especially at the end of the day. I’ll certainly try to push on the additional 3 miles, but I prefer to be on my own anyway, so wherever the feet give out between Stecoah and Brown Fork, that’s where I’ll lay my weary bones.
I’m turning in now. I’ve already stayed awake far too late, considering I’m hitting the trail in the morning. But since I don’t have a tent to take down or a camp to break, maybe I’ll sleep just a wee bit later and still hit the trail at a reasonable hour. I’m just so glad to finally get to update my blog! I’ll probably quit writing an entry every single day, except for miles, steps, start, stop, etc. But I’ll be sure to fill you in on the highlights—and lowlights—as they occur, and some of my rambling thoughts that come to me when I wend my way up the trail. I’ll introduce you to the people I meet and the challenges and victories I face. If you are reading this blog and following my progress, maybe even cheering me on, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I would ask this one thing of you, however. Please remember WHY I am doing this. Think about Aiden, and all of the babies like him who have been lost due to a SIDS/Safe Sleep issue. Think about the devastated families left behind when their precious wee one is taken away. Then think about the fact that I’m out here, hiking to draw attention and raise awareness, and that when I get home my top priority, other than my family of course, is to continue to draw attention to and raise awareness of these issues, and to educate young families about Safe Sleep and the SIDS risk factors. I’ll need your help, though. Educating people comes with expenses, and I intend to be very active in my efforts. Please support the foundation established in Aiden’s memory, For Aiden, with Love.
Thanks for your interest in my adventure. I wonder what’s next?
Oh, by the way…if you look at the column to the right where I’ve posted my links, you’ll find a link to some photographs from the trail. I’m having trouble putting them on my blog website using my limited computer functions here on the trail. Hopefully, when Pat finds time, he can post the most relevant and interesting ones into their appropriate blog entries. Otherwise, you can go to the link and look at all of the photos as I mail them to Pat and he loads them to Smugmug.
Onward And Upward!
Appalachian Trail NOBO in March 2011
Hiking companions: niece Anne (for a little while),and best canine buddy Tessa
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