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Begins: Sep 8, 2014
Date: Tue, Sep 9th, 2014
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Me and my dad on the AT
On most days, while my Appalachian Trail adventure seems to have taken place a lifetime ago, it also feels just like yesterday on others. Back and forth I have toyed with the idea of another hike, but my life has changed enough in the past two years that the opportunity and need to hike have not been present in me.
However, with the passing of my dad in September last year, I had slightly made a promise to myself, and to him. That promise was to visit the Isle of Skye, situated just off of the west coast of Scotland, a place my father had talked many times of visiting. This promise was not only to go and look at what the Isle had to offer, but to take some of my dads ashes with me and to scatter them in the place he had deep down wanted to live.
I had decided to wait a year and make the trip during the week of the first anniversary of his death. It was not an easy idea for me to leave part of my dad so far away, but it was also deeply engrained in my mind this was a task my father would have wanted me to undertake and would love me all the more for it.
And so it was that I packed up my hiking and camping gear and prepared to fly off into the unknown, by myself, for a week of solitude, dramatic scenery and to find out what it was that enticed my father so much about this far away pace.
What follows is my experience of the week on the Isle of Skye. It is a tale of my walking adventures as well as a large amount of personal reflection and memories. So while not a straightforward hiking guide, hopefully it will give a flavour of the beautiful land I found as well as a way to say goodbye to my dad for which I hope you will all bear with me.
"Travel empties out everything you've put into the box called your life, all the things you accumulate to tell yourself who you are" - Claire and Mia Fontaine