Amicalola Falls State Park

The beginning! It’s finally here… After years of envisioning and months and months of planning we are ready to begin our adventure on the Appalachian Trail. We arrived at Amicalola Falls State Park late last night and spent today finalizing our packs, dropping off of our car and preparing to start hiking in the morning. Today we registered with the rangers and are now official thru- hikers. We were given some basic trail notes and a leave no trace class (ask the girls to teach you the visual top seven principles of leave no trace) and are all set to go. The girls are feeling “nervous, scared and excited”. More posts will follow but I wanted to give you some background on the previous months of planning and preparing.

-Awaking Dreams has raised $873 for the Redwood Empire Foodbank, $803 for CARMA, $408 for the B-Rad foundation, $293 for the Sonoma wildlife rescue, $220 for the Appalachian wildlife refuge, and collected over 365 pairs of shoes for Soles4Souls!

– All girls got haircuts and three donated at least 10 inches to “Locks of Love”

-32 mail drops have been packed organized and ready to be mailed with food, meals, academic materials, and all the necessities We spent seven months dehydrating fruit, beans, veggies, and putting together meals. Thank you to local farmers for sharing their extra produce Thank you to my sister for helping pack all the boxes and all the family members for keeping them together and mailing them! Yes it definitely takes a village😊

– We drove all the way across the country in three days stopping in LA to drop off a dog; Petroglyph national monument where we got to see many bunnies!; Cadillac Ranch in Texas with all the old Cadillacs sticking out of the ground; and generally made great use of our pop top 2003 eurovan camper “dragonfly”.

I can’t believe this day is finally here! We will be trying to post at least once a week in the coming months….

Author: Jamie “Sunshine”

To awaken to a beautiful dream one day become reality is the day millions of us wait and hope for. Setting goals and pushing ourselves to the limit, we have all challenged ourselves and our systems of life to see our goals in action. In March of 2019, waking a long envisioned dream, our family of 6 will set out on the 2000+ mile Appalachian Trail (AT). The trail covers 14 states and will take 6 months to complete. This dream began over 20 years ago, in 1999 when I set up the Awaking Dreams Fund with the National Brain Injury Association in my brother, Kyle’s name. I raised over $10,000 and set out and completed a thru-hike of the AT. Five years after that my husband, sister and I set out on a thru-paddle of the Connecticut River and raised money for Casa Colinas, a rehabilitation hospital that facilitated outdoor adventures for their patients. My brother, Kyle fought his battle for 20 years and passed away in February of 2017. We will continue to hike in his honor and his name attempting to complete the trail on his birthday. However, this adventure will be of a different caliber, as Chris and I will set out with our four daughters ages 5, 7, 10 &12. I have envisioned this hike since my thru-hike in 1999 when I traveled with a father and his two sons for a few days. The boys were ages 9 & 11. They were adventurous, excited, connected to nature and so curious and educated about the natural world around us. I have long hoped for such an amazing experience for my girls. We have done a great deal of planning, preparing, and talking . . Now is the Time!

3 thoughts on “Amicalola Falls State Park”

  1. Best of luck to your family and safe travels! I am a two time AT thruhiker myself and know the joys and hardships ahead. I love the passion and spirit of your family. You can do this. 🙂
    GA2ME 1997


  2. You are brave parents with equally courageous girls! I am the mother of 4 (now young adults) who love hiking and nature because of experiences they had as children.
    Maya has already won my heart with her compassion for retired/rescued race horses. Equine therapy is close to my heart as well.
    I hope the trail and encounters are kind to your family. Maybe our paths will cross out on the AT.
    Walk on!


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