Hot Springs to Nolichucky River

We left town in the rain …Rocky tops and cliffs, Rich Mtn. Fire Tower in the clouds, White Rock Cliffs, Big Butt Mountain (the girls loved the name😉), and a couple balds (awesome to see a couple families out for weekend hikes).

Daily we see and hear more birds, buds, wildlife, and wildflowers. Spring is on the way! Horsepower is working on keeping a running log of the birds she identifies.

We past our one month mark on the trail… The girls enjoy being on the trail and love being outside. Their positives range from food, sleep, down hills, being outside in nature and camping and being with the family… Their negatives range from the uphills, lack of food, and missing friends and family… Overall overwhelmingly positive comments from the girls!!!

We have also experienced days full of Trail Magic… so much gratitude to all those out there helping push us along the way with the sweets and treats and well wishes!

Most important… We have Kids just being Kids!!…

We sing;Yes we sing everything you can imagine the abcs, camp songs, repeat after me songs, pop songs, James Taylor, school maritime chants, softball chants-(girls cheer on our family as their team and practice throwing most things round. Missing their softball teams but ready to return to the field next season,) made up songs of all varieties; pretty much anything you can imagine. This week they took their instruments out too (they each have a small instrument). They need some practice😊 but have miles to go so we’ll keep working on it.

We play number games. These often get us up hills. Skip numbers, count by 2s,3s,5s,10s, and more.

We find heart rocks (the girls note all the love in nature and state there are actually more heart rocks than you would have ever thought)

We play the alphabet game with roots (how many letters can you find in the roots, can you make a word, or find the abc’s as you hike?)

We climb trees (any tree hanging low over the trail needs a monkey swing in) and who wouldn’t stop to roll down a grassy hills. Taking backpacks off at grassy pastures to get in a kart wheel or two.

We are hiking on….

Happy Trails!!!!

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!

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