Easter week in the Shenandoah National Park

Hello All! We miss you and the many comforts of home as we are learning and gaining so many life lessons. With this, we are so grateful to all of you for your support and keeping us motivated and moving.

The adventure continues….

First a quick note that we are safe and the sad tragedy on the trail last week was well behind us. I will send a few quick updates to get us back on track …

As you know from past post, the trail began for me with and about family. My brother’s strength in fighting to survive his brain injury often gave me the strength and determination to hike on and strive to make a difference in the world. To accomplish and complete this adventure the support of family and friends is so important. (Please continue to donate to the charities we are supporting on our support page. We hope to be 1/2 way to our goal of $2000 for each organization by the time we reach the 1/2 way mile marker)

My parents appropriately named on the trail,G-Bear and Fairy Godmother flew in to hike the Shenandoah National Park with us for Easter week. This was a welcome few days without heavy packs and covering miles with fresh eyes and ears.

Everyone enjoyed hiking pack free, often running the trail, and sharing the many excitements of their journey. The girls caught up on some good food and much needed rest. The Shenandoah are known for their blackberry milkshakes and ice cream pie which we all devoured.

The girls each completed their Junior Ranger Packets and learned about how both the Smoky Mountain National Park and the Shenandoah National Park hold so much national human history, as the land was acquired from families, as well as the natural history.

Yes, the Easter bunny made it to the trail!! Eggs were colored and found all over and many goodies were consumed.

The forests are waking up, flowers are blooming and wildlife big and small are appearing everywhere. Coming a couple 100 miles north brought green canopies to the forests and many new and exciting plants to identify (including encounters with poison oak and ivy).

We did not see the Bear the Shenandoah are famous for but we did find evidence that it had been on the trail.

The Shenandoah hikes were beautiful with amazing views. It is so wonderful to share this time.

We are often asked if our family has always spent our time backpacking. We love the outdoors and have spent a great deal of time preparing for this adventure and setting the girls up for success in the quest to complete the trail and make a difference in the world through their service efforts. However, each girl has her own passion and sport interests. Having family visit provided them the opportunity to spend at least a few hours back in the saddle and on the ice with the sports they are most passionate about. A huge thank you to Sister Equine for funding this and Fairy Godmother and G-Bear for getting us there. My parents feet by the brick honoring my brother at the Appalachian Trail Conference’s Tribute Garden in Harpers Ferry, the 1/2 way point on the trail.

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!

One thought on “Easter week in the Shenandoah National Park”

  1. Love the summary of our time on the trail. We had the best time slack packing and staying at Wintergreen Resort with all the comforts of home plus the hot tub! Harper’s Ferry was a real treat as was the Biltmore!


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