An update… The here and now, setbacks and accomplishments, and unending logistics…

Due to my delayed posts, I just wanted to send out an update of where we are on the trail and how things are going… I will follow this up with my post of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and entering Massachusetts. Wow! Did you read that?! We passed through Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and have entered Massachusetts (and we should make it to Vermont by the end of the week)!!! The girls are unbelievable! They continue to amaze me as they are so motivated and determined to complete this amazing adventure and goal we have set out to achieve (anytime I ask if they are ready to head home they say, “Not until we hit Maine!”. My girls are every bit as stubborn and determined as I am 😊). Through all our challenges over the past couple weeks, the years and months of planning and organizing logistics has proven to be of great benefit.

The most shocking, is that Sister Bunny was in urgent care twice, and unable to be helped. Ultimately, she ended up in the hospital. With amazing nurses and doctors by her side she is up and at it again. Her sisters brought her cards and bunnies into her hospital room and the nurses and doctors were all sure that our strong Sister Bunny would have no problem making it to Maine! As for now she’s hiking shorter days, being carried some😊, and loving to hike in her pink dress (as we have the van near by).

While she was still lethargic and slow to respond she lifted her head and said “I’m ready to hike again mama”… then her first day back she said,”This is much better than being in the hospital.” She is one determined girl and we will all help her accomplish this goal. We continue to work as a team and are only ever as strong as our weakest link. We plan to set out with full packs again by the end of the week (when we are sure she is back to full health and strength).

Logistical notes… Before we left we were sure to upgrade our health insurance plan and have our family doctor on board. (How lucky we are to still have a family doctor in Sebastopol! We are so incredibly grateful!). We know this has paid off and just hope the bills reflect😉. Also all the planning and logistics, that seem never ending with the van close at hand, have proven beneficial. With the van for the past couple weeks we have been able to hike without our gear in our packs, help carry Sister Bunny and continue to make miles to stick with our plan.

We have had to hike some of us north bound and some south bound (meeting in the middle) to reach roads and continue to move the car around but it has worked so everyone can make the miles. We have been able to make some bigger mile days but the girls do miss all of us hiking together,singing and playing trail games as a complete family. Our van, Dragonfly, has served us well.

We also jumped around a bit… We had a week at a timeshare in Delaware Water Gap, so when we reached there a week before our reservations, we moved up north to complete New York, Connecticut, and some of Massachusetts. We then came back south and completed New Jersey into New York, while staying at the Delaware Water Gap, before bouncing back to MA. Only northward here to Maine! The logistics can be exhausting but I think the advance planning of breaking things up for the girls has worked well for us. Also with the illnesses it has been a blessing in disguise.

Finally, an update on our fundraising… it’s amazing, whenever we are at a low, a donation will come in that will re-inspire and motivate us to keep moving forward. We are so grateful for your donations. This week we will be sending out checks to each of the girls charities in the amount of $216.25 from recent GoFund me donations and PayPal donations. We will be changing the GoFund me website such that all the donations made there will be divided equally among the charities. We will leave the Paypal donations with a percentage to hike logistics and the rest divided among the charities. You can also still donate directly to the organizations from the support page here on the blog. (If there are any other issues with the b-rad donations link please go to their home page https://www.b-radfoundation.org and the support button is at the bottom of the page). Please remember to include Awaking-Dreams attached to all your donations so the girls can keep track. Their original goals were $2000 for each girls charity(es) for the 2000+ miles they will hike. Let’s help them get there!

Sorry for the lengthy update. The next one will be the photos and trail updates of the states. Thanks for all your support!!

(High Point Monument State Park overlook in New Jersey)

Happy Trails! And here’s to good health and happy hiking for the rest of our adventure.

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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