It is almost a year since the accident. It's been tough, but great friends and family have helped me through some especially hard times.
And now I’ve been laid off. But when life gives you lemons... since I will have some extra time on my hands, I have decided to continue to pursue the bucket list adventure that Michael and I had devised. It will help me train for my walk along the East Coast Greenway next summer.
This bucket list idea requires hiking a part of the Appalachian Trail in every state. If you’re not familiar, the AT trail runs from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine, almost 2,200 miles long.
On previous trips, we knocked off the following states:
- In Harriman, New York, via the Major Welch Trail, we climbed Bear Mountain and then descended on the Appalachian Trail.
- On the way home from our friends’ wedding one weekend, we decided to take a side trip and hike to High Point Monument, at 1,803, in New Jersey.
- There were two separate hikes we completed in New Hampshire; the first consisted of an amazing trek up the Falling Waters Trail to Little Haystack, and walking the ridge over to Mounts Lincoln and Lafayette. The second included summiting Mount Washington, the second-highest point of the AT at 6,288 feet, for Seek the Peak, a fundraiser for the weather observatory at the top of the mountain.
- In Kent, Connecticut, we stayed at a place called Bella Alpacas Farm that has the AT Trail cross their property.
- And then there was the trip to North Carolina and Tennessee, at Clingman’s Dome, soaring 6,643 feet. It's the highest point in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the highest point in Tennessee, and the second highest point (to Mt. Mitchell's 6,684 feet) in North Carolina.
In order to complete my bucket list, I will still need to complete a hike in Georgia, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts.
If you are wondering what happened to Vermont and Maine on this list of states I still need, here it is - I have decided to start my trip to Winter Harbor, where I will honor my husband's memory on the one year anniversary of that fateful kayak trip, a little early and get some day hikes in to check those states off.
I found two lovely bed and breakfasts, one in Woodstock, Vermont, and the other in Bethel, Maine.
I have to share a story about the B&B in Vermont I have booked. I was giving the owner my information… phone number, zip code, street name, and then I said Plainfield. How funny, she said, because she and her husband lived on Forest Hill Road, only a few blocks away from me. As it turns out, I even remember seeing her husband as we commuted to New York City on the train! Small world indeed!
A little closer to home, I am excited to join the Freewalkers as we walk fifty miles from Metropark, NJ to Penn Station in New York, predominately along the greenway, for The Big Walk. It’s billed as the group’s "most diverse walk, from tranquil parks and rivers to friendly communities to industrial parks and cities - this one has it all.” And it will give me a taste of what I'm in for when I start my walk in 2018.
Oh, the bracelets! You’ll see some featured in the attached photos. These have really become a conversation piece; 25% of the commission on each sale is being donated to the East Coast Greenway Alliance and Freewalkers in support of my 2018 walk. There have been a great number of people who have joined the party, and our Keep Collective representative has made her donation from her commissions for the month of April; thank you, Sherrill! If you want to show off yours, post your picture on the Jenn's Journey North Facebook page.
Next up? I’ve challenged my fitness trainer to come up with exercises that will specifically target muscle areas I will have to use extensively when I take my journey north. Let’s hope I don’t fall flat on my face!