“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
I never thought myself as an “outdoorsy type”; (I don’t like bugs and detest some more than others), yet a lot of the things I like to do seem to be outside activities.
One day I may thru-hike the entire Appalachian Trail, if my body doesn’t fall apart first. Until then, I’m going to hike as much of it as possible in sections. There’s something to be said for the freedom from the hustle and bustle of society and stripping away the frivolous and only concerning yourself with the basic necessities. The Army taught me the basics of being self-sustaining; now I’m taking it a step further.
Many of my friends (and a vast majority of society) don’t expect a black woman to enjoy traipsing through the forest, getting sweaty and dirty, not showering, and climbing mountains for no reason at all. So far, I’ve summitted the highest peak in Virginia, stayed at the highest shelter on the Appalachian Trail, mingled amongst herds of wild ponies, and viewed numerous breathtaking vistas. You know why? Because. They were THERE. And getting there under my own power is much more satisfying than anything else.
I’m a fiercely independent and a “sometimes swim against the mainstream” 24-year Army veteran who gets into things that don’t fit my “stereotype” (you know what that means *wink*)- solo backpacking being just one of them. A good friend once told me “You don’t have hobbies, you have obsessions”. Well, if you’re going to do something, don’t go about it half-assed.
GO. ALL. OUT.
GREAT BLOG! It’s always bothered me that I meet more Europeans in National Parks than black Americans (not that I have anything against Europeans – I married a German), so I’ve become a big fan of Outdoor Afro, which linked to your blog on its Facebook page. I’m 48 years old and didn’t grow up hiking or camping – I didn’t start until my 20s, and now I can’t imagine my life without the outdoors – and I would love to see more women out there enjoying the great outdoors. Thanks for being an advocate, and I’ll see you out on the trails! (I’ll be the slow, fat, white middle-aged gal with the Kentucky accent but now living in Oregon).
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Thanks! I didn’t grow up hiking or any of that at all either, but I think somewhere far in the back of my mind it was lurking all along- I just had to get over the stereotypes and nay-sayers and do it.
I tried earlier to post more info about Moye Rest and Mr. Moye’s desire to make contact with you (He’s 82, I’m his friend, 10 years younger.) I don’t know if I succeeded, so I’m trying again.
Jim is blind… I read your blog to him and filled him in on your comments. He wants to tell you more about “the bowl with abundant water..down the hill from the monument”. The Monument is just “the tip of this AT iceberg.” Jim’s had a vision for all the property he and his family enjoyed for over 30 years… He wants an AT blogger like you or others to understand more about this “Trail Treasure” God entrusted and blessed his family with that AT hikers can now enjoy as they did. Please call me to reach Jim.
YourServant and Friend,
678 234-9107 USA
+ 509 47 37 88 26 Haiti
..or write me at email@example.com
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Hey Shannon! I am an AT thru hiker from 1990, my trail name was “Brutus”. I love your spreadsheet and have made much use of it since my youngest Daughter and my four Grandchildren started their thru hike this month. Yesterday my Daughter asked who Shannon is and what was her trail name from 2014, I told her I would ask you…so what is your name and your trail name please? Like I said, I love your sheet and I’ll have to work to complete it from HF to Mount Katahdin. I too am a Navy veteran and I thank you Ma’am for your contributions to this great nation! God bless you!
Hi William! My trail name used to be Cocoa Puffs, now it’s Rage. I earned it during my Smokies hike in 2016. Good luck to you out on the trail!