I always knew I had support from Kim, our sons, other family members, and many friends. As I began my hike, however I began to realize that encouragement was coming from many more people, most of whom were complete strangers.
I met trail volunteers who had put countless hours into making the trail safer and more enjoyable. They were putting in this time because of their love of the trail, but they were also doing this so that I could be successful.
Then I came upon people who weren’t directly involved in the trail, but still wanted to do what they could so that I would reach my goal. For some, this was a simple gesture, like handing me a snack bar or cold drink. For others, there was even greater generosity, serving me meals or letting me stay in their home.
Even other hikers, who had their own goal of hiking the entire trail, found ways to encourage me and make sure I was able to achieve my goal.
For some, this simple, shared interest formed the basis of lifelong friendships.