Support Systems

Support Systems. How important are these in our lives? I would suggest that for most of us, a good support system is critical, be it at work or play, in business or within your own family. Yes, people can succeed alone and many a movie is based on individuals that overcome all odds to achieve their goals, but… how much easier would life be with that support already in place?!

Well recently, I added greatly to my Appalachian Trail through hike support system. First, a shout out to my wife. She will be my day to day contact, and has supported my dream since day one. Amazing, and thank you honey!

Next, a fantastic forum of hikers exists on Whiteblaze.com, and I have several acquaintances from time spent there. Being new to hiking, I especially appreciate the technical expertise, whether gear or trail techniques. Recently, however, I had the great pleasure to meet with two local hikers, Teacher and Snacktime!

I’ve been on the Whiteblaze forum for about 18 months now, and I’m still learning that it is a all about the people and community.
teacher pic
I’m hiking the AT this year, and happen to live near Teacher. She likes to follow the blogs of local through hikers, likes to put a face to the name, and asked if we could get together. How can you refuse lunch with a lovely lady and her grandson?!

We planned to get together, met at a local restaurant, and had a wonderful time over lunch getting to know each other. Well, before I put one foot on the AT, I received 2 types of trail magic! First, Snacktime, an impressive young man who has learned how to sew(!), gave me a small bag that he makes. Then, he fills the sack with such trail magic as candies, matches, and toilet paper. I’m taking the bag with me, which will be perfect as part of my bear-bagging kit.

Then, after a great lunch, Teacher picks up the check, and will not allow me to pay. I’m embarrassed and wowed at the same time by this gracious lady. Talk about paying it forward!

So, thank you again, Teacher and Snacktime. I now have new friends, and as I go along, I’m sure I will add many more. Thank you AT community and Whiteblaze community, for supporting me before, during, and after. I really don’t know what I am in for, but know that there will always be somebody who has my back!

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