Sara-Tide and I are up to the same shenanigans as always. She came to give me road support and then I rushed along, true to form, to meet her at road crossings for a beer and a lot of laughs. We got to spend a night in Gatlinburg with Jessie, and a night singing by the campfire and making friends at Standing Bear Farm.
We met in Georgia on the A.T. 10 years ago, and ended up hiking together from just north of Erwin, TN all the way to central Maine. Our friendship means a lot to me. The bond between us was automatic then. It felt special to meet another young woman who wants to travel the world and walk across the country. 10 years later, it still feels special, to have a friend who’s crazy like me. We had a beer together at Clingman’s Dome (the highest point on the A.T.), then another the next day at Davenport Gap, then again the next day on top of Max Patch. We sat there and dreamed together about where we want our lives to go from here, much the same way we once walked this trail together.
I wish I could send a post card to my 10-year-ago self. I’d love to show her a picture of Sara-Tide and I on top of Max Patch, working on our secret hand shake and planning our future walk across Scotland together. Still in love with adventure, still not sure where the next walk of life is going to take us.
We had a group called Dumbledore’s Army back in 2011 and we dearly miss the other member, Stephen. I’ll get to see Stephen and meet his partner and dog up in Vermont and can’t wait. Being young and alive is a gift. Sticking together through the years is, even more so. Sara-Tide (Tide Walker is her trail name) and I will be hiking together again in the Shenandoah’s. No pressure Stephen, but the D.A. should reunite! Thanks for growing me a trail-beard:)