Thursday, December 19, 2013

Growth as a 'Trail Towner'

Post by Colleen Weathers
Like a couple of other teachers at this workshop, I am fortunate to live in a "trail town."  Soon after returning from the spring workshop, the beginning of the SOBO thru-hikers starting popping up.

How does one decipher between the casual hiker/backpacker and an AT thru-hiker?  Good question! From my experience, there are a few key characteristics. 1) Their clothing and equipment is quite "loved."  2) They have a certain distinct smell that can only be experienced.  There are no words. 3) Huge smiles.  4)  Really cool names like Sunshine.

Since talking with some of the people at the spring workshop, I decided I could be a better member of my Trail Community and take advantage of this unique opportunity.  I've been making an extra effort to start giving these ever thankful, interesting souls a lift into and out of town.  This has led to great conversations.  Naturally I tell them about this amazing class.  The hikers I've talked to have loved it!!  Extra support for the AT?!  Educating/engaging youth about the Trail?!  "Awesome!!" is the typical response.  I've received a wide range of support from the hikers ranging from thank-yous to offers of help via email/interviews.  The picture is of a “sign” a thru-hiker made signifying the 300 miles from that point to Mt. Katahdin.  

I feel like I'm off to a great start!  I've become a better member of the AT Community and will use that to help motivate my students!!

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North Carolina NCCAT participants

North Carolina NCCAT participants
At the Wayah Bald Fire Tower

Mary Jane

Mary Jane
On top of Silers Bald